Twenty-five years after his death, it's time to forget those 'Elvis is alive' rumors. Tonight, he turns up in heaven! Well, 7th Heaven anyway. When the WB show's producers sought a way to depict Rev. Eric Camden (Stephen Collins) living out his rock star fantasy, they decided to resurrect the King. The odd part is, turning Collins into Presley wasn't as hard as they imagined!
"Stephen Collins is not an unbelievable Elvis, he's a believable Elvis," exec producer Brenda Hampton tells TV Guide Online. "He's so good at singing as Elvis that we are afraid people are going to think that he's miming — but he's actually singing [himself]. I think our audience will be stunned."
The Presley parody arises from Eric's necessity for emergency open-heart surgery in tonight's episode (airing at 8 pm/ET). Taking a cue from Elvis's "Don't Be Cruel," Hampton explains: "When we saw him in surgery, we didn't want to see anything that was scary to children. So [writer Sue Tenney] came up with this fabulous idea of just showing what he's dreaming [under anesthesia]."
Following the health crisis, expect to see the Camden house all shook up, courtesy of Phyllis Diller. The wacky comedienne appears in the Nov. 11 episode as "a smoking, drinking, farting old woman who shows up to help Annie (Catherine Hicks)" during her husband's recovery. Hampton — who worked with Diller on Blossom — winks: "When I thought of this character, I wrote it for Phyllis."