As Chicago Tribune TV columnist Phil Rosenthal put in on Sunday, "The old tradition of Chicago's two major daily newspapers challenging one another on TV over coming movie releases will be revived, at least for one week." The "tradition" began with the debut of Siskel and Ebert, the syndicated TV series in which Gene Siskel of the Tribune vied with Roger Ebert of the Sun-Times over the worthiness of each weekend's movie releases. When Siskel died in 1999, he was replaced by another Sun-Times writer, Richard Roeper. But during Ebert's recent hospitalization for cancer treatment, he has been spelled by a number of fill-ins, and on Sept. 2, his substitute is scheduled to be Michael Phillips, the movie critic for the Tribune. Rosenthal reported that Ebert himself suggested Phillips. "When we first started talking about possible substitutes, Michael was the first person Roger mentioned," Roeper said. "We're both big fans of his work in the Trib, and I'm looking forward to working with him." Meanwhile, Ebert himself released a statement on Friday saying that although his recovery is taking longer than expected, his doctors have given him an "enthusiastically optimistic" prognosis.