Ben Lyons and Ben Mankiewicz Ushered Out From At the Movies
Well, that was fun. At the Movies has deposed Ben Lyons and Ben Mankiewicz after a year of duty in its balcony seats. They will be replaced by Michael Phillips and A.O. Scott, the respective Chicago Tribune and NY Times critics who frequently served as guest reviewers for the syndicated show prior to the two Bens' installations.
The Bens lasted longer than expected for a pair that was never given much of chance -- especially for a pair mismatched as these two, with the film-educated Mankiewicz often left dumbfounded by his partner's blurb-whoring, malapropisms, bad taste and insights so impossibly stillborn they have an entire blog devoted to dispelling them. Disney finally put an end to the embarrassment today when ABC Media Productions boss Brian Frons announced the changing of the guard:
"We tried something new last season and we think the world of Ben Lyons and Ben Mankiewicz. [...] They did everything we asked of them and they have been complete professionals. However, we've decided to return the show to its original essence - two traditional film critics discussing current motion picture and DVD releases. We thank them for their hard work and dedication this past year and wish them nothing but the best on all of their future endeavors."
Mankiewicz will no doubt land on his feet, but I think we all know what this means for Lyons: Starfucking binge.
· Chicago Tribune's Michael Phillips, N.Y. Times' A.O. Scott take over 'At the Movies' [Chicago Tribune via MCN]