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October 30, 2014

The case for keeping Eli Stone alive

by Richard Keller, posted Nov 24th 2008 11:02AM

Eli and Jordan. Lawyers, but also men guided a more spiritual power.As we reported previously, ABC decided to spin the wheel and cancel three of its shows -- Pushing Daisies, Dirty Sexy Money and, the big surprise, Eli Stone. Surprise to me, at least, because I felt that Stone was moving in the right direction since its very strong season premiere. With its slightly new direction, continuing character growth, and imaginative visions that placed the show nearly in the realm of 'musical drama,' the show seemed to be heading in the right direction.

But, as usual, my opinion didn't count in the network's decision to axe the show after 13 episodes. It should have, to be honest. Not only because I wield the power of the keyboard and can bring those programming nerds down with a stroke of my CTRL key, but because I speak for the numbers of fans who cherish the show and think it was done an injustice. Not just by being canceled, but being lumped together with Daisies and DSM.

When I think about Eli Stone I see it more like ABC's current hit Life on Mars than I do either Daisies or Money. Both Mars and Eli feature equal amounts reality and fantasy (though, it can be argued that Mars is all fantasy since the main character allegedly time travels to 1973), both have characters that are on a quest, and both feature an underlying sense that there is a reason for their situations. They also feature good writing, excellent actors, and a story that keeps viewers interested. Plus, Stone has the added factor that, on occasion, we get to see the characters do a little song and dance. And, who doesn't love a good musical number?

Then there's the fact that Eli was moving in new and interesting directions with the breakup of Wethersby, Posner and Klein into two separate law firms -- Wethersby, Stone and Associates and Posner and Klein. A new dichotomy for Jordan Wethersby and Eli was created as they jumped the hurdles necessary to regrow their new firm. With secondary characters like Matt Dowd and Maggie moving over to Klein and Posner there was also potential for new relationships to be created both in and out of the courtroom. As well as the added chance that these characters would eventually come back to Eli's firm to fight for the greater good.

There is one more thing that makes this show different than either Daises or Money: heart. And, a sense of spirituality that you don't find in many shows these days. Where love was at the heart of Daisies and greed and lust were the cornerstone of Money, faith has been the crux of Stone. Whether it has been a discussion of Eli's role as prophet between Dr. Chen and himself, or a musical number featuring Victor Garber that highlighted the week's spiritual dilemma, the show was one of those rare programs that entertained as well as made you think. That, in turn, made you care not only for the characters but the situations they encountered.

As you see, there are a number of factors in favor Eli Stone that should give the executives at ABC food for thought. Should they reconsider I would highly recommend putting the show on before or after Life on Mars, giving a boost to both shows which would allow them to continue for several more years. Should they decide that Eli Stone is no longer right for them, then I leave them in the hands of you, the angry viewers, who may reconsider tuning in when Lost or Dancing With the Stars returns to the network.

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monica

Why ABC is doing that? Eli Stone has potencial for many many stories. This show is great. Why cancel?
Please save Eli Stone

December 16 2008 at 12:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Beth

Thank you, Richard, for a very well written piece. My mother and I have both loved Eli Stone since the first episode! ABC, if you're paying attention, please save Eli! A poster above mentioned several lead-in shows that had supposedly given this show a chance, but that's part of the problem -- if you bounce a show around from night to night, you don't give its audience the stability to grow! Let Eli's fans show you how devoted we are!

December 01 2008 at 11:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Teresa

Apparently ABC/Disney is too cheap to pay for Quality shows. I do not believe the "ratings" even come into play - it's just a dirty lie to help them keep their pockets padded.

I am just so angry that they would even dare to take Eli Stone off the air! Eli Stone is an excellent show that shares an excellent parable with each episode.

November 29 2008 at 11:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tom

I simply cannot believe that a show of this obvious quality and appeal is not getting more of a chance to find an audience, or whatever audience the network deems it must have to keep it. In the age of TIVO and Internet, I certainly hope they aren't basing this on Neilsons. Has anyone noticed that piece of crap "Fringe" got a full year over on FOX, and people complain FOX is quick to pull the trigger? And this talk about lead in numbers, do networks really believe that we are lead like pigs to the trough but whatever show is in front of it? Let me update the networks on a few things. Since the invention of television, they've come up with a few little gadget: the remote control, the vcr, the dvr, TIVO, etc. I rarely watch any show live, but I've got every episode of Eli Stone taped. I might as well delete the one's I haven't watched--it will be bittersweet. But to think that because Eli Stone doesn't keep "numbers" from a friggin' dance reality show, based on an antiquated measuring system--it numbs the mind. Here's what I think this REALLY points too! ABC, NBC, & CBS = GM, Ford & Chrysler. Shoddily run by big, bloated execeutives who have no touch with reality or the american people, and quickly going down the drain.

November 29 2008 at 12:32 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
DF

Eli Stone fans, you can still make a difference... go to www.save-elistone.com/ your help is needed!

November 28 2008 at 1:06 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Paulette

Eli Stone, is one of the best shows on TV, ABC needs to take another look at this. Or maybe it would be better if another network picked it up. This show needs a network with vision which obviously ABC is lacking at the moment.

November 26 2008 at 7:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Lisa

Thank you for standing up for this show! The story progresses every episode unlike most programs. I was hooked when I realized the writers had their own vision, and I will feel deprived not to see how they would show Eli developing on his spiritual journey. This program has so much left to do.

November 26 2008 at 3:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
lashawn

Boycott the pseudo-reality programs and send the Networks the message that, " we are mad as hell, and not going to take it anymore!" The inner-beauty beauty paegent one looks like a real stinker. Just because two celebs are attached to it doesn't mean we want to watch it. And there are only so many nannies helping inept parents that I am willing to watch. Really networks, get it together and listen to your customers. T.V. is the only business where the customer is never right! Eli Stone is an excellent show with engaging actors. The story lines are fresh and current, and the writing is intelligent and charming. Save this show!

November 26 2008 at 12:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Yash

The fight is not over yet. We can still try to save Eli Stone. Join http://www.save-elistone.com/ for more information

November 26 2008 at 12:24 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Walter White

Well put all around - I've written to ABC, but just in case and in the spirit of the show I'm so fond of, I've also contacted USA, and suggested if they do cancel Eli, they should take it as a sign and a chance to prove characters truly *are* welcome on their network.

I only started to watch Eli Stone after the season 1 DVD came out - it was under my radar before then. I'm a sucker for Magritte, and the cover caught my eye, George Michael and Victor Garber sealed the deal and I bought the series set having not seen an episode. I love the heart of the show - and change the aneurysm into a kittycat, and the visions into a newspaper, and you're well on the way to resurrecting the quite enjoyable "Early Edition".


November 25 2008 at 7:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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