Roger Ebert Tribute: 30 Years At The Movies With Roger Ebert

Jan 24, 2005  •  Post A Comment


  • Roger Ebert wins the Pulitzer Prize for film criticism, the

    first Pulitzer awarded in that category.

  • Producer Thea Flaum of PBS affiliate WTTW-TV in Chicago develops an idea for the original series, “Opening Soon at a Theater Near You.” The show, starring Mr. Ebert and Gene Siskel, is broadcast once a month to a local Chicago audience.


  • The show is renamed “Sneak Previews” and moves to PBS, where it airs biweekly.


  • “Sneak Previews” wins a local Emmy. It airs in more than 180 markets and is the highest-rated entertainment show in the history of public broadcasting.


  • Mr. Ebert and Mr. Siskel quit the PBS show and launch “At the Movies,” a similar series syndicated by Tribune Entertainment.


  • “At the Movies” is nominated for an Emmy in the category of outstanding informational series. It’s the first of six Emmy nominations for the critics’ work.

  • Mr. Siskel and Mr. Ebert are among the first broadcasters initiated into the National Association of Television Program Executives Hall of Fame.


  • The two stars depart “At the Movies” to start a new series for Buena Vista Television, “Siskel & Ebert & the Movies.” The title is eventually shortened to “Siskel & Ebert.” At Mr. Ebert’s suggestion, the show institutes the thumbs up/thumbs down rating system, which soon becomes a trademark.


  • As a tribute to black-and-white cinematography, an installment of the show tapes in black-and-white, the first new syndicated program to do so in 25 years.


  • The show’s thumbs up review of “One False Move” is credited with turning the film into a box office success.


  • Sparks fly when an angry Mr. Ebert takes exception to Mr. Siskel’s revelation of a significant plot twist in the film “The Crying Game.”

  • The Hollywood Radio & Television Society names the two stars Men of the Year.


  • Part of Chicago’s downtown Erie Street is renamed Siskel & Ebert Way.


  • Mr. Siskel undergoes surgery for brain cancer.


  • Mr. Siskel dies at age 53.

  • Roger Ebert hosts the show with various guest critics.


  • Chicago Sun-Times columnist Richard Roeper becomes permanent co-host of “Ebert & Roeper and the Movies.”


  • Show title is shortened to “Ebert & Roeper.”

  • Mr. Ebert wins a DVD Exclusive award for his audio commentary on the Warner Bros. DVD release of “Citizen Kane.”


  • The American Society of Cinematographers honors Mr. Ebert with an award for special achievement, its first such award for a film critic.