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Ebert’s Movie Show To Go Off Air Until Funding Is Found

Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert (Credit: Bryan Bedder / Getty Images)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — Fans of famed movie critic Roger Ebert’s show, “Ebert Presents: At the Movies” will be disappointed to hear the program is going on hiatus at the end of this month.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Felicia Middlebrooks reports, Ebert posted an entry on his blog Wednesday titled, “So long for awhile,” in which he announced that his “Ebert Presents at the Movies” program will go on hiatus at the end of this month while he searches for necessary funding.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Felicia Middlebrooks reports


“This move is necessary to allow the public television stations that carry our show to plan their programs for the beginning of the new year,” Ebert wrote. “We held off as long as possible but we had to give notice today.”

The program is produced by WTTW-Channel 11, and is distributed nationwide by American Public Television, as well as overseas by the American Forces Network.

But Ebert writes that he and his wife, Chaz, had been essentially financing the show out of their own pockets, with just one $25,000 donation from the Kanbar Charitable Trust when the program began.

“Ebert Presents: At The Movies” was launched in January 2011, and uses the same format that Ebert used with late CBS 2 movie critic Gene Siskel.

The show is fronted by two new hosts — Mubi.com critic, Chicago Reader contributor and Odd Obsession alternative video store co-manager Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, and Associated Press critic and “What the Flick?!” host Christy Lemire. Like Siskel and Ebert before them, they give movies “thumbs up” and “thumbs down.”

Ebert, who has undergone multiple cancer surgeries and is no longer able to speak, also reviews movies, with CBS 2′s Bill Kurtis doing the voice-overs.

“The show has been a success. We will have produced 50 episodes. In Christy Lemire and Ignatiy Vishnevetsky we have co-hosts whose chemistry has ignited, and who provide two definitely different viewpoints, which is the idea,” Ebert wrote. “We have developed a cadre of Contributors who have created video essays and festival reports.”

Ebert says he has heard from fans that they like the show, and “we hope our hiatus will be brief.”

“Please have faith in us as we sort through the possibilities,” Ebert wrote.