Roger Joseph Ebert was an American journalist, film critic, and screenwriter who was a film critic for the Chicago Sun-Times from 1967 until his death in 2013. In 1975, he was the first film critic to win the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism, an award given to newspaper writers. As of 2010, his reviews were syndicated to more than 200 newspapers in the United States and abroad. Ebert also published more than 20 books and dozens of collections of reviews.

In 1982, Ebert and Gene Siskel moved from PBS to launch a similar syndicated commercial television show named At the Movies with Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert. In 1986, they again moved the show to new ownership, creating Siskel & Ebert & The Movies through Buena Vista Television (part of the Walt Disney Company).

After Siskel's death in 1999, the producers retitled the show Roger Ebert & the Movies and used rotating co-hosts. In September 2000, Chicago Sun-Times columnist Richard Roeper became the permanent co-host and the show was renamed At The Movies With Ebert & Roeper (and other later titles).

Ebert ended his association with the Disney-owned At The Movies in July 2008, after the studio indicated it wished to take the program in a new direction. On February 18, 2009, Ebert reported that he and Roeper would soon announce a new movie review program, and reiterated this plan after Disney announced that the program's last episode would air in August 2010.

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