Roger Ebert and Richard Roeper announced today that they are leaving the syndicated movie-review show that's been televised, in one form or another, for 33 years. Ebert's announcement on his Website sounds a little bit sad and a little bit pissed off; apparently Disney, the studio that owns the show, wanted to take it "in a new direction." "I will no longer be associated with it," Ebert writes. (Though he hasn't appeared on air in several years, due to illness, Ebert still works on the show behind the scenes.)
What "new direction" did Disney want to take the show? Thumbs-ups only for Disney movies? Pixar-animated Siskel and Ebert? Guest spots for the Jonas Brothers? Who knows! We do know, though, that both Ebert and Roeper say they'll be back, and they're bringing their thumbs with them:
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.
You hear that, Disney? Hands off the thumbs!
Statement from Roger Ebert [RogerEbert.com]
Ebert and Roeper leaving popular movie review show [AP]