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WCNY Signs New Roger Ebert Show

SYRACUSE — Local PBS affiliate WCNY appears on the list of stations that have signed up to carry the next incarnation of Roger Ebert’s movie review program.  It’s titled Roger Ebert presents At the Movies and it’s set to debut next month.

Our thanks to an observant reader who spotted WCNY on the list of affiliates (PDF file) which was posted on the website of the Chicago Sun-Times, the newspaper where Ebert’s movie columns have been appearing since 1967.

As of this writing, the master affiliate list shows WCNY 24.1 is expected to air the new show Friday nights at 11pm, starting January 28.  However, the website says all listings are tentative at this point; dates and timeslots are subject to change.

On his website, Ebert says the show will air in his hometown of Chicago in WTTW, “where Gene Siskel and I first taped Sneak Previews in 1975.  The station still has our old seats, but we are constructing an all new set.  Our critics of course will be back in the iconic balcony, and will be using the famous ‘thumbs up / thumbs down’ rating system.”

An announcement will be made next week regarding the co-hosts and other contributing critics.  Ebert, who remains active in writing movie reviews for print and internet, says he will be involved with “all aspects” of the new show, but he will not appear as a host.  A few years ago, Ebert revealed he lost his ability to speak following a series of surgeries in which doctors removed cancer found in and around the critic’s thyroid.  However, with help from a computerized artificial voice, based on years of recordings from earlier shows, Ebert, 68, says he will be making appearances as a contributor on the new show.

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