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Remembering George Michael’s delightfully unexpected TV career

On Sunday (Dec. 25), singer George Michael died at age 53.

While fans the world over know him for his work in ’80s pop duo Wham! — bringing hits like “I’m Your Man” and “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” to the masses — as well as his solo work (his song “Father Figure” gained new life in movies like “Deadpool” and “Keanu”), George Michael proved himself to be way more than just a pop singer. And over the past decade, he’s influenced the world of television  in some unexpected and exciting ways.

The ‘Extras’ series finale

Over the years, George Michael may have battled his own personal demons, but in the 2007 series finale of HBO’s “Extras,” the singer owned his previous public indiscretions with a humorous cameo alongside Ricky Gervais. It was the first time he appeared on camera in such a role and his natural charisma shined through.

The soul of ‘Eli Stone’

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“Eli Stone” may have been short-lived on ABC, but the show exuded a quirky charm. And while Jonny Lee Miller was the star of the legal drama, the real standout was George Michael. Returning to TV after “Extras,” the Greg Berlanti-run series found the pop singer appearing in Stone’s ongoing hallucinations. He was a natural and his performance throughout the show’s early episodes helped pave the way for a Season 2.

RELATED: George Michael accident: Singer finally leaves hospital after head injury

The first incarnation of Carpool Karaoke

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Before James Corden took over “The Late Late Show,” he was known more for his roles in the UK — as well as on Broadway. In 2011, when he played the character of Smithy in BBC’s “Comic Relief” charity special, the Carpool Karaoke concept was born. Joining Corden was Michael, and what transpired was the first ever incarnation of the talk show host’s popular late night segment. We have to wonder, though, if Smithy never picked up George Michael, would Carpool Karaoke even exist?

An ‘Arrested Development’ namesake

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Okay, hear us out. “Arrested Development” may not have ever featured the face, likeness or voice of George Michael… but hard to deny the way the series continually paid tribute to the pop icon. It turns out, George Michael Bluth (Michael Cera) was named after the man and it’s that tiny detail, alone, that helped introduce the singer to a new audience and level of pop culture stardom.

Rest in peace, George Michael. You’ll be missed.

Category: Music TelevisionCelebrities: James Corden Jonny Lee Miller Ricky GervaisTV Network: ABC CBS HBO

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