Ebert and Roeper Call it Quits

ebert and roeper cancelled

Story via Anne Thompson.  In separate statements, both Roger Ebert (still in recovery from multiple surgeries that have affected his voice) and Richard Roeper announced their plans to leave the nationally syndicated At the Movies With Ebert & Roeper after eight seasons.  Roeper’s last appearance will air the weekend of August 16-17.

“Over the last two seasons, as Roger has bravely coped with his medical issues, I’ve continued the show with a number of guest co-hosts,” Roeper said. “It’s never been the same without Roger, but I’m proud of the work we’ve done and I’m grateful to all the co-hosts who stepped in — and to the viewers that stayed loyal to the show.”

Excerpts from Richard Roeper statement:

“Over the last two seasons, as Roger has bravely coped with his medical issues, I’ve continued the show with a number of guest co-hosts. It’s never been the same without Roger, but I’m proud of the work we’ve done and I’m grateful to all the co-hosts who stepped in — and to the viewers that stayed loyal to the show.”

“Several months ago, Disney offered to extend my contract, which expires at the conclusion of the 2007-08 season. I opted to wait. Much transpired after that behind the scenes, but an agreement was never reached, and we are all moving on.”

Statement from Roger Ebert:

“After 33 years on the air, 23 of them with Disney, the studio has decided to take the program named ‘Siskel & Ebert’ and then ‘Ebert & Roeper’ in a new direction. I will no longer be associated with it.

The show was a wonderful experience. It was a great loss to me when surgery in July 2006 made it impossible for me to appear on the air any longer. Although I remained active behind the scenes, I feel that Richard Roeper and several co-hosts, notably Michael Phillips and A.O. Scott, have excelled at carrying on the tradition Gene Siskel and I began in 1975 with ‘Sneak Previews’ on PBS.

Gene and I felt the formula was simplicity itself: Two film critics, sitting across the aisle from each other in a movie balcony, debating the new films of the week. We developed an entirely new concept for TV. Few shows have been on the air so long and remained so popular. We made television history, and established the trademarked catch-phrase ‘Two thumbs up.’

The trademark still belongs to me and Marlene Iglitzen, Gene’s widow, and the thumbs will return. We are discussing possibilities, and plan to continue the show’s tradition.”

Roeper said he intends to “proceed elsewhere … as the co-host of a movie review show that honors the standards established by Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert more than 30 years ago,” adding “I will be free to share the details on that program in the near future.”

Posted by Ted Zee on July 21st 2008 | Home Page | 4 Comments Subscribe to this site's feed

4 Responses

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    […] reports Variety’s Anne Thompson. This comes a day after Roger Ebert and Richard Roeper both announced they were leaving the show after an 8 year run. Thompson notes that earlier contract negotiations […]

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