Last November, ABC opted not to order any additional episodes of Eli Stone’s second season, effectively cancelling the drama. The series’ co-creator, Marc Guggenheim, held out hope that the network might still order a third round.
The chances of that happening were very remote and they were finally put to rest in May when ABC announced its new schedule and Eli Stone wasn’t on it. In April, the network announced plans to air the final four installments. They start running tonight.
Guggenheim recently told SCI FI Wire, “I have to say these four are among my favorite of the whole series run, quite frankly. I just feel like, ironically, we ended up getting cancelled right around the time we were really hitting on all cylinders.”
So, will the fans finally get some closure?
The series finale, titled “Flight Path,” is set to air on July 11th and will bring the series full circle. Guggenheim said, “For those people familiar with the pilot and fans of the show, we return to the Himalayas. That was in the very first episode. So there’s a sense of closure with that last episode. We returned to the scene of the crime, as it were.”
The co-creator promises that the last episode will give an ending of sorts to the series. He noted, “We wrote it knowing that we were on the bubble, so we wrote it to work like it could be a mid-season finale or it could be a series finale. It has a real satisfying sense of closure.”
After all this time, Guggenheim is very happy that the final episodes of Eli Stone are finally being aired. He related, “I have to say the worst part about being canceled was the possibility that these episodes wouldn’t get aired. Because, first and foremost, a lot of very talented, hardworking people gave their all to write, produce and film these episodes.”
“Especially episode 13, ‘Flight Path,’ because that was produced when we knew we were canceled. We had written it beforehand, but it was actually filmed around the time we learned of our cancellation, and yet no one phoned anything in. You see the episode, and you see the level of ambition from the plane crash to the Himalayas to everything in between, and you go, ‘Wow! That was everyone trying to leave on the best note possible.’ I’m just really glad that everyone’s hard work is going to get a chance to shine.”
Though Guggenheim has moved on and is working on a new ABC series, FlashForward, he’s very grateful to Eli Stone’s loyal audience. To them, he wanted to say, “Just thank you for all your support. Thanks for watching. Thank you for posting. Thank you for creating Web sites. I’ve always said that I would rather have the number of viewers that we had — even though it wasn’t enough to keep us on the air — I would rather have the number of viewers that we had with all of them loving the show as they did, than three times the number of viewers — while that number might have kept us on the air — that didn’t care about the show as much as all the people who watched.”
Image courtesy ABC.