Eli Stone Not Doing Well?

The following articles aren’t good news for “Eli Stone.”

New shows get lukewarm welcome

And none of the first-year shows on the current sked — “Welcome to the Captain” on CBS, “Carpoolers,” “Cashmere Mafia” and “Eli Stone” on ABC, and Lipstick Jungle” on NBC — are really clicking. While “Eli” and “Lipstick” have done decently, there’s nothing in their early numbers to suggest that they’ll be long-term players.

ABC Moves Lost

 ABC has tried several new shows in the 10 p.m. Thursday period that have been unable to capitalize on “Grey’s” success. Case in point: Current occupant “Eli Stone” is notably absent from the newly announced spring lineup. Since “Stone” debuted this year, it has averaged a 3.3 rating in the time period. An ABC spokesman said the network hasn’t decided when the remaining “Stone” episodes will air.

ABC Moves Eli Stone!

According to ABC Sets Spring Schedule, we won’t be seeing “Eli Stone” on Thursdays at 10 p.m. during the spring.

ABC outlined its spring schedule Wednesday, highlighted by Lost moving back one hour to 10 p.m. Thursdays and pushing rookie Eli Stone out of the time slot.

Lost, currently anchoring Thursdays at 9 p.m., will come back with five more original episodes April 24.

ABC is still considering where on the schedule to plug in the rest of Eli Stone’s 13-episode order when Lost moves.

Father Figure Episode

I’m sure you all heard the George Michael song during last week’s episode of “Father Figure.” (The song was “This Is Not Real Love” and was played when Taylor and Eli entered their engagement party.)  It appears that some are actually missing the George Michael parts of “Eli Stone.”

‘Eli Stone’ Recap: Saving Private Swaine

So much for singing and dancing on “Eli Stone.” Eli’s (Jonny Lee Miller) visions take a grisly turn this week as this time he gets thrust into the middle of a war zone (seems like WW II). Apparently, the not-so-cryptic message he receives is that he is supposed to rescue a Private Swain and take some ridge. That’s all well and good; but no George Michael song? What a gyp.

Eli Stone: Father Figure

With much humility, I am forced to seat myself in the ugly seat this week. I was convinced that George Michael’s star power would dominate the show. Not only has his presence and music complemented the main plots nicely, but that same presence was almost non-existent in this episode. All I can say is, I’m sorry and I stand corrected.

Run out of George Michael Songs?

I’m seriously irritated that again someone is wondering what “Eli Stone” will do when they run out of George Michael songs.  I just looked at the official site, and it lists more than 40 singles!  I also just quickly added up George Michael songs on albums, and that includes more than 70 songs!  What’s most irritating is that the current article comes from the ABC blog! Come on people, do a little research before you say something like this:

Incidentally, this episode was titled “Freedom,” after the George Michael song that features prominently throughout the show. All the episodes are named after George Michael or Wham songs, as near as I can tell.Coming up, “Father Figure” and “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go.” For reals.

Sooner or later Eli Stone is going to run out of George Michael songs and they’re going to have to go with some other artist. I think they should base the second season of Eli Stone on the hard-rockin’ music of Ted Nugent, the Motor City Madman.  ABC could pull in a whole new demographic to the show.

OK, bad idea.  Who would be a better choice than The Nuge once Eli Stone runs out of George Michael songs?  You make the call.

Q & A with Co-Creators and Executive Producers of Eli Stone

ABC.com has an interview with the “Eli Stone” co-creators and executive producers Greg Berlanti and Marc Guggenheim.  George Michael is discussed throughout the article, including the following:  

What lead to the idea for ELI STONE, a lawyer having all going so well for him, and then seemingly in “crisis” ? And, which came first — the idea for a lawyer in crisis, or George Michael?

The idea for a lawyer who might be a modern day prophet came first, but George followed quickly thereafter. We wanted Eli’s first “vision” to be a song from his formative years by someone who’s been out of the spotlight for a while yet instantly recognizable. George not only fit this criteria, but was perfect because the themes of his music perfectly fit all the themes of the series.

And — why George Michael? Will he be a continuing element in the show?

George and his music will most definitely be continuing elements in the show. As we said, the themes of his music really capture the message of the show and his songs are featured prominently in future episodes. George himself will appear in three more episodes over the course of our first season.

More “Eli Stone” News

Here are some of the recent articles on “Eli Stone.”

The kooky, mystical Eli Stone asks, “What Would George Michael Do?”

There is one Cop Rock–style sort of production number in every episode of Eli Stone, but only one. Not all feature George Michael in person—taking one energetic turn will be Garber himself, a Broadway song-and-dance man before he enlisted as Jennifer Garner’s spooky father on Alias—but many of Michael’s songs are referenced. This baffles me as much as it does Eli. But when Eli sees Michael’s name spelled out in blocks by an autistic little boy, he is all of a sudden moved to represent that boy’s mother in a suit against a pharmaceutical company whose flu vaccine may have contributed to the autism.

A look at “Lipstick Jungle,” “Eli Stone,” and “Welcome to the Captain” and some other stuff

The fantasy elements, so far, have been lame. The George Michael bits are not interesting at all. The dance routine in the second episode was terrible (it was funny seeing Garber dance, though). And because we still don’t have a full understanding of who Eli Stone is the bigger fantasy elements (like the attack plane) just don’t work. We don’t understand his personality, we don’t fully understand what exactly he could feel guilty or concerned about, and so when something odd happens it’s just stupid. Again, yes, the show is only two episodes old at this point and hasn’t found its voice yet, but it’s going to have to find it fast and I don’t think it can. I get the feeling that this show could go thirteen episodes or more and not find its voice and balance. That’s a serious problem.

‘Lost’ leads ABC to win

As for “Eli Stone,” it averaged a second place 3.3/9 in 18-49 and 8.83 million viewers overall — finishing behind a repeat of CBS crime drama “Without a Trace” (2.7/7, 10.20m) in total viewers but winning its slot in the 18-49, 25-54 and 12-34 categories.

“Eli” was down 18% in 18-49 from its premiere, while lead-in “Lost” (6.5/16, 15.29m) posted a smaller 3% falloff. The drama about a lawyer who just may be a prophet is outperforming another rookie drama to air in the timeslot this season, “Big Shots.”

Primetime Prophet

I thought, perhaps, some of you would like to respond to the following article, Primetime Prophet, which says:

Thus far, Stone has “seen” a few dance numbers and performances by George Michael – who is a little scary, by the way – but none of these visions have been particularly outstanding.

“Eli Stone” keeps the “Faith”

There’s a nice comment about George Michael in “Eli Stone” keeps the “Faith”:

ABC’s new series “Eli Stone,” from “Brothers and Sisters” creators Greg Berlanti and Marc Guggenheim, had audiences keeping the “Faith” during its premiere episode last night. It has a charming story line played by a stellar and diverse cast, not to mention the highly produced musical number performed by Wham! front man George Michael, which makes this show much more compelling and entertaining than anticipated.

Will George Michael “Alienate” Viewers?

We all love George Michael, but is the U.S. ready for George Michael regularly during prime time?  Here’s an article that says that George Michael may alienate viewers: Eli Stone” Pilot Thoughts And More Fun Stuff.

The Ugly

Will George Michael sing several times in every episode? I like him as much as the next guy, but it could get tiring pretty quickly. What about viewers who aren’t amongst the George Michael faithful. The writers don’t seem to understand that may alienate viewers who dislike the pop singer. It would be a shame if the show lost fans because George Michael was rammed down their throats. (No pun intended)

George Michael: Not Enough Hits?

Okay, this writer’s contact information is at the end of the article if you want to complain or give him a list of George Michael’s hits: Dave on Demand: George Michael visions

The show certainly represents an image upgrade for George Michael. The last time we saw him in prime time, in the series finale of Extras on HBO, he was playing himself, cruising a park in London for anonymous gay sex.

In Eli Stone he gets to play his old pop-star self. But I can’t help but wonder: If they use one of Michael’s songs each week, won’t they run out of hits pretty fast? By next month, I’m afraid there will be episodes of Eli Stone set to claptrap like “The Strangest Thing” and “Flawless (Go to the City).”

Not even the streets of San Francisco can redeem that.

“Eli Stone” in the Nielsen Ratings

“Eli Stone” kept most of the “Lost” audience, according to Nielsen Ratings.  It’s interesting that in the following article, George Michael is being credited as being a draw for “Eli Stone.”

Nielsen Ratings – Jan 31, 2008: ABC Gets LOST

More surprising to me was the performance of the premiere of ABC’s Eli Stone following the Lost premiere.  The results for the first half hour will likely change some as Lost technically ran past 10pm, but Eli averaged ~12.5 million for the first half hour and 10.75 million in the second half hour.  This is not dramatically great performance, but given the George Michael tie-in, many more gave it a chance than I would’ve thought. 

George Michael “Perfect from Day One”

Yes, we all know George Michael is irreplaceable.  And I still want him in MY living room (aka the office of Yours Only George)!  From: On the Futon With … Eli Stone Co-creator

Brian Ford Sullivan: Let’s start with the question on everyone’s minds – why George Michael?

Marc Guggenheim: [Laughs.] Oh God. You know, let me explain, I’ll answer the question by explaining what life was like without George Michael. Because we wrote the show with George Michael in mind. And we wrote it basically like, we picked George because of a lot of different reasons I’ll get to – but we picked him sort of knowing that he probably wouldn’t do it… wouldn’t do it in a million years. So we wrote George Michael, we got word back from his agents saying that he wasn’t interested. So then we went about the part of trying to find a replacement. And through the process of finding a replacement, we learned – or rather, really saw – it was impossible to replace him. Because no one had the right mix of ’80s icon, but not overexposed today… fun, the right song, the right name, there were like all these elicit elements that worked perfectly with George. [There were] like five elements, another artist would satisfy maybe three out of the five. George was just perfect from day one. And I don’t think we realized how perfect he was until we tried to replace him. Luckily, a different agent of his learned about the script and said, “You know, I think this is something that George would like to do.” And he went to George – and George is a big television fan, a total TV-ofile. Even when he’s in England he downloads everything off of iTunes and watches a lot of American television. And he really responded to it – as a show, as something he wanted to do – so we really got lucky because I think I did four of five drafts for different artists and they were never as good as the original one we had for George.

BFS: And he comes back beyond the pilot?

MG: Yup. We bring him [back] in episodes seven, nine and 13. And in episode nine actually he appears, not as a vision, but actually as his flesh and blood self, and wants Eli to represent him in a legal case.

“Eli Stone” Premieres Tonight

There are many reviews of “Eli Stone” online today, most of which just in passing mention George Michael.  I’ve selected a few that go into more detail (good and bad.)

‘Eli Stone’: Spiritually, law and a few laughs

The show has whimsical touches. Michael appears as himself in four episodes as part of Eli’s visions and, in one, as a client.

‘Eli’ is great

Eli Stone (Jonny Lee Miller) is a tough, successful lawyer who starts having hallucinations. Who wouldn’t be unsettled if George Michael was suddenly singing “Faith” in their living room?

‘Eli Stone’ needs some tuning

Eli’s first vision – ominously, for all – is George Michael singing “Faith.”

‘Eli Stone’ goes for quirky, ‘Ally McBeal’ style, but after a while, kooky can start to get irritating

If Ally (McBeal) had her dancing baby, Eli has his George Michael.

Yes, that George Michael.

Don’t even ask why Thursday’s pilot essentially revolves around Michael singing “Faith” in the main character’s living room or why the two episodes ABC sent along with it are called “Freedom” and “Wake Me Up Before You Go Go.” Berlanti, who created “Everwood” and is also an executive producer on ABC’s “Brothers & Sisters,” apparently has a soft spot for the former Wham! frontman, solo artist and troubled celebrity. He’s also, judging from the ABC schedule, insanely creative and overworked.

Eli Stone: Jonny Lee Miller Takes a Leap of Faith

“I used to be able to fill places like this!” shouts George Michael as he looks out at the middling crowd inside the Wil­tern Theatre in Los Angeles. In fact, there’s not a single paying customer in the house: The people here are extras, crew members on the new ABC series Eli Stone and connected folks who’ve wrangled an invite. (Yep, that’s Bo Derek sitting in a chair by the railing.)

But this afternoon’s shoot, one of several appearances Michael will make during the season, centers less on the singer on stage than the guy in a dark suit who sits at a table watching him. Eli Stone, played by British actor Jonny Lee Miller, is an ethically challenged San Francisco lawyer who’s told he has a brain aneurysm and suddenly begins to have visions, many involving the pop idol known for a string of No. 1 hits in the ’80s and an infamous scandal a decade later.

 ‘Eli Stone’ explores new life inside his head

There are two explanations for everything, Chen tells Eli, “the scientific and the divine.” But as is usual in our sentimental world, the divine is given the edge here. Chen’s pidgin injunction to “Make peace George Michael,” for instance, later turns up in a wall of alphabet blocks that a client’s autistic son is building. And the client, who has convinced Eli to take her case — a lawsuit against a vaccine manufacturer represented by his own company — also happens to be the woman to whom he lost his virginity, while a George Michael tape played in the background. Everything is connected.

“Eli Stone”: A Supernatural Comedic Legal Drama?

 Victor Garber, who plays Eli’s boss, Jordan Wethersby, on “Eli Stone” said the following in ‘Eli Stone’: A Supernatural Comedic Legal Drama?

Garber has seen his share of legal roles, including Fox casualty Justice. “I didn’t need to play another lawyer,” he says. But, for an actor with a Broadway background, “a lawyer who bursts out into song? A George Michael song? That’s up my alley.”