Thursday, April 17, 2008

'Eli's' Coming, With The Season Finale

ABC has cornered the market this season on whimsy, offering viewers the likes of the delightful "Pushing Daisies" and "Dirty Sexy Money."

Right up there has been the ever-improving "Eli Stone" (ABC, 10 p.m.), which wraps up its first season tonight with Eli (Jonny Lee Miller) in a coma after the surgery to remove his aneurysm goes wrong.

I'm pulling for both Eli Stone the character and "Eli Stone" the series to survive next season. It's one of those bubble shows that hasn't gotten a full commitment from ABC for next year.

(For a list of other shows and their chances, check out's Michael Ausiello's list here:

It's been an interesting ride with Eli as he tries to cope with his visions, which include a plethora of George Michael songs, and his cases. The writers do a good job of making us care each week whether Eli and his law partners win such cases as the rights of prisoners or even two gay chimps who want to live together.

The supporting cast is also first-rate, especially the always-terrrific Victor Garber as Eli's boss and father figure. (Note to producers: include more musical numbers for Garber next season.)

And credit the producers for moving the story along. They could have dragged out Eli's secret being revealed or his relationship with his ex (Natasha Henstridge), and destroying the Golden Gate Bridge (through CGI) last week was particularly inspired, because it let the viewers know anything can happen. As a viewer, you don't expect to see something like that, so it proved to be a delightful surprise to me.

I always pull for shows that have a true sense of originality, and they don't come more original than "Eli Stone." Here's hoping we get a lot more George Michael numbers in the future.

THURSDAY'S BEST BETS: It's like a conspiracy that all of the networks get together and decide to put their best stuff on Thursdays. In the end, it's a victory for we, the viewers (and helps make up for crappy Wednesdays.)

In case you need a refresher for the return of "Lost" next week (at its new 10 p.m. time slot), ABC is running the last two episodes from a few weeks ago from 8-10 p.m. The first deals with Sun's pregnancy, making for one of the most poignant moments of the season, while the second one tells us what happened to Michael after leaving the island.

NBC's comedy lineup is all new, beginning with "My Name Is Earl." (NBC, 8 p.m.) Please let Earl get out of the coma, already. Jack tries to recruit Tracy to join the Republican Party on "30 Rock," while "The Office" gang fights for their parking spots, finishing with an all-new "Scrubs" before an all-new "ER" at 10 p.m.

Someone is definitely supposed to die soon on "Smallville" (CW, 8 p.m.) No spoilers here, but if I were a betting man, I'm guessing Lionel Luthor. It's followed by a rerun of "Supernatural," but it's the best episode of the season - Dean is killed over and over and over in the show's tribute to "Groundhog Day." If you have never seen this series before - and it's one of the most underrated shows on TV - this is the episode to catch, folks.


zodin2008 said...

Thursday has always, always been the most coveted night by advertisers, which is why Thursdays have arguably been the best night for Television, going back to the 1980's when NBC had their amazing comedy lineup with shows like "Family Ties", "Cheers" and "The Cosby Show" and transitioned from "St. Elsewhere" to "L.A. Law" to "er" in that coveted 10 pm slot.

But that was all NBC; once CBS found it's footing with the surprisingly popular "CSI" about 9 or so years ago, (with NBC's lineup aging), then all of sudden, Thursdays turned into a wide open free for all and now CBS, NBC and ABC all have highly rated and/or highly honored series on this night.

With shows like "Ugly Betty", "Lost" and "Eli Stone", ABC has been doing the best all around job though I agree fully about "Supernatural" being the most underrated show on Television and tonight's episode was BY FAR, my favorite of the season and maybe of the series.

As for "Eli", let me again shout from the rooftops my praise and love of this show, my praise and love of the majority of the acting performances (Johnny Lee Miller and Victor Garber, in particular) and absolutelyly an amen to the shocking CGI destruction of the Golden Gate bridge last week. That shocked both my wife & I.

(and yes, please let Garber sing).

I can only hope ABC finds a spot for this show. What's amazing is this show is likely to be ignored come Emmy time, yet an equally whimsical and far lesser quality show like "Boston Legal", inexplicably steals Emmy's and Emmy nominations from several shows and actors, far more deserving.

As for "Smallville", I am still watching (for now), but frankly I wish it was the show that would die. It's been largely garbage the last 2-3 seasons. I am annoyed it's not closing out this year and coming back for one more go around. And that's going to be, apparently, without Lex?!!?! What the frak?

Phillip Ramati said...

You forgot to mention "Grey's Anatomy," not my favorite show but one of the highest rated on TV, making Thursday a killer night.

I'm hoping that there is enough great buzz about Eli Stone that it survives for next year.

Smallville has been on the decline, but I'm hoping with a new production team, Season 8 might pick up some new steam.

Jonathan said...

Thursday's are insane. Thanks for mentioning the Supernatural episode; I missed this one but have only heard great things about it.

I also caught a preview last night on USA that they will start rerunning the first season of "Burn Notice" tonight at 11:00 est. Just thought I would mention it for those people, like myself who heard all the great stuff about it but missed it the first time around.