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R.I.P. Roger Ebert! 'Evil Dead' to battle 'G.I. Joe: Retaliation.'

April 05, 2013|By Joe Flint
  • Roger Ebert and his famous thumbs.
Roger Ebert and his famous thumbs. (Abaca Press )

After the coffee. Before trying to find somewhere to hide.

The Skinny: One of my favorite things about Roger Ebert, besides his movie reviews and musings on life, was his willingness to go on Howard Stern's show and have a few laughs with the shock jock. Go on YouTube and watch Gene Siskel and Ebert on Stern's old TV show. Hilarious. Friday's headlines include appreciations of Ebert and previews of the weekend box office.

Daily dose: If you're like me and you recorded FX's "The Americans," you might have wondered what happened to the last seven minutes of the show. Turns out FX didn't send out the proper run time to the folks who do listings, which ultimately means DVRs didn't know the episode ran longer than its usual hour. So FX put the whole episode online and commercial-free.

The balcony is closed. Roger Ebert, the first film critic ever to win a Pulitzer Prize, died Thursday after a long struggle with cancer. Ebert was the long-time reviewer for the Chicago Sun-Times but he became famous through the TV show "At the Movies" that he hosted for years along with the late Gene Siskel. While Ebert and Siskel were credited for making film criticism mainstream, there were also complaints in the early days that the show and its thumbs up - thumbs down grading scale was a blow to serious film criticism. Still, in the long run, Siskel and Ebert did a lot to boost awareness for movies, particularly smaller films that often struggle to get national awareness. Appreciations of Ebert from the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Variety, Hollywood Reporter and USA Today.

PHOTOS: Roger Ebert - Career in Pictures | Fans, celebs react to Ebert's death

Will 'Evil' triumph? This weekend's box office battle is between "G.I. Joe: Retaliation" and "Evil Dead." In other words, once again I'll be staying home watching television. Industry analysts expect both to take in more than $20 million. Also opening is a 3-D version of "Jurassic Park," which may take in $15 million. Previews from the Los Angeles Times and Hollywood Reporter.

Downsizing at Disney. The brass at Walt Disney Co. is getting ready to make some cuts at its movie studio as well as in its consumer products division, according to Variety and Reuters. The move to trim staff at its own studio is a reflection of the fact that the bulk of Disney's big movies are from its Pixar and Marvel units. No word on how many people will be let go.

Filming text messages. As technology changes the way we all communicate, movie and TV producers are having to figure out how to make watching people text look exciting. The Wall Street Journal looks at how Hollywood is wrestling with the switch from "talkies to texties." I suggest looking at the scene in "All the President's Men" where Woodward and Bernstein are typing notes to each other because they fear they are being bugged.

First hire. Al Jazeera America has hired CNN financial reporter Ali Velshi to host a business show for the cable network, which is expected to launch later this year. Velshi is the first on-air hire for Al Jazeera America, which plans to open bureaus in several major markets in the United States and has a pretty big check book. More from TV Newser.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Meredith Blake on what Jimmy Fallon brings to "The Tonight Show." Kenneth Turan on Roger Ebert.

Follow me on Twitter. It's your civic duty. @JBFlint.

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