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The Girl Next Door


'Eli Stone' recruits Katie Holmes for guest spot

By Robert Bianco

As a show and a character, ABC's "Eli Stone" is back from the dead. And coming along to boost the long-term chances of survival? Guest star Katie Holmes.

It's a reunion of sorts for Holmes and Eli producer Greg Berlanti, who worked together on "Dawson's Creek." "We really wanted to bring eyeballs to the show and do anything we could to get people talking about the show," says Berlanti. "So I went and I begged her."

Holmes will appear in the new season's second episode (scheduled for October 21) as an attorney — though, says Berlanti, she won't be practicing law. "She's doing a lot of work in the episode, she's in a significant part of the episode … She's an incredible actress and a good friend."

And yes, he says, like most of the characters on this fantasy/drama/musical, "she's singing and dancing."

From ABC's standpoint, the value of going Holmes is fairly obvious. "For a show we believe had a tough loss from the strike," says ABC Entertainment President Stephen McPherson, "it helps with promotion."

So what about star Jonny Lee Miller's ex-wife Angelina Jolie, a reporter asked — would she ever do a guest shot? "You'd have to ask her, I'm afraid," says Miller.

As for the status of show's primary musical vision, George Michael, Berlanti says they're trying to fit a guest shot into his schedule. "He really wants to come back…we've been talking about a possible Christmas episode he would do."

Stone''s season ended with Eli having brain surgery, which was meant to resolve whether his visions were from God or the result of an aneurysm. So, which was it? "We'll resolve pretty definitively whether Eli believes he's a prophet or not," says producer Marc Guggenheim.

Don't panic. He's choosing prophet.