Reel Talk to get really syndicated

Reel Talk, a movie-review show that has been airing locally on WMAQ-TV and nine other NBC-owned stations, is heading to syndication this fall. The program is taped at WNBC-TV in New York.

The half-hour weekly movie review program, hosted by film critic Jeffrey Lyons and IFC’s Allison Bailes, has been cleared in 85 percent of the country by NBC Universal Domestic Television, including NBC, CBS, Hearst-Argyle, and Belo station groups.

The biggest non NBC O&O clearence comes in Boston, where it air on CBS O&O WBZ-TV.

The show will compete with Buena Vista’s long-running Ebert & Roeper, now in its 21st season. That show is cleared primarily on ABC O&O’s, including WLS-TV in Chicago.

Roger Ebert, meanwhile, is still recovering from surgery, and will not appear on Ebert & Roeper for quite some time. He is, however, writing movie reviews again for the Sun-Times. Guest hosts are filling in alongside Sun-Times columnist Richard Roeper for the time being.

The last movie-review show to air in syndication aside from Ebert & Roeper/Siskel & Ebert was Paramount’s Hot Ticket, which limped along in syndication from 2001-04, with Lenoard Matlin and Joyce Kulhawik.

Another show, At The Movies, ran in syndication from 1982 to 1990. Roger Ebert hosted that show along with the late Tribune film critic Gene Siskel for four of those years, before bolting to Buena Vista in 1986 to host Siskel & Ebert & The Movies (later shortened to Siskel & Ebert.) At The Movies replaced them with a series of robotic co-hosts, one of which was Rex Reed.