George Michael Has Faith in ‘Eli Stone’


It's been 12 years since his last American Top 40 hit — and a decade since he began making headlines for his increasingly troubled personal life — but George Michael is making a quietly endearing comeback stateside thanks to his offbeat appearances on ABC's legal dramedy Eli Stone. Since popping up as a singing vision to Stone's titular lawyer-prophet in the pilot, Michael has become the show's patron saint of sorts, lending his best-known hits (''Faith,'' ''Freedom 90'') to the series' trademark production numbers. ''He's the muse,'' says Stone co-creator Marc Guggenheim. ''George was part of the show from the very inception. No one else had the combination of name recognition, association with the '80s, and songs that fit the tone and the spirit of the show. We never thought that George would be interested in appearing more than once. We got really lucky.''

So lucky, in fact, that the pop star is now set to take on a rare speaking role in an episode — although the part wasn't too demanding: Michael (who has skewered his image before on shows like Extras) plays himself when he testifies on behalf of a local high school girl who is punished for playing ''I Want Your Sex'' over the loudspeaker during an abstinence-education rally. And this won't be Michael's last time on the show. ''I don't want to spoil anything,'' says Guggenheim, ''but I will tell you that in the final episode, Eli asks him if he's God.'' (Funny, we used to wonder the same thing back in high school.) Michael called EW from his home in England to chat about his work on the show.


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