Some sad news quietly came out today without much press coverage of it, but I think it warrants recognition: Both Roger Ebert and Richard Roeper, of “At the Movies with Ebert & Roeper,” have opted to part ways with Disney and the show that’s borne their names since 2000 (and bore the names of Gene Siskel and Ebert for well over 20 years prior to that). It’s been a sad time for this show the past couple of years as it was, with Roger’s health not allowing him to appear. Still, Roeper has done a decent job of carrying the torch in his absence, and the guest reviewers have been generally enjoyable.
Things had been going downhill for a while, including Disney’s abrupt ending of the use of the trademarked “Thumbs™” and resultant blame game played between them and Ebert. Hopefully there’s a Disney-less future for this format. The good news is that the huge archive of episodes and individual reviews remains online, and should remain available in the future, barring any further fallings out.
On a positive Ebert-related note, an Ebertfest documentary recently premiered on the Big Ten Network. It’s well worth checking out—hopefully it’ll be replayed (keep an eye out for “Illinois Campus Programming” on the schedule).