News: Thom Ernst becomes new Saturday Night at the Movies host

Saturday Night at the Movies, TVOntario’s longtime film-and-interviews block, will have a new host as of October 2, 2010.  Thom Ernst will step in front of the camera as SNAM‘s new host, though he has been an off-camera interviewer for companion show The Interviews.  Ernst has been with SNAM in various roles since 1998.

SNAM has had a few hosts in its 37-season history: Elwy Yost, Shelagh Rogers and Johanna Schneller.  The show has embraced a hostless format for much of the 2000s.

SNAM will preface its 37th season with 36 Years of Conversation, which airs September 25, 2010 at 8:00 PM ET, SNAM‘s usual start time.  This special is basically the best of The Interviews.

I’m glad to see Saturday Night at the Movies embrace a host format again.  I’m not familiar with Thom Ernst’s work, but TVO has promoted an in-house producer to the host role.  He should be well familiar with how the show works.

SNAM‘s overall format has gone wayward its last few years.  It’s morphed from a showcase for older films into a general-interest film block.  SNAM also has the tendency to repeat films it’s already aired, like Brazil and The Adventures of Baron Munchausen.

I’m not sure how many films on Saturday Night at the Movies this year are new to TVO.  I know both Videodrome and The Host are rehashes.

Current SNAM is at its best when it airs curios like West is West and Phantom of the Paradise.  I wish SNAM would air more obscure and/or underappreciated films.

Even given TVO’s perpetual budget problems, it could try for Coonskin and Rock & Rule.  I’m not kidding about those suggestions.

I really want to see more animated films on TVO.  It’s an avenue well worth exploring – The Plague Dogs, the original Heavy Metal, Allegro Non Troppo, even A Town Called Panic.  If none of the mentioned films fit SNAM‘s m.o., I want to know why.

C. Archer
Le Social