Friday, August 15, 2008

Catching Up with... Eli Stone

This past winter, at midseason, ABC introduced the drama Eli Stone, about a lawyer who experiences premonitions which may or may not be the result of a brain aneurysm.

The show, which was lucky enough to sidestep the writers' strike and thus ran for its full 13 episode order, attracted a mid-sized but vocal cult audience, convincing ABC to bring it back for another round.

In the season 1 finale, Eli had his aneurysm removed -- and yet, says the show's executive producer, the very busy Greg Berlanti, his visions will continue. So then, are these true prophesies? "In the season [2] premiere, we take on that issue head on," Berlanti told TV critics at their semi-annual "TCA" conference in Los Angeles in July. "We'll resolve pretty definitely whether or not Eli believes he's a prophet."

According to Berlanti, Season 2, which premieres on October 14, promises more of the whimsical touches -- including musical numbers -- for which the show became beloved. Admittedly to pump up ratings and awareness, Berlanti has tapped his old Dawson's Creek co-worker Katie Holmes to appear in the season's second episode on October 21 -- and yes, she'll be singing and dancing. And schedules permitting, Eli's muse George Michael may be back, too; at the time of the TCA, producers were aiming to slot him into the Christmas episode, around the ninth of the season.

Following the strike, so many of last year's freshman shows across all networks are viewing this fall as a "do over," a second chance to do some fine tuning. And in Eli's case, with his brain problems gone, Season 2 represents a chance to redefine and perhaps expand the scope of the show -- and to expand its ratings. "Because of the nature of where Eli was at the end of the first season, having had the aneurysm removed," explains the show's other executive producer, Marc Guggenheim, "the season 2 premiere really kind of plays like a second pilot. So you can come in totally cold if you hadn't seen the show back in the spring. It's designed to be viewer-friendly."

Even so, ABC has come up with a few clever ways to help you get up to speed on Eli Stone before the fall. One, a "Starter Kit" (see the Ugly Betty entry below), is a four-minute video encapsulating the season. Or, you can watch full episodes of the show on And of course, since Eli Stone's first season DVD's are set to be released soon, there's still time to put in that request to Netflix and set aside 13 hours for a weekend viewing marathon.

Eli Stone (Season 2 premieres October 14 at 10 PM ET)

OR Click here for full episodes on


Eli Stone, The Complete First Season
Release Date: 9/2/08

1 comment:

  1. "Eli Stone" can be sentimental, but the warm fuzzies it delivers don't seem out of place in a series that routinely traffics in song and dance sequences that now appear in the opening moments of each episode to better capitalize on the "Dancing with the Stars" lead-in.