Last week, Indiewire reported that the”Ebert Presents At the Movies,” the PBS film review show launched by Roger Ebert earlier this year, faced a few promising options to help salvage it from financial trouble. While those possibilities haven’t necessarily gone away, Ebert and his wife and co-producer, Chaz Ebert, need more time. As a result, as the seminal critic posted on his blog on Wednesday night, the program will go on hiatus at the end of December. “We held off as long as possible, but had to give notice today,” Ebert wrote. “It was a sad but necessary moment of realism.”
Since launching in January with co-hosts Christy Lemire and Ignatiy Vishevetsky in January, “At the Movies” has recorded 50 episodes. Lemire and Vishevetsky also contribute written criticism to other outlets on a regular basis, Lemire to the AP and Vishevetsky to MUBI and the Chicago Reader. “We have co-hosts whose chemistry has ignited, and who provide two definitely different viewpoints, which is the idea,” Ebert wrote. He concluded:
“We hope our status will be brief. You have told us you like the show. And we now have options. A touching number of viewers offered to send us money directly. One of the avenues we may take is a Kickstarter campaign, as you suggested. We will let you know as soon as that is worked out.”
In an email to Indiewire last night, Chaz Ebert clarified: “We do have options now,” she wrote. “But it wasn’t fair to ask the public television programmers to wait while we explored them.”
In the meantime, Ebert continues to review movies for the Chicago Sun Times, as he has for more than 40 years, as well as maintain a blog for the publication.