Earlier in the year, everyone was brought to a tearful standstill reading a brilliant feature article on Roger Ebert and his recovery from cancer. A bit later, we marveled at hearing his voice again through the use of technology. Now, we’ll all watch another piece of him – although one that’s more than far removed – die.

The Chicago Tribune’s Tower Ticker blog is reporting that ABC/Disney has chosen to cancel the show that Roger and Gene built.

For many of us, we grew up watching arguments between the two as they pored over the finer points of film in as little time as they had to drill in the details and deliver a skyward or earthbound thumb. Now, watching the show get canceled is a bit like being told a close friend has passed away only to walk by the casket and not recognize who’s inside.

After all, the show effectively died when Ben Lyons was added to it – and it had the ratings to prove its lack of a pulse. Despite an earnest attempt to bring back some relevancy to the show with Michael Phillips and A.O. Scott, the damage had been done, and the writing was on the wall.

So what happens now? I have no idea. I would be lying if I said that I felt a huge impact from the show being gone. Mostly because the show had been gone from my life for so long anyway. It’s terrible that an icon is crumbling this way, but it was a golden thing that had been tarnished and altered beyond recognition anyway.

I will always love the memories I had of the show, but in my mind, I might as well have written this article years ago.

All that’s left to do is watch a few episode of it, follow that up with a few of “The Critic,” and pour one out for an empire that’s fading away instead of burning out.

At the Movies – you will be missed.

What did you love most about At the Movies?


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