Roger Ebert's ongoing battle with cancer has kept him off his longrunning syndie series "Ebert & Roeper at the Movies" since July, but the show has barely missed a beat, losing just 5% of its Nielsen household audience season to date.
In his absence, Richard Roeper, also a Chicago movie reviewer, has done the show with guest critics.
"Ebert & Roeper" is the most profitable, and highest-visibility, of the various parts of the Ebert empire.
Disney, the distributor of the series, says TV stations in 90% of the U.S. have renewed "Ebert & Roeper" for the upcoming season, but it will for the first time since 2003 face a movie-review competitor, "Lyons & Bailes Reel Talk," which NBC Universal is now rolling out. It's hosted by the movie reviewers Jeffrey Lyons and Alison Bailes.