Eli Stone

Eli Stone
Eli Stone
Eli stone title S1.jpg
Intertitle
Genre Musical
Legal
Dramedy
Created by Greg Berlanti
Marc Guggenheim
Written by Greg Berlanti
Marc Guggenheim
Directed by David Petrarca
Vincent Misiano
Michael Schultz
Starring Jonny Lee Miller
Victor Garber
Natasha Henstridge
Loretta Devine
Sam Jaeger
Laura Benanti
James Saito
Matt Letscher
Julie Gonzalo
Jason Winston George
Composer(s) Blake Neely
Country of origin United States
Language(s) English
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 26 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) Greg Berlanti
March Guggenheim
Ken Olin
Producer(s) Carl Ogawa
Jeniffer Lence
Leila Gerstein
Chris Cheramie
Andrew Kreisberg
Andy Ackerman
Editor(s) Ted Desrosiers
Elena Maganini
Location(s) San Francisco and Los Angeles, California, United States
Cinematography Michael O'Shea
Camera setup Single-camera
Running time 45–48 minutes
Production company(s) ABC Studios
Berlanti Television
Distributor Disney-ABC Domestic Television
Broadcast
Original channel ABC
Original run January 31, 2008 (2008-01-31) – July 11, 2009 (2009-07-11)

Eli Stone is an American TV series, and also the name of the title character.

San Francisco lawyer Eli Stone (Jonny Lee Miller) begins to see things, which leads him to discover a brain aneurysm. When Eli awakens to an unending George Michael soundtrack that only he can hear, gets dive-bombed by a WWI biplane on a busy San Francisco street, and faces a fire-breathing dragon outside his office window, there are two possible explanations: delusions caused by a potentially fatal brain aneurysm or the chance that something greater is at work. His visions lead him to accept cases with little monetary gain but a lot of moral goodness. He predicts an earthquake that hits San Francisco. The series originally aired on ABC from January 31, 2008 to July 11, 2009. The series was created by Greg Berlanti and Marc Guggenheim, who also served as executive producers alongside Ken Olin who directed the pilot, with Melissa Berman producing.[1]

Contents

Premise

Greg Berlanti, who co-wrote the show with Marc Guggenheim, described Eli Stone in Variety as "a Field of Dreams-type drama set in a law firm where a thirty-something attorney, whose name is the title of the show, begins having larger-than-life visions that compel him to do out-of-the-ordinary things.".[2] Eli suffers from an inoperable brain aneurysm that causes him to have realistic hallucinations often relating to the plot of the episode to the extent that he may be considered a modern day prophet.

Pop singer George Michael was featured prominently throughout the first season of the series, and each episode was named after one of his songs.[3] Berlanti is a fan of Michael and made an effort to have him appear on the show. As luck would have it, Michael claimed he was a "TV Junkie." This led to the singer agreeing to do several episodes, including one in which Stone represents him in the case of a teen girl who plays the song "I Want Your Sex" in protest of an abstinence-only sex education program in her school.[4]

The show's legal setting, mixture of comedy and drama, and use of fantasy sequences has drawn comparisons to the series Ally McBeal from some critics.[5]

Production

Produced by ABC Studios, After Portsmouth and Berlanti Television, the series was officially greenlit and given a thirteen-episode order on May 11, 2007,[6] and it aired as a mid-season replacement in 2008.[7] Eli Stone premiered on Thursday, January 31, 2008 at 22:00 Eastern/21:00 Central, following the return of Lost;[8] its first season finale aired April 17, 2008.

On May 13, 2008, ABC officially announced that the show had been renewed for the 2008–09 season.[9] Moreover, in Canada, CTVglobemedia announced that they will send down the series to CTV's relaunched "A" television system for the 2008–2009 season.[10] Season 2 premiered on Tuesday, October 14 at 22:00 Eastern/21:00 Central.[11]

On November 20, 2008, however, ABC told the show's producers that it had opted not to order any new episodes, signaling that the series would be cancelled once all the episodes were used up.[12]

The last scheduled episode of Eli Stone aired on December 30, 2008. The final four episodes of the series aired Saturdays at 22:00 Eastern/21:00 Central on ABC starting Saturday, June 20, 2009.[13] The final episode, "Flight Path", aired on July 11, 2009.

The first of these unaired episodes, Sonoma was broadcast in Ireland by RTÉ on March 13, 2009 with the further three episodes due to be aired in the following weeks. The British channel Sci-fi aired episode ten on the March 16 and episode eleven on March 23, with the last two episodes being scheduled for the following two weeks. The episode aired in Israel's yes stars Drama\HD channel on March 31, 2009. German TV-channel Pro7 did not air those episodes until this date. In Australia, the Seven Network aired the final four unaired episodes in the month of April, in the timeslot of Tuesday 22:30.

Future

The series lasted two seasons with 26 episodes. If the show had been renewed for a third season, Eli would have a complete wrap-up of the series, including Taylor giving birth to a baby girl and Matt being a surprisingly good father with a better attitude to others, Jordan meeting his ex-wife for the first time since the divorce, and Eli meeting Grace again. Also, the show could have ended in a cliffhanger, with Eli having a high profile as a prophet, and Dr. Chen becoming rich and a star.[14]

Controversy

The debut episode attracted controversy due to its plot line, which depicts the hypothesis that autism is caused by a mercury-based preservative formerly used in common childhood vaccines,[15] and treats the hypothesis as being credible and legally compelling.[16] This hypothesis is not supported by scientific evidence, but has contributed to decreased vaccination rates.[17][18] The American Academy of Pediatrics asked ABC to either cancel the episode or include a disclaimer emphasizing that mercury is not used in routine childhood vaccines, and that no scientific link exists between vaccines and autism.[19] ABC instead decided to present a written notice and voice-over after the episode saying "The preceding story is fictional and does not portray any actual persons, companies, products or events",[20] with a second card directing viewers to the autism web site of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.[20][21]

Cast

  • Jonny Lee Miller as Eli Stone, a successful attorney in San Francisco who is diagnosed with an inoperable brain aneurysm which is causing hallucinations. The hallucinations cause Eli to become alienated from his peers and soon his life takes a detour. Despite the fact that he is not religious, he interprets his hallucinations as signs, helping people in accepting lawsuits in hopes of bettering their lives.
    • Young Eli is played by Justin Lieberman.
  • Natasha Henstridge as Taylor Wethersby, Eli's ex-fiancee who is also an attorney. She formerly works in another company, and later joins in Eli's firm after they broke up. Although taken aback by Eli's episodes of hallucinations, she is determined to help him at any means. She is the daughter of Jordan Wethersby, the head of Wethersby, Posner & Klein.
  • Loretta Devine as Patti Dellacroix, Eli's helpful and bossy assistant. She considers Eli as a dear friend of hers and she is always blatantly honest to Eli.
  • Matt Letscher as Dr. Nathan Stone, Eli's caring elder brother who is a doctor. He is the first who discovered Eli's conditions and he is also sceptical about his visions. Nathan dated Beth, a girl who Eli lost his virginity to in college, after Eli introduced both of them to each other at his engagement party.
  • Sam Jaeger as Matt Dowd, Eli's co-worker and rival in the law firm. He is described as sarcastic, arrogant and having a frat-boy personality. He is dating with Taylor Wethersby and they are going to have a baby.
  • James Saito as Dr. Chen, an acupuncturist who explains Eli's conditions as a prophetic message. He helps Eli to analyze the visions Eli has and advises Eli to pursue them. He studied acupuncture in Beijing as well as holistic medicine. It is revealed that he is not a Chinese immigrant, and the "Dr. Chen" is merely an act so he will be taken seriously because, "No one trusts an acupuncturist from New Jersey". He once worked for Eli's father, who told him once that he would repay a favor by helping his son (Eli) someday.
  • Julie Gonzalo as Maggie Dekker, a junior attorney who is ambitious and enthusiastic to her work. Much to Eli's dismay, she often assists him in his cases in hopes of moving up the career ladder. She is considered a religious person who is the first person to believe in Eli's visions without hesitations. She was engaged to Scott, who is in Eli's visions of the earthquake.
  • Jason Winston George as Keith Bennett, a criminal law attorney who sued a potential employer for racism. After Keith lost the lawsuit, Jordan hired him as he saw Keith's potential.
  • Victor Garber as Jordan Wethersby, the co-owner of the firm and Taylor's father. He is often skeptical of Eli's imaginings. However, he is a mentor and father figure to Eli, and represented Eli when Eli was prosecuted for ineligibility to perform his work.

Recurring characters

  • Laura Benanti as Beth Keller, a friend of Eli back in college who has an autistic son. She dated Nathan. (Seasons 1 and 2)
  • Tom Amandes as Martin Posner, one of the co-owners of the firm. He had a relationship with Patti in the past. (Seasons 1 and 2)
  • Katey Sagal as Marci Klein, one of the co-owners of the firm. She is unfriendly and is more interested of the financial benefit of the firm. She is not fond of Eli's intentions of helping more individuals than major corporations. (Seasons 1 and 2)
  • Pamela Reed as Mrs. Stone. (First season only)
  • Tom Cavanagh as Jeremy Stone, the late father of Nathan and Eli. He also had a brain aneurysm which causes hallucinations. He suffered from depression and was an alcoholic, which causes Nathan and Eli to resent him. He died from a heart attack 10 years ago. (Flashbacks in seasons 1 and 2)
  • George Michael as himself. (First season only)
  • Bridget Moynahan as Ashley Cardiff, Eli's ex-girlfriend.
  • Taraji P. Henson as Angela Scott, Patti's daughter. (Second season only)
  • Kerr Smith as Paul Rollins, a partner at Posner/Klein.

Special Guest Stars

On November 6, 2008, TV Guide reported that Jamey Sheridan would guest-star as an evening news anchor.[22] On December 1, 2008, TV Guide reported that Gregory Smith would make a guest appearance on the show's finale.[23]

Episodes

Ratings

Season Timeslot (EDT) Season premiere Season finale TV season Rank Viewers
(in millions)
18-49 Network
1 Thursday 10:00pm
Sunday 10:00pm (April 13, 2008)
January 31, 2008
April 17, 2008
2008
#80[24]
8.09
2.8
ABC
2
Tuesday 10:00pm (October 14-December 30, 2008)
Saturday 10:00pm (June 20-July 11, 2009)
October 14, 2008
July 11, 2009
2008–2009
#77[25]
5.28
2.4

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Result
2008 ALMA Awards Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Television Series - Julie Gonzalo Won
NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series - Loretta Devine Nominated
Satellite Awards Best Actor - Musical or Comedy Series - Jonny Lee Miller Nominated
WGA Awards Episodic Drama - "Pilot" Nominated
2009 Prism Awards Drama Series Multi-Episode Storyline - "The Humanitarian," "Happy Birthday, Nate," "Help" Nominated

International airings

Eli Stone premiered on ABC on January 31, 2008. It premiered on Fox Life in Greece, and AXN in Japan in 2010. In the UK, the show was first shown on the Sci Fi Channel in 2008 [26] and will be broadcast on Fiver in June 2010.[27] In Malaysia, the show premiered on TV2 in June 2009, airing all the complete 26 episodes until 23 December 2009. The series is later re-run in 2010.

DVD releases

On September 2, 2008, Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment released the complete first season of Eli Stone on DVD in Region 1.[28] Season 1 was also released in Region 4 on March 18, 2009.[29] The second and final season was released in Region 1 on August 18, 2009.[30]

DVD Name Ep # Release dates
Region 1 Region 4
The Complete First Season
13
September 2, 2008
March 18, 2009
The Complete Second Season
13
August 18, 2009
TBA

See also

References

  1. ^ "Devwatch: Eli Stone". The Futon Critic. http://www.thefutoncritic.com/devwatch.aspx?id=eli_stone. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  2. ^ Martin, Denise (August 3, 2006). "Berlanti sets series at ABC". Variety. http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117947963?categoryid=1300&cs=1. Retrieved 2009-06-21. 
  3. ^ "George Michael Signs Up for New US Sit-com". Entertainmentwise. http://www.entertainmentwise.com/news?id=31579. Retrieved 2009-06-21. 
  4. ^ Sullivan, Brian Ford (January 31, 2008). "On the Futon with... "Eli Stone" co-creator Marc Guggenheim". The Futon Critic. http://www.thefutoncritic.com/rant.aspx?id=20080131. Retrieved 2009-06-21. 
  5. ^ Goodman, Tim Goodman (January 30, 2008). "Eli Stone goes for quirky, Ally McBealstyle, but after a while, kooky can start to get irritating". San Francisco Chronicle. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2008/01/30/DD4DUNT54.DTL. Retrieved 2009-06-21. 
  6. ^ "ABC adds 20 newcomers, renews Notes, Road". The Futon Critic. May 11, 2007. http://www.thefutoncritic.com/news.aspx?id=7381. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  7. ^ "ABC unveils 2007–08 primetime schedule". The Futon Critic. May 15, 2007. http://www.thefutoncritic.com/news.aspx?id=20070515abc01. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  8. ^ "ABC unveils midseason primetime schedule". The Futon Critic. December 14, 2007. http://www.thefutoncritic.com/news.aspx?id=20071214abc01. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  9. ^ "ABC upfront, take one". The Star Ledger. May 13, 2008. http://blog.nj.com/alltv/2008/05/abc_upfront_take_one.html. Retrieved 2008-05-13. 
  10. ^ "Fall 2008 Schedules Announced for CTV and A". CTV. June 3, 2008. http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/show/CTVShows/20080602/ctv_fall_launch/20080602/. Retrieved 2008-06-05. 
  11. ^ "Eli Stone – Home". ABC. Archived from the original on May 30, 2008. http://web.archive.org/web/20080530130241/http://abc.go.com/primetime/elistone/index?pn=index. Retrieved 2008-09-08. 
  12. ^ Levin, Gary (November 21, 2008). "Life on Mars saved, but Daisies and Eli Stone shelved". USA Today. http://usatoday.com/life/television/news/2008-11-21-tv-lineup_N.htm. Retrieved 2008-11-22. 
  13. ^ "ABC Announces Its Summer Schedule". The Futon Critic. April 8, 2009. http://www.thefutoncritic.com/news.aspx?id=20090408abc01. Retrieved 2009-06-21. 
  14. ^ "Eli Stone: The Future Revealed". E! Online. http://ca.eonline.com/uberblog/watch_with_kristin/b139287_eli_stone_future_revealed.html. Retrieved 2009-08-16. 
  15. ^ Wyatt, Edward (January 23, 2008). "ABC drama takes on science and parents". New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/23/arts/television/23ston.html. Retrieved 2008-01-29. 
  16. ^ Allen, Carole; Benjamin Kruskal (January 31, 2008). "Perpetrating the autism myth". Boston Globe. http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2008/01/31/perpetrating_the_autism_myth/. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  17. ^ Offit, Paul (2007). "Thimerosal and vaccines—a cautionary tale". New England Journal of Medicine 357 (13): 1278–9. doi:10.1056/NEJMp078187. PMID 17898096. http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/full/357/13/1278. 
  18. ^ Doja, Asif; Wendy Roberts (2006). "Immunizations and autism: a review of the literature". Canadian Journal of Neurological Science 33 (4): 341–6. PMID 17168158. 
  19. ^ Jenkins, Renee (January 25, 2008). "Letter to Anne Sweeney, President, Disney-ABC Television Group" (PDF). American Academy of Pediatrics. http://www.aap.org/advocacy/releases/LettertoABC.pdf. Retrieved 2008-01-29. 
  20. ^ a b Wyatt, Edward (January 29, 2008). "ABC show will go on, over protest by doctors". New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/29/business/media/29abc.html. Retrieved 2008-01-29. 
  21. ^ "Autism information center". National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2008. http://www.cdc.gov/autism. Retrieved 2008-01-29. 
  22. ^ "Criminal Intent Alum Needs Eli Stone's Help". TV Guide. November 6, 2008. http://www.tvguide.com/News/Eli-Stone-Casting-35386.aspx. Retrieved 2008-11-07. 
  23. ^ "Everwood Alum Gregory Smith Returns to TV Which ABC show grabbed him?". TV Guide. December 1, 2008. http://www.tvguide.com/News/Eli-Stone-casting-1000394.aspx. Retrieved 2008-12-03. 
  24. ^ http://abcmedianet.com/web/dnr/dispDNR.aspx?id=061708_07
  25. ^ http://www.abcmedianet.com/web/dnr/dispDNR.aspx?id=052709_07
  26. ^ Sweney, Mark (September 30, 2008). "George Michael stars in Eli Stone trailer". The Guardian (London). http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2008/sep/30/television.georgemichael. 
  27. ^ http://www.five.tv/programmes/drama/eli-stone
  28. ^ "Amazon.com: Eli Stone: The Complete First Season...". Amazon.com. http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B001ASIHZG/ref=pd_luc_mri?_encoding=UTF8&m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&v=glance. Retrieved 2008-07-21. 
  29. ^ "Eli Stone R4 release". http://www.ezydvd.com.au/item.zml/804443. 
  30. ^ "Eli Stone R1 release S02". http://www.tvshowsondvd.com/news/Eli-Stone-Season-2-Announced/11935. 

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