In 1975, film critics Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert began hosting a weekly movie review TV series called "Sneak Previews," which ran on public TV stations across America before the critics brought their revamped show "At The Movies" to syndication where it became better known as "Siskel and Ebert."
Later this month, the series will return to public television under the title "Ebert Presents At The Movies," with two new co-hosts: Ignatiy Vishnevetsky and Christy Lemire. Although Ebert will no longer be one of the primary critics, he will host a special segment each week and helped select Vishnevetsky and Lemire. Of Vishnevetsky, Ebert said "I was struck by the depth and detail of his film knowledge, and by how articulate he was."
Vishnevetsky is the co-founder of Cine-File.info and critic for Mubi.com as well as a contributor to The Chicago Reader. Lemire has been reviewing films for The Associated Press for the last 12 years and she is also the first full time film critic in that organization’s history. In addition to appearances on The Charlie Rose Show," "Good Morning America," Lemire made a significant impression on Ebert when she filled in for him on his show opposite Richard Roeper.
"I admired the way she reviewed with Richard Roeper when she co-hosted our show," offered Ebert. "And I respect her criticism. On television, Christy is a natural."
The original "Siskel and Ebert" series continued with the original hosts until Siskel’s death in 1999. Roeper became Ebert’s new onscreen sparing partner in 2000, until 2006 when Ebert stepped down from his hosting duties due to his thyroid cancer. Although Ebert’s cancer treatment ultimately cost him part of his lower jaw and his ability to speak, he has continued to review films online and now speaks with the aid of a computer.
Roeper left the original series after failing to come to terms with Disney over a new contract. At that point, Ebert also broke his ties with the show, which continued with Ben Lyons and Ben Mankiewicz as hosts, who were themselves replaced by Michael Phillips and A.O. Scott a year later. The series was canceled in 2010 and aired its last episode on August 14, 2010.
The new "Ebert Presents At The Movies" will debut on January 21 on public television stations across America.