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Jeffrey Lyons    

NBC Movie Critic

Five-time New York Emmy Award winner Jeffrey Lyons has reviewed more than 15,000 movies, 900 Broadway and off-Broadway plays, interviewed nearly 500 actors, written or co-authored eight books); co-hosted three national movie review shows on PBS, MSNBC and the NBC stations, and received two honorary degrees so far. He’s lectured on journalism and television techniques at colleges and civic groups across the country, and on baseball trivia at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C., and four times at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, and at the Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center at Montclair State College. He’s enjoyed a career on television and radio spanning 50 years.

After graduating from Syracuse Law School with a Dr. of Jurisprudence degree in 1969, he conducted his first professional interview for NBC radio’s iconic “Monitor” program with Debbie Reynolds. Since then, he’s interviewed nearly every movie star of the past five decades; several hundred on radio, TV and in print. He did the research and interviews for the James Earl Jones Biography on A&E, including a five-hour interview with the great Oscar-awarded star.

Jeffrey began his journalism career working summers for the Newhouse Newspapers, in Jersey City, N.J. then on the Metropolitan desk at the New York Times in 1967, then Westinghouse Radio, (WINS in New York) where he covered both national political conventions in the turbulent summer of 1968. Two years later, he joined New York’s WPIX-TV, where he would review movies, theater and conduct interviews for 21 years. He began to be seen nationally on “The Independent Network News” via Tribune Broadcasting. In 1982, he was chosen over 300 aspirants to co-host “SNEAK PREVIEWS,” the famous PBS movie review program, and during his 12 seasons on that show (1982-92, 1994-96,) they often out-rated the more publicized competing shows on commercial television.

In 1996, he joined WNBC as their film and theater critic, brining movie stars to his studio; something he’d done regularly at WPIX but which few competitors in the #1 TV market were able to do. By this time, stars and their publicists knew he was the best-prepared interviewer.Thus on his own set at WNBC, he interviewed everyone from Clint Eastwood to Dame Judi Dench, James Earl Jones, Penelope Cruz (in English and Spanish for Telemundo), Javier Bardem and Antonio Banderas (also in Spanish); Sir Michael Caine, Sir Ben Kingsley, Seth Rogen, Kevin Costner, Kirk Douglas, Peter O'Toole, Angelina Jolie, Dame Helen Mirren, Mel Brooks, Robin Williams, Dudley Moore, Sir Anthony Hopkins, to name just a few.

In 2003 he reviewed movies with his son Ben Lyons (then with the E! Channel and later with "EXTRA" and now with ESPN-LA radio) on “MSNBC’s “At The Movies’”, then in 2004, he created and co-hosted “REEL TALK,” a ratings winner on all 154 NBC stations, for five seasons; the only show ever syndicated by WNBC. In 2013-4 he co-hosted on 10 episodes of MSG-TV's "The Lineup" with, among others, Oscar winner Spike Lee and actors Ed Burns and Chazz Palmienteri reviewing movies about sports and New York, winning five Emmys.

His eighth book, “HEMINGWAY AND ME; STORIES, LETTERS AND ANECDOTES FROM A LIFE-CHANGING FAMILY FRIENDSHIP” is due out in the Fall of 2021 with an introduction by Liam Neeson. His 9th book, “The All-Time Boston Red Sox book”, picking the greatest Red Sox players at each position, is also due in 2021.

Speech Topics

what to look for in a movie

how to be comfortable in front of a tv camera

film criticism

print vs. tv critics

acting techniques

how to conduct an interview on live television

interviewing stars

Reflections on 42 Years in the Dark

The People I Have Known

Baseball Insight & Trivia


Stories My Father Told Me: Notes from "The Lyons Den"


Former Ch. 4 film critic Jeffrey Lyons says local news is lacking ...

Former WNBC/Ch. 4 entertainment guru Jeffrey Lyons say viewers are suffering from a lack of local critics on New York stations. He thinks station brass blew it ...

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