Friday, March 26, 2010


So Disney has cancelled At the Movies, which started out as Siskel and Ebert a long time ago but has been lurching on for the last couple of years without either one of them. This year's effort with A.O. Scott and Michael Phillips will be the end of the line for the show. The balcony is closed, the theater is being razed.

Personally, I am not surprised -- the end was coming for a long, long time and I quite frankly am surprised the show stayed afloat as long as it did through all of Roger Ebert's health problems and so on.

Anne Thompson, once one of the many fill-in co-hosts of the show, has this to say about the end of At the Movies. Roger Ebert has plenty of thoughts of his own, but I think he was probably more emotional about things at the time of his own departure than he is right now. Still, it's a sad day.

Ebert says he is planning his own comeback with a show of his own, and I hope it goes ahead. I pretty much agree with Ebert's assessment of why the At the Movies show is going off the air:  "Blame the fact that five-day-a-week syndicated shows like "Wheel of Fortune" went to six days. Blame the fact that cable TV and the internet have fragmented the audience so much that stations are losing market share no matter what they do. Blame the economy, because many stations would rather sell a crappy half-hour infomercial than program a show they respect. Blame the fact that everything seems to be going to hell in a hand basket."

He's right. TV sucks right now. You might as well go to the movies, because increasingly it seems like there's nothing to watch.

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