Michael reportedly lost his battle with chronic lymphocytic leukemia Thursday morning at Washington, D.C.'s Sibley Memorial Hospital. He was 70.
Michael arrived in D.C. in 1980 and started a late night local sports show on WRC TV. In 1984, 'The George Michael Sports Machine' became the first nationally syndicated sports highlight show, airing in over 194 markets and in over ten foreign countries. The show ran for 27 years.
George Michael, the sportscaster and longtime host of the nationally syndicated George Michael's Sports Machine, succumbed to a long battle with cancer on Thursday.
To call him ahead of his time would be an understatement. He basically invented the hyper clip style format of shows like ESPN's SportsCenter, brought a great deal of personality to TV sports reporting and sportscasting and even inspired and mentored the likes of Pardon the Interruption's Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon.
I want to talk to you about a grass roots campaign to save Eli Stone. You see, I had this idea where fans of the program would send George Michael paraphernalia - CDs, MP3s, T-Shirts, programs, videos - to the executive mugwumps over at ABC in order to express their frustration that they were not picking up the back nine episodes of the series. It would have been similar in scope to the Great Peanut Campaign of 2007 that ending up (temporarily) saving Jericho.Then I got to thinking, which is always a bad sign. While a campaign such as this could result in programming executives opening their minds for just a minuscule amount of time to the possibilities of continuin the series, I'm not too sure it would be worth it. Not 'worth' in the terms that the campaign would fall on the deaf ears of the tailor-suited wonks. I'm talking about 'worth' in what it would cost the fans of the show to get the materials and ship them out to send a message. We are in a recession, after all.
(S07E42) Forty-two episodes later we're finally ready to find out who is going to take home the crown of the next American Idol. Look at all those faces up there, and now it's all come down to the Davids. The lingering question is if they're going to be Idols the likes of Carrie Underwood and Kelly Clarkson; sales in the millions with mantles full of awards; or will they find mainstream success more of a challenge, like Taylor Hicks or Justin Guarini (I know he came in second but let's face it, at this point first and second are almost interchangeable as far as getting a shot at a career)? The show's an hour early and an hour longer, clocking in from 8:00 PM - 10:00 PM Eastern Time. That means you have two hours to chat live right here with your friends and frenemies about which David should win and how stupid they are for disagreeing with you.
You can join the chat by following this link. Look for the full episode review right here later tonight.
In a way, this episode serves as a closing chapter in the first major arc of the Eli Stone story. Sure, dangling threads keep thrusting us forward, like the unresolved issues regarding Patti's old stomping grounds and the earthquake of ... when was that now? Oh, that's right it hasn't happened yet. But this craziness all started with George Michael appearing to Eli in a vision, so there's a nice symmetry in the real deal serving a significant role as well.
1) Cowboy Up Time
Remember the episode of Lost when Ben wanted to convince Jack that he was in communication with the world outside the island? To prove that he was telling the truth, he showed Jack a video of the Boston Red Sox winning the world series in 2004. You can't get more real than that, right? And yet it was used in one of the most out of this world shows on the air. In fact, using Lost's own terminology, the Red Sox video is a constant truth in a universe that's a complete fiction.
(S01E03) Okay, it looks like we have the formula down pretty well now. Eli's going to have some bizarre visions that will jeopardize his personal and professional life, but those visions will help him make decisions as to what to do. Could it be a brain aneurysm? Sure, if aneurysms can specifically name clients that he hasn't met yet as tonight's does. Instead of creating a compelling long-form narrative, Eli Stone is going to be a typical legal dramedy with a few spot visions thrown in to mess with Eli's life. That's it and it's a shame.
(S01E02) "I'm getting the ass end of this arrangement, man!" -- Eli Stone, concerning his role as supposed prophet.
Ah, now I see the pattern! The titles of all the first season episodes of Eli Stone will be titles or references to titles of George Michael or Wham songs. Next week's title is 'Father Figure' and the week after that it's 'Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go'. It also looks like each week will feature another performer, or set of performers, who sing a piece of that particular week's song. I wonder who'll they'll get to sing 'Wake Me Up' in a few weeks.
What better lead-in could a show about a guy who may be a prophet having visions of the future (or may just be plain crazy) want than the season premiere of Lost? And in this strike-stripped era of reality television and reruns, any new scripted fare is bound to draw the reddened eyes of those sad and pathetic little viewers asking themselves why oh why did they watch the entire season of Crowned.
But while I went into it expecting something different and interesting, I instead found a fairly standard legal drama with a gimmick. Sure, you could argue that Pushing Daisies is nothing more than a standard mystery show with a gimmick, but the characters and charm of Daisies can win out over that. So far, Eli is missing that ingredient.
What's happening on other blogs via the interweb.
- If you missed the video of Tyra Banks talking about her farts, here it is.
- Is Pam Anderson getting married again?
- NBC's Jeff Zucker just bought Kitty Carlisle's place.
- George Michael is going to appear in a few episodes of the new ABC show Eli Stone.
- Our friends at Cinematical have info on the first video from the Sex and the City movie.
- Did ex-Lost star Michelle Rodriguez violate the terms of her probation?
- David Letterman asked Paris Hilton about prison the other night - a lot. Here's the video.
- Entertainment Weekly's PopWatch blog asks: who's the weakest link on Heroes?
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