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Roger Ebert bringing “Movies” back, replacing Elvis Mitchell

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Months after the movie-review show he created was yanked off the air, Roger Ebert announced he will be returning to television early next year.

The longtime film critic, together with his wife Chaz, will back “Roger Ebert Presents At the Movies,” which is set to begin airing on Jan. 21. Ebert recently confirmed that the show will be carried on more than 190 public television stations, as well as the Armed Forces Network.

But changes are afoot. The Chicago Sun-Times, which has published Ebert’s reviews over the decades, reports that Elvis Mitchell has been dropped from the show as a co-host because, according to a source, he showed “little on-air chemistry” with AP movie critic Christy Lemire.

The Sun-Times goes on to say that Mitchell could be replaced by “a young male in his mid-20s with little or no experience as a movie critic or as a TV talent” or with “another critic described as a female version of tart-tongued former ‘American Idol’ judge Simon Cowell.”

Aren’t these the gimmicks that killed the Ben Lyons version of “At the Movies”?

A replacement will have to be plugged in by Jan. 1 in order for “Movies” to make its Jan. 21 premiere. Truthfully, we’d rather just see Ebert, even if his voice has to be provided by an assisting computer. We’ll see what happens.

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC FilmCritic.com, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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  • December 15, 2010 | Permalink |

    Elvis Mitchell is one of the best movie critics in the business…
    Screw chemistry!

  • December 15, 2010 | Permalink |

    I agree. We loved watching the show for the reviews, not the “chemistry”. The best of the experiments were with A.O Scott & Michael Phillips, since they were very good at making their points so that the audience could see which opinions best fit their personal preferences.

    I look forward to the show starting again:)

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