Roger Ebert presents At the Movies – coming in January 2011

The show that spanned over three decades is back. The show that got me (and a big chunk of my family) hooked on movies, er, on films – is heading back to television. We’re willing to forgive ABC and Disney the last few years of less-than-stellar reviews (and hosts), along with terrible past-midnight timeslots. We’re going to ignore the fact the Gene Siskel is long gone, and Ebert is only vocal in his massive twitter and blog universe. We’ll even put up with a bunch of new hosts, and new ideas – which may make it better, or may not. We just want to watch.

Here’s the official announcement (comments have been disabled, maybe there’s a more official PR release later today?) We’re just happy to see him back (and possibly hear his voice once again – thanks to the miracles of technology. Ebert has been absent from the small screen over the last few years, but in recent months has become a force of nature online. Spilling from the usual ‘films’ topics into literature, medicine, politics, economics, his twitter account is now a massive online magnet for honest, informed debate – on anything, with anyone. Man, my admiration for Roger just keeps climbing.

I hope the new show brings back that classy film discussion; and reminds us that ‘they still make good pictures’, and the really good ones are worth looking for, worth waiting for. Roger, bring back some intelligence to the small screen. Movies have never been just about the silver screen, about make-belief. They have always reflected us as a people, as a culture, as a nation. Or nations. We may be in disarray right now, but your natural ability to relate to all things human, and to invoke a real response – should come across in the show.

And once we see this in the show (even if it’s late on a Sunday night), perhaps some of that will come across in our actions the following Monday morning. Boy, I’m setting you up on a high pedestal. Can’t wait for the show, wanna see the ‘new media’ that you promise to bring along, wanna see this discussion go worldwide. With your help, At The Movies can once again be a mirror to our entertainment, our culture, and our state as a people.

January can’t come soon enough. I’m aware that some of the above sounds like gleeful fanboy admiration. Live up to that, Roger. I’ll be watching.

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