Buena Vista Productions named film critics Ben Lyons and Ben Mankiewicz to succeed Roger Ebert and Richard Roeper as co-hosts of At the Movies when it returns for its 23rd season in September.
The news follows the announcement that Ebert and Roeper will end their association with the syndicated film-review program.
In addition to the new hosts, At the Movies will feature new segments, including a “Critics Round-Up” featuring conversations with other critics via satellite and “3 to See,” in which the hosts recommend three must-see films. The new segments will also augment the show’s Web site, which includes a video archive of every film review featured on the show.
“Over the years, At the Movies has become synonymous with fun, compelling movie reviews,” said Brian Frons, president of daytime programming for Disney-ABC TV Group, in a statement. “With the addition of Ben Lyons and Ben Mankiewicz as our talented, charismatic new co-hosts and exciting new segments planned, we’re confident that audiences will be enjoying At the Movies for many years to come.”
Lyons, who has appeared on E! Entertainment Television, Good Morning America and Access Hollywood, and Mankiewicz, a host on Turner Classic Movies, both come with a significant film pedigree: Lyons is the son of film critic Jeffrey Lyons, while Mankiewicz is the grandson of screenwriter Herman Mankiewicz, who won the Oscar for Citizen Kane.
"I am incredibly excited to be involved with such a prestigious show," Lyons said in a statement. "Reviewing films for a living is a thrill, and now that I will be a critic for At the Movies, it is an honor and huge responsibility that I look forward to.”
“I am thrilled and honored beyond words to be joining the series,” Mankiewicz added. “As a movie fanatic, this is my dream job. Without question, I certainly have very big shoes to fill.”
At the Movies began on PBS in 1978 with what came to be the iconic pairing of critics Roger Ebert and the late Gene Siskel. In 1986, the show was acquired by Buena Vista Television and renamed Siskel & Ebert & the Movies.
After Siskel’s death in 1999 due to complications from brain surgery, Richard Roeper was named Ebert’s co-host the following year and the show was ultimately named At the Movies with Ebert & Roeper.
The show returns to national syndication the weekend of Sept. 6.
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