|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||2|
|No. of episodes||26|
|Production location(s)||San Francisco and Los Angeles, California, United States|
|Running time||45–48 minutes|
|Distributor||Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment|
|Picture format||1080i (HDTV)|
|Original release||January 31, 2008 –|
July 11, 2009
Eli Stone is an American legal comedy-drama television series, named for its title character. 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. The series originally aired on ABC from January 31, 2008 to July 11, 2009, for two seasons.
The series follows Stone (Jonny Lee Miller), a San Francisco lawyer who begins to have hallucinations (such as a George Michael soundtrack that only he can hear and getting dive-bombed by a World War I biplane on a busy San Francisco street) which leads him to two possible conclusions: 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; Stone also predicts an earthquake that hits San Francisco. Other such events occur throughout the course of the series, but the series was cancelled before reaching a coherent conclusion.
The series has been met with generally favorable reviews from critics, and both seasons have been released on DVD.
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". 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. 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.
Produced by ABC Studios, After Portsmouth and Berlanti Television, the series was officially greenlit and given a thirteen-episode order on May 11, 2007, and it aired as a mid-season replacement in 2008. Eli Stone premiered on Thursday, January 31, 2008 at 10:00 Eastern/9:00 Central, following the return of Lost; 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. Moreover, in Canada, CTVglobemedia announced that they would send down the series to CTV's relaunched "A" television system for the 2008–2009 season. Season 2 premiered on Tuesday, October 14 at 10:00 Eastern/9:00 Central.
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 aired.
The last scheduled episode of Eli Stone aired on December 30, 2008. The final four episodes of the series aired on Saturdays at 10:00 Eastern/9:00 Central on ABC starting Saturday, June 20, 2009. The final episode, "Flight Path", aired on July 11, 2009.
The unaired episodes, starting with "Sonoma", were broadcast in Ireland by RTÉ starting on March 13, 2009. The British Sci-Fi channel aired the final four episodes starting on March 16, 2009. The episode aired in Israel's Yes Stars Drama/HD channel and German TV channel Pro7 starting on March 31, 2009. Finally, in Australia, the Seven Network aired the final four episodes in the month of April, on Tuesdays at 22:30.
Cast and characters
- 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 worked in another company, and later joins Eli's firm after they broke up. Although taken aback by Eli's episodes of hallucinations, she is determined to help him by 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 one who first discovered Eli's conditions and is skeptical 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 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 and 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 brought before the bar for allegedly being unable to represent clients' interests while suffering visions.
- Laura Benanti as Beth "Lizzie" Keller, the girl to whom Eli lost his virginity back in college who now 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, being primarily interested in the financial benefits that accrue to the firm. She dislikes Eli's intention to help more individuals than major corporations. (Seasons 1 and 2)
- Pamela Reed as Mrs. Stone. (Season 1 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. (Season 1 only)
- Bridget Moynahan as Ashley Cardiff, Eli's ex-girlfriend.
- Taraji P. Henson as Angela Scott, Patti's daughter. (Season 2 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. On December 1, 2008, TV Guide reported that Gregory Smith would make a guest appearance in the show's finale.
Season 1 (2008)
|No.||Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||Prod.|
|1||"Faith"||Ken Olin||Greg Berlanti & Marc Guggenheim||January 31, 2008||101|
Eli Stone is a rising, successful attorney. Not only is he working for Jordan Wethersby's renowned law firm, but he is engaged to Jordan's daughter Taylor, also an attorney. However, Eli begins having hallucinations (many of which involve singer George Michael) that may either be linked to a medical condition, or the bizarre chance that he is a modern-day prophet. The hallucinations lead him to reluctantly take a case involving his college friend/first lover, Beth Keller. Beth's son developed autism, which Beth blames on a childhood vaccine produced by a major pharmaceutical company. At the same time, Eli's behavior about his visions makes him recall his estranged relationship with his now-deceased father, whom Eli believes was an alcoholic.Musical number: "Faith" (sung by George Michael)
|2||"Freedom"||Michael Schultz||Greg Berlanti & Marc Guggenheim||February 7, 2008||102|
After two weeks without the visions, Eli hesitates to take the case of a Mexican couple suing a produce conglomerate for their use of pesticides, believing he has no chance of winning. However, he begins to doubt the odds after his visions prove more truthful than before.Musical number: "Freedom" (Victor Garber and a male choir)
|3||"Father Figure"||Christopher Misiano||Alex Taub & Brett Mahoney||February 14, 2008||103|
|Eli has visions of World War II before taking on a National Guard soldier's custody battle with her husband, who is represented by Eli's fiancee Taylor. Meanwhile, Eli asks his brother Nathan (a physician) for help with his medical records in order to conceal his medical condition from the law firm's senior partners, thus allowing Eli to continue practicing law.|
|4||"Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go"||David Petrarca||Courtney Kemp Agboh & Wendy Mercile||February 21, 2008||104|
As Eli struggles to come to terms with the end of his engagement to Taylor, his visions convince him to help a former coma patient who wants to get his life back. Meanwhile, Jordan defends an old friend in a discrimination lawsuit against another of the same ethnicity.Musical number: "Good Lovin'" (a group of Chris Diamantopouloses)
|5||"One More Try"||Ron Underwood||Leila Gerstein & Steve Lichtman||February 28, 2008||105|
Eli gets an opportunity to make things right when he revisits an old case that he unscrupulously won for an automaker, but his efforts could be undone by a series of courtroom hallucinations. Meanwhile, Jordan welcomes two new lawyers to the firm, one of whom he had fought against in the previous episode.Musical number: "One More Try" (Loretta Devine and a gospel choir)
|6||"Something to Save"||Michael Schultz||Andrew Kreisberg & Marc Guggenheim||March 6, 2008||106|
Eli needs Jordan's help when he is in danger of being disbarred, after an embarrassing courtroom episode puts his ability to practice under scrutiny. However, Eli's fate may ultimately rest with Nathan's testimony about his brother's condition.Musical number: "Who'll Stop the Rain" (Victor Garber and the lawyers)
|7||"Heal the Pain"||Sandy Smolan||Alex Taub & Moira Walley||March 13, 2008||107|
As a result of his recently reduced stature at the firm, Eli is in the unfamiliar position of playing second fiddle to the inexperienced Maggie Dekker. The two are involved in a malpractice suit against a doctor who used to work at Nathan's hospital, but was fired after a botched operation that led to the death of the plaintiff's mother.Musical number: "Older" by George Michael
|8||"Praying For Time"||David Petrarca||Courtney Kemp Agboh & Brett Mahoney||March 20, 2008||108|
Eli's defense of a real estate mogul takes an interesting turn when his client's desire to evict residents from their homes (in an area where he wants to build a shopping mall) may be the only way to save them from an earthquake Eli has foreseen.Musical number: "I Feel the Earth Move" (Natasha Henstridge and Julie Gonzalo)
|9||"I Want Your Sex"||Christopher Misiano||Leila Gerstein & Wendy Mercile||March 27, 2008||109|
Eli's occasional visionary muse, George Michael, seeks his counsel in person on behalf of a teenage girl who was expelled from school for playing a suggestively titled song of Michael's during an abstinence education assembly. Jordan, who is heading the case, begins to display an unusual upbeat side, leading Eli to believe his senior partner is a fan of George Michael's music. Meanwhile, Nathan has found a neurosurgeon to help his brother, but is unwilling to make the choice that could decide Eli's fate.Musical numbers: "Don't Let the Sun Go Down On Me" (Victor Garber), "I Got You Babe" (Natasha Henstridge and Sam Jaeger), "Amazing" (George Michael), "I Can Taste Love" Claess & Willumsen
|10||"Heartbeat"||Vincent Misiano||Andrew Kreisberg & Steve Lichtman||April 3, 2008||110|
|Eli's visions take him into Nathan's memories of the day their father died. Nathan asks Eli to represent him in a case dealing with the heart transplant of a patient. Eli's vision makes him aware of the fact his brother is keeping a secret that could be of great help for his case.|
|11||"Patience"||Perry Lang||Brett Mahoney & Alex Taub||April 10, 2008||111|
|Eli has visions, set in the future, of David Moseley, a prisoner being held at Tipton Bay. The visions lead him to represent Moseley and other prisoners in a case for prisoners' rights. Meanwhile, Taylor and Matt work together on a struggle for chimpanzee rights, and a long-lost partner returns to the firm.|
|12||"Waiting For That Day"||David Petrarca||Oscar Balderrama & Anna Beth Chao||April 13, 2008||112|
Eli's visions bring him back to the supposed earthquake. This time, he sues San Francisco to close the Golden Gate Bridge. Supported by a so-called quack scientist, Eli opposes Ms. Klein and Maggie in a court case that could decide the lives of hundreds. At the same time, Ms. Klein uses Jordan's apparent lack of control over Eli as ammunition to remove Jordan as managing partner. At the end of the episode, the earthquake does hit and destroys the Golden Gate Bridge. Fortunately, because the bridge was closed (they managed to persuade San Francisco to close it), no one was killed on it when it collapsed. Ms. Klein reconciles and keeps Jordan as managing partner.Musical number: "The One You Knew" by Joshua Radin
|13||"Soul Free"||Michael Lange||Andrew Kreisberg & Courtney Kemp Agboh||April 17, 2008||113|
Eli takes a case involving a man's right to die; the case is intertwined with the aftermath of Eli's surgery to remove his brain aneurysm, which forces Nathan to decide whether to remove Eli from life support. Eli apparently comes face to face with God . . . who bears an uncanny resemblance to George Michael.Musical number: "Feeling Good" (George Michael and cast)
Season 2 (2008–09)
|No.||Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||Prod.|
|14||"The Path"||Perry Lang||Marc Guggenheim & Andrew Kreisberg||October 14, 2008||201|
Eli is free from his visions for the past six months after having an operation to remove his brain aneurysm—or so he thinks. Nate experiences visions of his own suffering a similar fate as Eli that go along with the gift. Taylor faces a dilemma when her father is trapped in a collapsed building.Musical number: "Dancing in the Street" (Loretta Devine and cast)
|15||"Grace"||David Petrarca||Leila Gerstein & Alex Taub||October 21, 2008||202|
Eli has his vision back with a beautiful brunette singing to him. The lady is Grace who turns out to be very much real and not just a vision after meeting her. Eli and Grace fall for each other. The same week Eli represents a father attempting to stop his son from receiving a military burial.Musical number: "Hit Me With a Hot Note" (Katie Holmes)
|16||"Unwritten"||Vincent Misiano||Andrew Kreisberg & Leila Gerstein||October 28, 2008||203|
|Jordan has a tough task of defending against charges of insanity. Eli is on a mission against lead paint manufacturers that may bring him before the Supreme Court.|
|17||"Should I Stay or Should I Go?"||Jamie Babbit||Steve Lichtman & Brett Mahoney||November 11, 2008||204|
|In the aftermath of their law firm's split, Eli and Jordan struggle to retain associates and they must face the financial repercussions of Jordan's coup; the firm's largest clients opt to go with rival firm Posner/Klein.|
|18||"The Humanitarian"||David Petrarca||Wendy Mericle & Dahvi Waller||November 18, 2008||205|
Eli and Jordan have problems with regular clientele and keeping up with costs with their new firm. Eli convinces Jim Cooper, a billionaire philanthropist, to lead the case on trial drug testing. Eli is put in a difficult situation when he learns Cooper's son wants no part in the trial. Meanwhile, Keith represents Patti's daughter. while Matt and Maggie work to find the traitor amongst their midst.Musical Number: "You Don't Mess Around with Jim" (Victor Garber)
|19||"Happy Birthday Nate"||Perry Lang||Alex Taub & Brett Mahoney||December 2, 2008||206|
|Eli envisions himself within his father's body. Taylor has news to tell Matt about her pregnancy. Keith presumes the worst of Patti's daughter.|
|20||"Help!"||Michael Grossman||Andrew Kreisberg & Steve Lichtman||December 9, 2008||207|
|A Change is Gonna Come", and "Crazy" by Seal.|
|21||"Owner of a Lonely Heart"||Ron Underwood||Leila Gerstein||December 16, 2008||208|
|After a few dates with Ashley, Eli is ready to tell her about his gift, but is surprised to see her reaction. Keith and Eli defend a 22-year-old girl (Danielle Panabaker) who could discover the secret of cold fusion.|
|22||"Two Ministers"||David Petrarca||Dahvi Waller & Wendy Mericle||December 30, 2008||209|
Eli finds out more about Nate and Beth's engagement being called off. Keith and Eli help a minister with a lawsuit, and Taylor and Matt find out about their baby's health.Musical number: "This Night" by Laura Benanti.
|23||"Sonoma"||Vincent Misiano||Brett Mahoney & Alex Taub||June 20, 2009 (US)|
13 March 2009 (Ireland)
16 March 2009 (UK)
7 April 2009 (Australia)
When a news anchor from one of the biggest media corporations loses his job, Eli, Taylor, Matt and Maggie share an awkward car ride to Sonoma to question a witness. Meanwhile, Eli is now suffering the consequences of the 'Dark Truth' treatment, plagued with not one but two brain aneurysms.Musical Number: "Red Red Wine" (Choir in Eli's dream)
|24||"Mortal Combat"||Michael Schultz||Marc Guggenheim & Leila Gerstein||June 27, 2009 (US) |
20 March 2009 (Ireland)
23 March 2009 (UK)
14 April 2009 (Australia)
|Eli takes the case of news anchor that’s been removed from his job. After sleeping with Maggie, Eli faces off against her in their latest trial and realizes she's emerged as a formidable attorney. Meanwhile, Matt tries to assist his former firm - which ultimately leads to a profound decision on his part.|
|25||"Tailspin"||Bethany Rooney||Andrew Kreisberg & Steve Lichtman||July 4, 2009 (US)|
27 March 2009 (Ireland)
30 March 2009 (UK)
21 April 2009 (Australia)
|Eli starts to get envious of Maggie going out with Paul, especially since Paul works at Posner & Klein, where Maggie works. Meanwhile, Jordan and Eli take on corporate greed when hundreds of employees are left penniless when they are laid off and the ex-CEO walks with $43 million.|
|26||"Flight Path"||David Petrarca||Oscar Balderrama & Lindsey Allen||July 11, 2009 (US) |
3 April 2009 (Ireland)
30 March 2009 (UK)
28 April 2009 (Australia)
Eli's latest visions lead him to believe someone close to him will die in a plane crash. As Eli tries to unravel the mystery, he and Keith take on the case of a woman who is in need of a heart transplant. Little does Eli know that the heart he is fighting for will take on greater significance.British actress Jaime Murray and Gregory Smith co-star.
|Season||Timeslot (EDT)||Season premiere||Season finale||TV season||Rank||Viewers
Sunday 10:00pm (April 13, 2008)
|Tuesday 10:00pm (October 14-December 30, 2008)
Saturday 10:00pm (June 20-July 11, 2009)
Season one was met with generally favorable reviews, and currently holds a Metacritic score of 62 out of 100, based on 24 collected reviews. Season two was met with a more enthusiastic response, and holds a Metacritic score of 72 out 100, based on 9 collected reviews.
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 and treats the hypothesis as being credible and legally compelling. This hypothesis is not supported by scientific evidence, but has contributed to decreased vaccination rates. 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. 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", with a second card directing viewers to the autism web site of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Awards and nominations
|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|
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 and was then broadcast on Fiver in June 2010. In Malaysia, the show premiered on TV2 in June 2009, airing all the complete 26 episodes until December 23, 2009. The series was later re-run in 2010.
On September 2, 2008, Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment released the complete first season of Eli Stone on DVD in Region 1. Season 1 was also released in Region 4 on March 18, 2009. The second and final season was released in Region 1 on August 18, 2009. By February 2013 the First Season had also been released as Region 2 in a combined Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland set. This set includes the original English dialogue with no captions as the default.
|DVD name||Ep #||Release dates|
|Region 1||Region 2||Region 4|
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.
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