Roger Ebert this weekend denied reports that he had kept his TV show from using the "Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down" rating system amid contract negotiations.
Ebert owns the thumbs-up/thumbs-down trademark with the estate of the late Gene Siskel, his original co-host. But the show's defining characteristic was absent from this weekend's episode, which marked the season premiere.
Perhaps they just stopped using it because it's the stupidest rating system ever devised. In fact, in the middle east, you can get your thumbs cut off for using the thumbs up/thumbs down system. They're very strict on patent laws over there. It's barbaric, really.