Thumbs up for Roger Ebert’s new TV show

WELCOME BACK, ROGER! It looks like Roger Ebert is returning to television with a new syndicated movie review show from Chicago, expected to be taped at WYCC/Ch. 20.

Ebert’s TV return was announced in the briefest of terms on Oprah’s Pre-Oscar Celebration show Monday, with Ebert and his wife Chaz, and pretty much confirmed by a station executive.

As part of the Eberts’ appearance on the show was “A Day in the Life of ?” which included scenes of the couple arriving at WYCC/Ch. 20.

Ebert has a full-fledged production company and t’is said that Ch. 20’s facilities satisfied all of their production needs. Ebert has not appeared on television since his surgery to remove a cancerous thyroid gland in 2003.

What is enabling Ebert’s TV return is the ability to “speak” in his own voice. On the show he debuted new technology from CereProc, an Edinburgh, Scotland company, who captured his voice from the words he had spoken on hundreds of TV movie review DVDs over 25 years.

“TRANSFORMERS 3” UPDATE. The word through cyberspace is “there will be big action sequences shot in Chicago and Moscow this time around.” Michael Bay is “T3’s” executive producer and director. “T3” is in preproduction but scheduled to start filming in May for release in the traditional blockbuster month of July, 2011.

“T3” stars Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox and will be less bedlam and more characters, so they say.

Bay was here last summer as producer of “Nightmare on Elm Street.”

OUR SOUTH SIDE THE NEW “JERSEY SHORE?” Whatever that elusive image of a South Sider might be is what O’Connor Casting is looking for. “It’s just the vibe people put out, the hairstyle, the clothing, the attitude,” says David O’Connor.

O’Connor ain’t talkin’ about who’s behind the show, except to say it will be a national show to be shot this summer for airing on a major cable channel later this year. Hmmm. Could the producer be the same local company that announced it would produce a local version of “Housewives of Orange County?” that we have yet to see?

OUT IN BEVERLY, the 11th annualIrish Film Festival starts Friday at the Beverly Arts Center. The six-day festival runs through Wednesday and showcases more than 25 films, and also offers live music, food and drink.

Festival director Judith Blackburn says the festival draws as many as 3,000, from throughout the area and even from Ireland, where she travels to select films for the festival.

WANT TO BE IN THE THEATRE BUSINESS? The AMC Cantera 30-screen theatre in Warrenville is up for sale. Asking price: $37 million. It’s one of the region’s largest and top-grossing movie houses, opened in 1998.

DELUXE ENTERTAINMENT SERVICES GROUP, which includes movie giant Deluxe Labs and postproduction, bought Northbrook-based MediaRecall Holdings, LLC, a three-year old digital video services and technology business.

MediaRecall is anchored by a 2,000 person workforce and proprietary media workflow, digital video search and white-label website platform technologies. CEO is George Deeb.

EXTRAORDINARY CASTING is looking for Hispanics, police and FBI types as extras for “Ridealong,” the pilot shooting the end of the month, and for Showtime’s “Shameless,” when the series takes up residence to shoot here this summer. Email headshots and resumes to

ONE TREE FOREST FILMS, editor Chad Cooper’s web and documentary boutique, set up shop in a 1,500-sq. ft. office Humboldt Park. Some of Cooper’s work includes the PBS special, “City Under Water,” Chicago Loop Alliance’s “Network,” and Gatorade of the Year’s social media videos and broadcast media feed.

THE STARS WILL BRIGHTLY SHINE at the March 13-14 Hollywood Celebrities & Memorabilia Show at the Rosemont Hotel at O’Hare, where you can get autographs and buy memorabilia of your all-time favorite movie stars.

The awesome array of 30-plus actors from classic TV shows and movies include Traci Lords, Ali McGraw, Richard Chamberlain, George Kennedy, Morgan Fairchild, Dick Van Patten, Theresa Russell, Sharon Farrell, Edd “Kookie” Byrnes, Linda Blair, Barry Corbin, Brenda Bakke, Traci Lords, Ernie Hudson, Carol Lynley, James MacArthur, Larry Manetti, Noel Neill, Garrit Graham, Vincent Pastore, Joanna Pacula, Dawn Wells, Michael Parks, Fred “The Hammer” Williamson and many others.