Christian Toto sounds like he’ll likely be tuning out the latest incarnation of what was once the Siskel & Ebert show:
Doesn’t have a great ring to it, does it?
Turns out the folks behind “At the Movies with Ebert & Roeper” already have a backup plan. They’ll throw E!’s Ben Lyons and Turner Classic Movies host Ben Mankiewicz into the balcony once occupied by Siskel & Ebert (hat tip Thompson on Hollywood).
I’m not a TCM watcher, alas. I’ve become an HD snob and that channel isn’t broadcast in high-def on my system. And Lyons seemed affable the times I’ve caught him on E!, but I can’t share any other pertinent thoughts about him.
This could be another Katie Couric moment, although on a less important scale. News hounds don’t bother with the network’s nightly newscasts anymore, but that didn’t stop CBS from throwing tons of money Couric’s way.
Do movie fans still wait for “At the Movies” before surfing over to Fandango?
Like the rest of the dino-media, the one-size-fits-all movie critic is going the way of the one-size-fits-all anchorman (sorry, Katie). Movie fans increasingly look for critics with similar worldviews, much the same way that news junkies have long sought out bloggers with compatible mindsets.
Update: Nikke Finke is not amused:
Ugh. The retooled Ebert & Roeper show premiering September 6th will be co-hosted by Ben & Ben — a Generation Why duo who only got the gig due to nepotism. Ben Lyons is the nobody son of Jeffrey Lyons, the film critic world’s biggest hack and quote whore with zero credibility, while Ben Mankiewicz is the slacker host on Turner Classic Movies, whose only claim to fame is that he’s a watered-down member of the famous film family. Now, there’s a working definition of the death of film criticism for you.