Roger Ebert's 'At the Movies' hosts: Ignatiy Vishnevetsky and Christy Lemire
Roger Ebert has added a new co-host for his revival of the "At the Movies" program - film critic and blogger Ignatiy Vishnevetsky.
Vishnevetsky, 24, is a Russian-born critic and essayist for Mubi.com, an online cinematheque, co-founder of Cine-File.info, a Chicago guide to indie films, and a contributing writer for The Chicago Reader.
He will join Christy Lemire of The Associated Press as a co-host on "Ebert Presents at the Movies," a new weekly program that is set to debut on January 21 on public television stations nationwide and distributed by American Public Television.
"I was struck by the depth and detail of his film knowledge, and by how articulate he was," Ebert said in a statement about Vishnevetsky.
The show is a revival of a show that used his copyrighted "Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down" format and will see Ebert, a Pulitzer Prize winner and the Chicago Sun-Times movie critic, using a computer voice. About four years ago, Ebert lost the ability to speak due to reconstructive surgeries for thyroid cancer.
Since 2006, Ebert has continued to review films and post messages on his Twitter account, which is followed by more than 303,000 people. He also communicates via Post-it Notes and by typing into a computer, which then reads out his text aloud.
The original "At the Movies" had several show titles and began in 1975, airing on the Chicago-based PBS station WTTW. It featured Ebert's longtime friend and fellow film reviewer Gene Siskel, who died of brain cancer 1999. It began airing nationally in the 1980s.
Richard Roeper replaced Siskel after his death and Ben Lyons and Ben Mankiewicz took over for both him and Ebert in 2008. A.O. Scott and Michael Phillips replaced the two in 2009 and the show was canceled earlier this year. Disney-ABC Domestic Television, OnTheRedCarpet.com's parent company, had said the show was "no longer sustainable from a business perspective."
Check out an interview with Roger Ebert from March, in which he spoke about the way he communicates post-surgery, courtesy of WLS Television in Chicago, the sister station of KABC Television, OnTheRedCarpet.com's parent company.