Long-running movie review show At The Movies has been canceled.
The show, which was popularized by critics Gene Siskel and Robert Ebert
and now features hosts Michael Phillips and A.O. Scott, will air its final
episode Aug. 14.
"This was a very difficult decision, especially considering
the program's rich history and iconic status within the entertainment industry"
Disney-ABC Domestic TV, the show's distributor, said in a statement. "But from a business perspective, it became
clear this weekly, half-hour, broadcast syndication series was no longer
Siskel and Ebert first teamed up together to host a local
show on PBS in Chicago
in 1975, but the At the Movies brand
began in 1986 with Siskel and Ebert At
the Movies. After Siskel died in
1999, Ebert continued the show with Richard Roeper.
"At the Movies
was one of the last survivors of half-hour syndication. It didn't fail so much
as have its format shot out from beneath it," Ebert wrote in a
post on the Chicago
Sun-Times web site. "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 wrote later in his blog.
"Doing that show is harder than it may seem," he said. "But I can tell you this: It's every bit as
much fun as it looks like."