Cinelan today announced that three-time Emmy Award–winning comedian/journalist Faith Salie (Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me, CBS Sunday Morning, PBS’s Science Goes to the Movies) will host its new multi-format, fan-driven movie review show, Critical Mass, which gives the opinions of real ticket buyers the same weight as those of professional critics.
Created by writer/producer and recovering film critic Ted Lambert, Critical Mass adopts a feisty approach to its reinvention of At the Movies–style review programs, combining panel discussions, celebrity guest appearances, and real-time quizzes designed to engage a live studio audience and online participants. The series will launch with 10 half-hour weekly segments. “The mass of Critical Mass is the audience,” says Lambert. “Their feedback, rants and raves are an integral part of the show.”
“It’s rare that a show proposal makes me laugh out loud,” says Salie. “Ted’s introduction not only made me envision the concept, but see why it appeals to all moviegoers—fanboys, fangirls, fanmoms and fandads. This is the evolution of the movie show, a format that hasn’t changed since Siskel and Ebert, despite advances in technology and a variety of viewing habits.”
“Faith was our first choice for a host and we’re ecstatic to have her,” says Critical Mass producer Joe Cantwell (Bravo, IFC, Starz). “Aside from her experience as a host and panelist, who else has a résumé that boasts degrees from Harvard and Oxford along with roles in Wild Things 2 and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine?” Salie’s first collection of essays, Approval Junkie, was published by Crown in 2016. She is repped by Adam Nettler at CAA.
In addition to the half-hour weekly episodes, Critical Mass viewers will have access to digital-only bonus segments, trivia games, and a destination website where they can upload reviews and video comments. The producers are currently in talks to secure a premium broadcast and digital-first partner.
“We adore movies and want to celebrate and share everything we love about them in our own playful way,” says Lambert. “We believe this show will have a significant impact, not only on the art form, but also on the sales of Raisinets and Sno-Caps.” Lambert is working with Cantwell and Cinelan managing partner Karol Martesko-Fenster to begin production in early 2017.