Fall TV Preview

Fall TV First Impression: CBS' Elementary Finds a Holmes in New York City

The broadcast networks have more than 20 shows debuting this fall, including a Revolution-ary drama from J.J. Abrams and Eric Kripke, a Nashville home for Connie Britton and a new comedy from Friends‘ Matthew Perry. To help you prep for it all, TVLine is offering First Impressions based on the not-for-review pilots.

Next up on our list….

THE SHOW | CBS’ Elementary (Thursdays, 10/9c)

THE COMPETITION | Scandal (ABC), It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia/The League (FX), Rock Center With Brian Williams (NBC)

THE CAST | Jonny Lee Miller (Eli Stone), Lucy Liu (Southland) and Aidan Quinn (Prime Suspect)

RELATED | Fall Preview: TVLine’s Snapshot Guide to All the New Shows

THE SET-UP | Miller, here getting to keep his British accent, is Sherlock Holmes, a onetime homicide detective for Scotland Yard and recovering addict now serving as a consultant for the NYPD. Liu plays Joan Watson, a surgeon-turned-sober companion hired by Holmes’ father to keep him away from his smack of choice, while Quinn is Sherlock’s police liaison, Capt. Tobias “Toby” Gregson.

RELATED | Get TVLine’s First Impressions of ABC’s Last Resort and The CW’s Arrow

THE FIRST IMPRESSION | With Sherlock currently wowing the crowds on BBC One (and Stateside via PBS), the challenge for CBS was to cook up its own take on the iconic sleuth, ergo the NYC trappings and the gender switch for his No. 1. And while Miller’s Sherlock is every bit as cocksure and brusque as the one played by Benedict Cumberbatch across the pond (or Robert Downey Jr.’s big-screen incarnation), that doesn’t make his performance any less entertaining. (That said, while plenty colorful — and plentifully tattooed — he comes off as perhaps 20 percent less “alien” than Sherlock‘s Holmes.) Though Liu is in most every scene with Miller, Watson is required to spend the pilot being taken aback by her ward’s eccentricities and prowess and having her own inner demons sussed out by his hyper-observational skills; as such, she is only allowed an instance or two to “pop” in her own right. (And while I won’t judge her New York Mets fandom, I will choose to look sideways at her matter-of-factly receiving a cell phone call in an underground subway car. Possible? Sure. But rare.) Nonetheless, Liu shows signs of proving a good match for Miller; surely her character will be fleshed out now that the initial groundwork has been laid.
     To those proactively cringing at the idea of Elementary playing a Will They/Won’t They thing ‘tween Holmes and Watson, you will find zero indication of that being on the books; the “warm” closing exchange of the trailer posted below is not an accurate edit. We can only hope the inevitable cadre of ‘shippers don’t get carried away.

RELATED | Fall TV First Impression: Shawn Ryan’s Last Resort Makes a Splash

THE TVLINE BOTTOM LINE | There’s no mystery here — Elementary is poised to be another hit for CBS. Sharing DNA with (and co-opting a time slot from) that super-observant Mentalist and on the same network that just revived Unforgettable‘s details-obsessed Carrie Wells, the Sherlock Holmes branding is but icing on the cake (or cream on the trifle). Meanwhile, the competitive landscape presents a two-horse race, with ABC’s juicy/buzzy (and yet somewhat unproven) Scandal the only major contender and Elementary enjoying a beefier lead-in (Person of Interest aka last season’s most-watched freshman drama).

Watch a video preview for Elementary, then vote in our poll below.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. alyssa897 says:

    I am looking forward to Elementary. I am a huge fan of BBC’s Sherlock and I honestly don’t think anyone can write Sherlock better than Moffat, Gatiss and company, nor can any one portray Sherlock better than Benedict, but I will have an open mind while watching this show. I am a fan of Johnny Lee Miller and miss him since Eli Stone was cancelled so I’m rooting for him.

    • DL says:

      This. I’m also a fan of BBC’s Sherlock, and I completely agree that it’s unlikely Elementary will surpass its predecessor, though I too will be checking out CBS’s take on Holmes for the excellent Mr. Miller. I don’t understand the philosophy that it has to be either/or with Sherlock vs. Elementary. I fully expect to enjoy both shows. It’ll also be nice to see Miller playing a darker, more tortured character a la Trainspotting or his excellent villainous turn in Dexter.

      • moobear says:

        I agree. Sherlock is also done as a yearly trilogy, so we only get this once a year intense immersion in that amazing version, so I’m looking forward to 20 some odd episodes (here’s hoping) that include a more lengthy dissection of Doyle’s brilliant characters.

        While I look forward to having a female Watson, I love how Sherlock handles the Holmes/Watson friendship…..with Watson contently having to explain their not togethertogether :)

  2. Alex says:

    Wow that’s a good time slot…virtually no competition! This is going to be a hit for sure. Looks pretty good, can’t wait to check it out.

  3. shuayb says:

    Blegh, Its laughable actually that they decided to make a show like this. Its exactly like The Mentalist. And let me tell you something they will eventually get Watson and Holmes to hook up!

    • Jessica says:

      Yeah, this Sherlock Holmes show is so much like the Mentalist. It’s almost like The Mentalist is one of those shows like House and Psych that are thinly veiled Sherlock Holmes adaptations that won’t admit it….Hmmm…

      • Holly says:

        I’m pretty sure both House and Mentalist openly admitted being at least inspired by Sherlock Holmes.

      • Brendan says:

        Yeah, David Shore openly admits that it was inspired by Sherlock Holmes. The names ‘House’ and ‘Wilson’ are even homages to the original…..

    • Miss_Marbles says:

      You know everything about a show from a 4-minute trailer? What’s the evidence that Holmes and Watson will hook up? That they have complementary anatomical parts? Why is it so unbelievable that the writers of the show won’t stick to canon? And I mean DOYLE’S canon, which BBC Sherlock is NOT. Holmes and Watson were not lovers! What actual evidence is there that CBS won’t stick to that?

      • Rockethound says:

        When has any American show NOT included the “will they/won’t they” dynamic when there are two leads of different genders?

      • Mary says:

        I’m thinking that the only way Holmes and Watson’s relationship will stay platonic is if one of them is gay. I can’t see how it would be avoided in any other way.

  4. soarin829 says:

    Never been a fan of Lucy Lui. That’s the main reason I don’t think I can get behind this.

  5. Tmac11 says:

    It’s just unnecessary with BBC’s Sherlock being one of the best shows on TV and this looking like another Mentalist

    • Miss_Marbles says:

      Unnecessary? Who cares if a show is “necessary” or not? And who says it can’t be as good as another show? BBC Sherlock is stunning, but it’s FAR from perfect. Not to mention that it occurs as three 90-minute every 18 months or so, not exactly a satisfying schedule.

      The team behind Elementary has a phenomenal track record, and I have every confidence that they’ll tweak whatever they need to to make this a great show.

      • Lost says:

        Yes. BBC Sherlock is three 90 minute episodes every 18 months… but they are amazingly written and beautifully crafted stories. This is just CBS trying to jump on the Sherlock Holmes Bandwagon and rake in a little extra dough by more or less stealing an original idea from a fantastic show. There is no way that a show that airs 60 minute episodes every week can match up to all the work and writing and *thought* that goes into the BBC version. Honestly, I’m willing to wait three or four years if it means I keep getting the quality that BBC is giving me; I’m a patient person who prefers the quality over the quantity. And honestly, I *prefer* my Watson as a man; this is coming from a woman. Its not edgy making Watson a woman; they did that so they can make the Conservative American feel comfortable about the sexual tension. They’re gonna have Holmes and Watson end up together and its gonna take the single most interesting relationship(bromance or romance, whichever you see) and make it so painfully dull and vanilla that I’m gonna wanna bash my brains in. This show is going to flop.

        • Tracer says:

          The Basil Rathbone Sherlock Holmes movies featured Holmes fighting Nazis back in the 1940s. I’m pretty sure that didn’t come from Arthur Conan Doyle.

          Great as it is, there is absolutely no way that you can say that Moffat’s modern-day Sherlock Holmes is an “original idea.” It’s simply wrong.

  6. Renee says:

    Yep I’m looking forward to this. And like alyssa above I’m a huge BBC Sherlock fan, but I’ll give it a shot. I think the secret for me will be to ignore the name. Just pretend it isn’t based on a character I know and just go with it.

    And Matt there is zero chance the shippers won’t get carried away. The depth of an inhale and flare of nostril will be examined in great detail and will prove the feelings between the characters…wait and see.

  7. We already have BBC’s Sherlock and one Sherlock Holmes is enough. Also Lucy Lui? No thank you!

    • Miss_Marbles says:

      NO SUCH THING as “enough” Sherlock Holmes. I’d like my dose weekly, thank you! And not with some godawful cliffhanger that attempts to hold my interest for 18 months until the next 3 shows come out. I’m looking forward to seeing what this cast & crew does with this adaption of canon Sherlock Holmes (which BBC Sherlock is NOT).

  8. gracie says:

    they keep saying that it’s Sherlock Holmes based on the stories by Conan Doyle, but it’s so removed from those stories and novels that it’s like just another detective drama out there.
    it’s not even original. there had been a female Watson before Lucy Liu (The Return of Sherlock Holmes), taking Holmes from the Victorian era had already been done (BBC Sherlock) and setting him in New York had also been done before (Sherlock Holmes in New York).
    bottom line, I’m predicting this will be a hit… like a mile from the bull’s eye.

    • Miss_Marbles says:

      In fact, CBS had two Sherlock adaptions (both TV Movies) that set Sherlock in modern times and that had a female Watson, one in the 1980’s, and one in the 1990’s, so they CERTAINLY beat Moffat’s show to the punch.. BBC Sherlock was FAR from the first to bring Holmes forward from the Victorian era into modern times. The marvelous series of films starring Basil Rathbone were made in the 1940’s and, ta da! set in the 1940’s. Rathbone’s Sherlock uses all the modern conveniences of the time and fights Nazi’s. So the BBC Sherlock writers hardly designed the concept.

      • Lost says:

        Rathbones hardly counts considering taking him and putting him in the 1940’s isn’t as hard as taking him and putting him in the 21st century… and actually still making him seem amazing in comparison to how far the crime scene investigation technology has come, even since the 1940’s. And both the aforementioned CBS adaptations? I’ve heard that they weren’t that great. Seriously, why would you make John Watson a woman? For that matter, why would you make him an *Asian* woman? That makes no sense. Its not edgy, its not original(seriously, every fandom has at least ONE fanfiction where the male characters become female; not that original *at all*), it just makes things more “comfortable” for the people who aren’t ready to deal with the fact that, HELLO! Its the 21st century! Two men can be best friends and still have amazing chemistry. And its not that big of a deal if they happen to twiddle with the sexual tension!

        • Tracer says:

          “Rathbones hardly counts considering taking him and putting him in the 1940′s isn’t as hard as taking him and putting him in the 21st century”

          How do you figure that? Over half a century had passed between Doyle’s Holmes and Rathbone’s Holmes. You seriously don’t think that “counts”?

          You were totally unaware that Rathbone’s Holmes existed before you made the “original” claim, weren’t you? Nice try.

  9. Holly says:

    I will definitely watch Elementary. Curious about Jonny Lee Miller, another “Trainspotting” alum, and also Aidan Quinn.

  10. Hate Lucy Liu. Won’t be watching. Cumberbatch for Sherlock always!

  11. Suzie says:

    I’ll have to struggle to get past my impression that Miller is Robson Green’s psychopathic twin. I like Lucy Liu, but don’t really see how they will make up for the usual bromance between Holmes and Watson that’s so beautifully captured on the Sherlock series. To me, this is just another case of over mining established characters because there is no originality in today’s TV writers. How long before they resurrect Zorro or the Cisco Kid?

    • Miss_Marbles says:

      I miss Zorro. Loved it when I was a kid. Would love it again! And wow, talk about a sweeping generalization… there is NO originality in today’s TV writers? REALLY? And BBC Sherlock took those exact same characters as in the 200-plus adaptions of “Sherlock Holmes” there have been. Why is okay for BBC to adapt the same old characters but not CBS? And there’s no reason that a man and a woman can’t have the exact same sort of friendship as two men can have. We’re all people, right?

      • Lost says:

        BBC can do it because BBC did it and made it beautiful. CBS is just doing it to cash in on the big bucks. And a man and a woman can be great friends, sure! The point is though, with Sherlock, it wasn’t a man and a woman. It was two men. And with American TV shows, they never just leave the Man and Woman as “just friends” because in America, a man and a woman can’t just be friends. I’m willing to bet my life that they will stick Sherlock and “Joan”(*gag*) together as a couple around season three. If it doesn’t flop out the gate like it should.

  12. Molly says:

    I will not be watching this. I don’t think anything could be better than Sherlock and I almost resent them for mucking about with the Sherlock Holmes series so much. It’s barely recognizable as part of the overall Sherlock Holmes universe.

  13. Alex says:

    Pass. They WILL hookup Watson and Holmes and I’d just as soon avoid that trainwreck, thank you very much. I’d rather watch 3 meticulously crafted Moffat episodes a year than 22 episodes of “the Mentalist/Sherlock + boobs.”

    • Miss_Marbles says:

      You have a problem with … boobs? That’s all that a female Watson would represent to you?

    • Olivia says:

      Congratulations on this sexist comment, mate. Nice to know a woman can be dismissed as “boobs”, because it’s not like we’re people or anything. Speaking of women, Moffat’s insanely misogynistic treatment of Irene Adler is the reason I’ll never watch his version, and Watson being a woman is *the* reason I’m checking out this version. Including women in your show and writing them well makes us want to watch, who knew?

      • Moff. says:

        Get off your high horse. Moffat is far and away one of the cleverest writers of his time and his treatment of Irene Adler was an incredibly update/adaptation of the how she was envisioned by A.C.D. She’s very much portrayed as Sherlock’s equal, Watson’s superior and stunningly characterized. You want to go head and bash someone for putting up a sexist post? go right a head. But Watson being a woman as the main reason you’re checking out this version? Disgustingly sexist. Watch what’s well written and pass on Crap like this. You can’t speak on something you haven’t seen.

        • Olivia says:

          Wow, such a dramatic reaction to my stating I’ll watch this version because it will star a woman. I think you need to get some perspective on life if you’re going to get so defensive over something so simple.

          I choose all of my entertainment based on how they treat women, being that I am one and I’ve spent my entire life watching us get the short shrift. Whether it be barely having any presence in a show, being used simply as a damsel-in-distress who needs to be constantly rescued, being there only to be objectified, etc.

          Lol @ being called sexist. Let’s look at this logically, shall we? Sherlock Holmes is originally a male partnered with another male as Watson. Being that there’ve been roughly 42 gazillion television shows with male/male leads (and I’ve watched several of them in my lifetime), yet another repeat of this doesn’t appeal to me in the slightest. This incarnation will feature a woman as one of the leads, therefore I now want to watch as it is something different, and I will also be able to identify with a female lead more readily than a male one.

          I’ve read plenty about the treatment of IA on Sherlock, being that there was quite an outcry over the way her character was written, so much so that Moffat’s commented this criticism himsel. Therefore I’ve read various articles about how people see the way he wrote her as offensive. You think she was written well, I’ve read otherwise – we’re all entitled to our opinions.

          As for speaking of what I haven’t seen, correct me if I’m wrong, but you haven’t seen this show, yet you’re writing it off already. Why don’t you follow your own advice and give it a watch before declaring it crap.

  14. Ally says:

    Not going to bother watching this. Too must Sherlock out there. Hate the idea of modernizing it.

  15. Aimee says:

    Shippers will get carried away…it’s what they do. I can just sense the fandom dividing into two camps already

  16. Jason says:

    I wasn’t a big fan of Liu either until I saw her on Southland. I’ll be checking this show out.

  17. Lee says:

    How convoluted can this whole premise get – Watson is hired vs Watson and Holmes meeting and bonding on their own? Awful change – besides the gender change, the city change, etc.

    I’m sure CBS will likely have a success on their hands with this – but, no thanks from me. Cumberbatch & Co have my heart as the only Sherlock I’m interested in seeing.

    I’d hate to be JLM because even if the show does well, the reviewers are likely going to be comparing his Sherlock to Cumberbatch’s and I wouldn’t want to be on that end of things.

    • Miss_Marbles says:

      JLM is a phenomenal actor, and it’s already been well-proven that he can hold his own against Cumberbatch. After all, they just shared an award for “Frankenstein,” in which they trade off the same role on alternating nights. Cumberbatch is a fine actor, but he’s not the be-all and end-all. Certainly not of Holmes, not against either Basil Rathbone or Jeremy Brett !!

  18. Blonde says:

    Love Johnny, love Aiden Quinn. I’ll be watching this. Also, who says you can’t have two Sherlock’s on the air? The BBC/PBS version is only on for three weeks once a year. Plus, the next season probably won’t air in the US until 2014.

  19. Mitholas says:

    Terrible pun, TVline!

    This show doesn’t really look like it sets itself apart from any of the other police procedurals with and “offbeat” crime solver. I’m so deeply over this type of show…

  20. To me it’s just ANOTHER crime drama. It’s a shame CBS is using “Sherlock Holmes” to get publicity. Because let’s face it, it’s a DULL interpretation of the great detective.

  21. robinepowell says:

    I can’t see anything, just hear them talking. Btw, I LOVE BBC’s Sherlock and watched the two seasons when they aired on PBS. Also liked the movies with Robert Downey Jr. ;)

  22. TheBeach says:

    For me, casting a female in the Watson role is just wrong. It totally throws off the Holmes/Watson dynamic. If they absolutely had to add a female lead (which obviously the English didn’t find necessary to be successful), then why not make it the police chief.

    • Miss_Marbles says:

      What dynamic would THAT be… being close friends? A man and a woman can’t be close friends?

      • TheBeach says:

        Read the books!

        • Lost says:

          And to add to that: In American TV, NO. NO A MAN AND A WOMAN CAN’T BE JUST FRIENDS. Seriously, have you paid attention to *any* American Television? Any at all? If there is a man and a woman who are main characters, the writers will draw out this boring, contrite will they, won’t they crap. They do it in *every* show. Making Watson a woman? It was the safe route to tackle the really close relationship/sexual tension.

    • Olivia says:

      This is exactly what’s wrong with entertainment today: casting women as tokens that don’t actually matter and all the good roles go to men, because men are the ones who are actually important and interesting, right? I don’t watch tv shows where women get the scraps after all the men have gotten the good characters, which is why I’ll definitely be checking out this version.

      • Lost says:

        Get the scraps? Seriously? I would hardly call John Watson scraps. Have you read the books? He literally saves Sherlock’s life *constantly*, he’s a war hero *and* a doctor. And he’s the only person in the world who can live with Sherlock Holmes and *not* shoot him. While I don’t *like* that they’ve made him a woman in this adaptation(and before I get screeched at for being “sexist”, I am a woman too), I’d hardly say that he is scraps. John Watson is literally the heart of the show/books. He *is* who the watchers/readers use to connect not only with the world but with Sherlock himself. Its hard to feel bad for someone who is, quite literally, an utter asshole. You calling him scraps is highly insulting as he is an *extremely* important character. They did not cast a woman into a scrap role; if anything, John Watson is very nearly the most important character.

        • Olivia says:

          Pro-tip: Women are capable of being sexist against other women, it’s called internalised misogyny.

          Reading comprehension tip: I was referring to the fact that *usually* women get the scraps, but I will be checking this out *because* a woman is playing a lead, a.k.a. not scraps. Maybe next time you could funnel some of that righteous indignation into reading a comment properly first before commencing with your ranting.

  23. mike says:

    I love BBC Sherlock. I caught the preview for Elementary and I can’t say I was dissapointed, because it was exactly what I figured. It borrows more from CSI than anything Sherlock did. Instead of making other officers competent at their jobs, make them inept and foolish. I seriously have problems believing and investigator had problems telling the difference between 2 broken glasses and one. “I looked it up on Google”. Yeah, that just removes all the elegance and mystique from one character to let the audience know that “Why bother to deduce anything when I have Google at my fingertips.” Oh wait, that was suppose to he humor. I’m sorry, the jokes are bad as well. Dull. Boring. Bad. Knowing American audiences, it will get nice ratings and last 6 seasons letting its viewers Brain’s fart till they can’t remember.

    • Miss_Marbles says:

      Um… BBC Sherlock uses google, too! On his phone, remember? When he’s looking at the painting in “The Great Game” and trying to figure out the clue in it, he’s googling like mad!! That’s not the only time he uses it, either. Why on earth would Sherlock pass up a resource like Google? If it’s the simplest and easiest way to learn something, he’d be stupid not to use it.

  24. godzilla's foil says:

    Interesting. They say this is a modernization, but it’s actually the opposite — after all, there’s no doubt they will make a dull old-style procedural out of it with the usual, strong will-they-won’t-they permeating the beaten franchise, two things older audiences seem to adore and never get tired of. And the movies are intended for the younger generations, so it’s just a way of milking a public-domain character for all audiences. Considering The Mentalist is a hit (and shouldn’t be, by any account) and the competition here is little, count Elementary as another sure hit for CBS.

  25. Sheldon W. says:

    Let’s be clear. Elementary is nowhere near as good as Sherlock, which spends up to eight months on its three feature-length episodes. For an hour pilot that was cobbled together remarkably quickly (for American TV), it’s still very good – and Miller’s Holmes is as valid a take on the canonical one. As a character, he’s nothing like other CBS Holmes wannabes (like Patrickj Jane) in any respect other than his keen observational skills.

    Despite his knowledge (and use) of modern technology, he is as much like Benedict Cumberbatch’s Holmes as Cumberbatch’s Holmes is like Jeremy Brett’s – which is to say they exhibit similar intelligence and skills, as well as classic Holmesian personalities, but interpret them very differently. A vague similarity in the way Holmes uses of technology in Elementary and Sherlock can be explained by the nature of the technologies involved, rather than intenional imitiation of Sherlock by Elementary.

    And you’re absolutely right, that trailer is edited in a way that is completely misleading vis-a-vis Elementary’s Holmes/Watson relationship. There is literally nothing in the pilot to suggest any inkling of the remotest specualtion of a possibility of a romantic relationship between them. There’s even something of a question of whether they’ll ever even be friends in the classic Holmes/Watson mode – though that will have to happen if the show is to be a success.

    I quite enjoyed Elementary’s pilot and can see it becoming a very good series, but it can never equal Sherlock because it will suffer from the pressue to produce twenty-two to twenty-five episodes per season – and will be written by probably four times as many writers (Sherlock has had three writers over its six episodes; Elementary will have close to a dozen writers, plus who knows how many assistants), which means the show’s vision will be refracted through that many more creative people.

    That said, it’s still a series that, as a serious Holmesian (though not to the level of a Baker Street Irregular – I’m not that fanatical… not quite), am anticpating with a certain degree of enthusiam.

    Just sayin… – I give the pilot a B+.

  26. Katzarina says:

    i find it ridiculous that people believe this show can’t co-exist with sherlock. I don’t know about anybody else but isn’t the sherlock holmes stories interpreted differently for every director. I’m a huge fan of the robert downey jr sherlock holmes movies but it doesnt stop me from enjoying Cumberbatch’s impression. Also, sherlock is a british show. I’m pretty sure a lot of americans don’t even know what it is. I don’t get BBC so i had to watch sherlock online. personally, i think elementary would do just fine. And yes, the shippers are definitely going to go crazy with this pair. It happens all the time.

    • CCdrk says:

      It’s not that they can’t coexist, but that I feel CBS is kinda gross for trying. It wasn’t until Sherlock got its acclaim that they started to throw together their own project. I can practically here the dollar signs ka-ching in their eyes. I shouldn’t hate CBS for wanting to cash in, but after a history of watching shows that were famous in other countries (Sherlock is just icing on the cake) being “borrowed” and remade in America. It’s insulting. That being said, I don’t mind there being another show about Holmes because I love the character. But I sometimes wish it was about creativity and making visions come to life, rather than catching and using fads to get ratings.

      • Mags says:

        CBS actually approached Moffat to do an American version of BBC’s Sherlock, and he turned them down due to his commitment to Sherlock/Doctor Who. CBS just went ahead with it anyway. So I’d say yes, it’s blatantly a rip-off of Sherlock.

  27. Ram510 says:

    Thursdays @ 10 on broadcast is all about SCANDAL!!! But I will have my handsful cause on cable I have Always Sunny/The League and Psych. But CBS sure is unoriginal with the super observant detectives and using The Mentalist old time slot lol. I liked Johnny Lee Miller in Eli Stone and Dexter. But will have to catch this show OnDemand if at all, I’m not excited about yet another procedural at all

    • the girl says:

      I will be with you, over on ABC, watching Scandal live. That said, I might watch this a few times On Demand to give it a shot. I am not a big fan of shows like this, never could get into The Mentalist, so this might not be one for me. But I like JLM and Lucy Liu so that’s what made me curious.

      • Chester says:

        I am actually hoping that this show will get Scandal and Shonda Rhimes ridiculous monologues off the air on Wednesdays at 10!

  28. lori says:

    i like the Mentalist when it was called PSYCHE!

  29. Sarah says:

    I’ve loved Miller as an actor since Eli Stone and his Dexter season (though I think the writers didn’t quite use him right) he’s a brilliant actor. I can give Liu a chance – it’ll be like the actress who played opposite Damien Lewis on his detective show she’s just kind of there struggling to keep up.

    I do wish they hadn’t used the Holmes name to bring in viewers. I don’t see how they can stick to anything remotely resembling Holmes with the structure of American TV as is and I am going to miss the Holmes/Watson bromance. Much prefer that to whatever the Liu relationship will become.

  30. Melody Paris says:

    There aren’t very many new shows I’m interested in, but this one is definitely on my list to check out.

  31. Red Jane says:

    Elementary is one of the few new shows I am looking forward to. Really liked Miller as Eli Stone (adorable) and in Dexter (so creepy) so can’t wait to see him as Holmes. While waiting for Elementary I checked out BBC’s Sherlock and found it amazing too. Since BBC only makes 3 (long) eps every year and a half, it will be good having Elementary to help out with the Holmes’ withdrawal…

    For those who can catch the filmed version, Miller & Cumberbatch are together in a Frankenstein play directed by Danny Boyle

  32. vix101 says:

    With all the inevitable comparisons to Sherlock thought US fans might be interested to know that JLM and BD both shared an best stage actor award for a recent theatre production of Frankenstein in London where they switched places every night between playing the Doctor and the monster. Apropos that they both play Holmes now.

  33. anakl says:

    I for once, enjoy everything related to Sherlock Holmes’ story & his dynammic w/ Watson… so that’s one reason to why I love Sherlock, Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downing Jr/ Jude Law) & now Elementary…
    In my opinion, there’s nothing wrong in rewriting the classics… so I’m headed to Liu & Miller’s NYC crime scenes… it’s great to have Watson as a woman… it will be fun to watch them respond to one another…

  34. Geri says:

    So let’s see: the Sherlock Holmes stories contain certain immutable facts

    1 The bromance between Holmes and Watson
    2 A smart alec hero who is ALWAYS right
    3 Who lives at 221B Baker Street. LONDON
    4 Whose sidekick is a competent soldier / doctor who stands at his side come what may because of loyalty.
    5 Who does, at times, resort to a 7% solution of cocaine between cases – not during or instead of

    So CBS has decided none of those ingredients matter. What’s left? The name of the hero and the last name of his ‘friend and colleague’. Why bother? Oh yes, cash.


    • Miss_Marbles says:

      1) It is a FRIENDSHIP! There is no reason a man and a woman can’t have exactly the same sort of FRIENDSHIP
      2) In canon (REAL canon, as in Doyle’s story) Sherlock certainly doesn’t dazzle people to be a “smart alec.” He’s FAR from rude, and he makes mistakes, and he feels deeply for people. OH, are you referring to BBC Sherlock’s take on Holes? Because that’s FAR from canon.
      3) Well, he gets to enjoy living in another big city now… New York! And I’ll bet anything it’s not all that different from London.
      4) You need to look a little more closely at *canon* Watson’s military career. He was wounded almost immediately, had to be rescued, recuperated only to come down with an illness, and then is sent home. he was in NO way a hero!!! He says himself that his military career was hardly distinguished. And it’s a minor point of his character anyway in canon… he’s a DOCTOR much more than a war vet. And what is to say that CBS’s version of Watson won’t stand beside Holmes as loyally as canon Watson?
      5) CBS Holmes and canon Holmes are both drug addicts. Canon Holmes doesn’t use it like having a nice chocolate bar for rewarding himself after a good case. He feels the urge to use at highly inappropriate times, which worries Watson no end. It’s in the books! All over the books, in fact.

      — So BBC Sherlock didn’t do their story for…. cash? Did they donate it to charity?

      • Geri says:

        Sure men and women can be friends, but it’s never going to have the same flavour as a male/male (or female/female) friendship. To quote When Harry Met Sally, ‘The sex thing is always going to be a factor.’ (I’m paraphrasing, but that’s the gist.)

        Holmes in canon may not be as brusque with people as Mr Cumberbatch’s portrayal in the BBC series, but it’s also a different age. But even allowing for that, he would NEVER apologise for being right.

        If you don’t think New York is that different from London – I don’t even know where to begin. Oscar Wilde said once that the UK and the US were two countries separated by a common language. And language is only the beginning of the differences. I’m a Brit who lived in the US for 20 years and I can tell you first hand, even two great cities such as NY and London have far more differences than similarities. They have a different history, culture and rhythm. And Holmes belongs in London. It’s his home turf; he knows every inch of it. To be an Englishman in NY is to rob him of half the knowledge that helps him function. And yes, he can use google or whatever to fill in the gaps – but that’s not Holmes.

        Watson doesn’t have to have a distinguished career but at least he never lost his licence to practice medicine. And regardless of his military experiences, he proves himself a hero many times over during his work with Holmes. But I’ve no doubt Joan Watson will stay at Holmes’s side. She’s being paid to do so.

        I disagree with your assessment that a man who takes drugs on occasion to meet a specific need is an addict. Addiction is a compulsion to something; Holmes’s real addiction is to his work. As soon as a case comes up to interest him the drug is forgotten. I’ve read my Conan Doyle pretty avidly, but I don’t remember a case that was compromised because Holmes was injecting himself ‘at inappropriate times.’ As to the addiction being ‘all over the books’ that’s not quite accurate. It’s mentioned in the early stories, but not at all in the later ones. You can assume that Watson’s influence gradually weaned Holmes off the drug if you like, but it really isn’t accurate to say Holmes’s ‘addiction’ is all over the books.

        I do take your point that the producers of Sherlock were paid for their show, but I wasn’t intending to draw comparision between Elementary and the BBC show or any other version. However, I would point out that Gatiss and Moffat are self-professed Holmes ‘geeks’ who talked about a modern day adaptation for months before Sue Vertue suggested they should go ahead and do it. That rather implies that their motivation was love of the stories rather than cash. I doubt the CBS team can say the same.

        • Miss_Marbles says:

          Well THANK GOD I don’t have to get my understanding of male-female friendships from “Harry Met Sally!” Sex does NOT flavor everything. The one thing that CAN be said about people is that they are PEOPLE… no two are alike, which means that they are NOT condemned to act within anyone’s narrow view of what “male” and “female” mean. Men and women both can and DO have powerful, non-sexualized friendships, where they will move heaven and earth for each other.

          And THANK GOD I’m not depending on Oscar Wilde to wrap up the similarities/differences between the British and Americans for me in one mildly droll joke. Great cities are just that… great cities. I have lived in many, and adapted to many, and every one is a NEW ADVENTURE. Cultural differences are a delight, not a handicap!! I’m sure that Holmes would be flexible enough not to be “lost in space” just because he’s an Englishman transported to NYC. Poor man, if he were so fragile. How stimulating for a man with his great intellect to have new turf to explore! He’d probably have half the types of dirt and pollen in Central Park cataloged in the first week.

          • Rockethound says:

            And a mismatched crime-fighting duo in New York City is such an original concept….

          • Olivia says:

            Because originality is the driving force of Hollywood these days. Btw have you seen the reboot of a ten year old movie that was just released? Or one of the many sequels that’s yet to be released this summer? As far as I’m concerned, I judge everything on its own merit. Nikita is a continuation/reboot of both a movie and the resulting tv series, yet was written so well it doesn’t matter that it was spawned from something else. It’s an amazing show with great characters and a well-written plot. The writers for this show may yet do the same, so I’ll give it a shot.

      • miss_marbles_is_annoying says:

        please stop saying the same thing over and over again. we get it. you hate bbc’s version. but if you are entitled to tell us over and over again the bad things about moffat’s then we can tell you why we don’t like this. you’re not the only one who gets a say so please just shut up already

      • murley says:

        good grief you are awfully defensive of a show you haven’t even seen! i will be watching elementary because i love sherlock holmes. will it be as good as the bbc version? that would be tough but i will give it a fair chance and hope that it will be in its own way. i am honestly not sure how i feel about watson as a woman. i understand that men and women can be close friends (i have a best friend who is a boy) but to suggest that the relationship will be the same as if they were both men is really foolish. you can’t recreate an inimate relationship between two men when one is a woman. i don’t see how one could argue otherwise. the relationship between holmes and watson will be inevitably different and it is simply our choice as the viewer whether that is okay with us or not.

  35. Emma says:

    Jonny Lee Miller is a fantastic actor, but I just can’t get excited about this. The BBC’s Sherlock with Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman just so perfectly nailed modernizing the Sherlock stories than another version just seems superfluous. Not to mention that from what we’ve seen so far this seems like just another CBS procedural where the main characters happen to be named Holmes and Watson. Nothing seems even slightly derived from the Conan Doyle stories, but the change of setting is really what killed this for me. Sherlock Holmes is to London what Carrie Bradshaw is to New York, the city is practically a character in itself. So yeah, even as a huge fan of Sherlock Holmes I’m going to have to pass on this one.

  36. Olivia says:

    I don’t see why people are getting so up in arms about this new adaptation. If you don’t like it then… don’t watch? Seems fairly simple to me. Personally I’m looking forward to it because I like the gender switch with Watson, and we definitely need more Asian lead characters on television. I’m not usually into procedurals but I’ll be checking this one out for sure.

    • Rockethound says:

      Sadly, rather than being Holmes comrade-in-arms, a war hero and doctor, Watson in this version has been turned into a failed surgeon and nanny for Holmes. That this is the “female Watson” role really troubles me.

      • Olivia says:

        I’ll wait until after the episodes air before worrying too much, we don’t know a lot at the moment and all we’ve seen are some scenes from the pilot, which can always turn out much differently from the rest of the show. Can you say you’d have the same reservations if the background of Watson was the same yet it was played by a male? I’ll give them a chance before writing it off.

  37. Kristi says:

    None of the answers suffice – I chose “Absolutely” because I will ABSOLUTELY be checking it out of a combination of morbid curiosity and my consuming passion for all things Jonny Lee Miller. I can’t say I’ve been looking forward to it though, I’ve been fearing that it would be bad. I don’t want it to be. I really hope it manages to shine on it’s own and be something completely different from “Sherlock” (which I LOVE) so there can be no comparison.

  38. Viv says:

    The actors are fine: loves me some Lucy & Jonny but the writing is so boring. If yer gonna be dour be dark and scarey and dour; the dank, dark alleys of east london had prescence… so can the myths about haarlem and the old astor/vanderbilt cliffs on 191st street. the white horse tavern, the dakota, the homeless communities in central park & the all-nighters who waiti in line for tix to shakes in the park — NYC is just as mythical as London, FRICKING REALLY STORYTELL & USE IT!

    I’m no holmes purist. I’d watch this show if I can hear clever, original dialogue & get a little scarey thrill out of it. Be the X-Files Sherlock; re-make NY. And good luck, I really hope you make it. (Fix the writing, fix the writing, fix the writing…) xo

  39. darcywilson says:

    I am SO SICK of people comparing this to the BBC’s Sherlock! Guess what, Steven Moffat didn’t invent Sherlock Holmes! Yes, it is a fantastic show but it is not the be all and end all of Sherlock. It is one interpretation of many, and many to come. This is not a remake of that show, but an adaptation of the NOVELS! This show should be judged on its own merits and as a separate show, not as a remake of something which wasn’t original anyway.

  40. M says:

    Those who watched the pilot: is it (even loosely) based on a ACD story or not?

    I am mildly interested in the show, but I must say it’s a crime that Lucy wasn’t cast as Holmes. She’s more Holmes than Watson, imo.

    • christina says:

      YES FINALLY somebody that agrees with me. Been saying it since I heard about this travesty. If your gonna gender bend Sherlock….go all the way. Lucy would have made a Brilliant Sherlock herself. XD
      annnnd the fact that Watsons military career wasnt kept also pisses me off.

  41. mia says:

    Lucy Lui is pretty much the only reason I’m checking this out. It would have been nice for her to play Sherlock though….but audiences wouldn’t be able to handle a woman with Holmes’ personality, which is too bad.

  42. anglophenia says:

    As an avid fan of BBC’s Sherlock, I was very outraged to hear way back when that CBS commissioned a Sherlock pilot, but I thought, oh it’s not going to go to series.

    Obviously it has. I’m not *not* going to watch it because of Sherlock but rather because of Scandal which I think is Shonda Rhime’s strongest show since the first few seasons of Grey’s Anatomy. But let’s get a few things straight first.

    My problem is really that Elementary is just going to dilute the Sherlock Holmes brand. That’s what it comes down to. There’s simply just too much Sherlock at one time, and I get that CBS is targeting this to a different audience as the other Sherlocks, but it is just diluting the brand.

    The problem with American television (and this is why I love British television so much) is that the standard season is 24 one hour long episodes. The quality of each episode will be no where near the quality a smart Sherlock property deserves. The BBC spends 9 months creating 3 1.5 episodes, the Robert Downey Jr movies spent months for each 2.5 film, yet here there will be 8 months at most spent on 24ish hours of programming. Factor in commercial breaks and its really 42 minutes. As CBS develops shows to be procedurals, thats one story that has to be solved in 42 minutes, every week for 24 weeks. The story’s will not be as strong either.

    What CBS has done, is they have taken the Sherlock brand and used it to sell something they already can do well, the CSI’s, Mentalist, etc. They’re not adapting their current strategy to Elementary, but rather making Elementary work for them. It just isn’t a strong strategy because in the midst of other Sherlock programs, this one is going to burn out.

    Addressing the previous comments regarding CBS doing it for money, they absolutely jumped on the Sherlock Holmes bandwagon after seeing the critics for BBC’s Sherlock. CBS makes millions off of selling their shows into syndication (look at how much 2 Broke Girls and Mike & Molly went per episode just a few weeks ago). That is HOW CBS makes money. BBC on the otherhand, makes money off of it’s commercial brand BBC Worldwide and the profits of BBCW go back to the BBC and fund programs and such. Currently, BBCW isn’t making money off of Sherlock besides DVD and Blu-ray sales. So no, the BBC did not make Sherlock purely for the monetary gain like CBS.

    I love the BBC’s Sherlock because it is a fine piece of television. It’s cinematography rivals that of Oscar winning movies and the extreme detail is superb.

    I’m not wishing Elementary to fail, but I think that it could become a commercial success. But never will it be critically acclaimed like the BBC’s. It will be just another American television show that does well but it isn’t anything different than what CBS has done before.

    • katy917 says:

      I am British and let me tell you, I HATE British tv! Most shows we do are boring! And if they do manage to make a good show, by the time you begin to gt into it and invest in it, it’s finished! We’re lucky to get 6 episodes a year! There are few if any British made tv shows that I currently watch, prefer to stick to American shows, where I can become invested in characters and plots over 6 months, not 6 episodes! And know what really pisses me off? The bbc does not ONLY make money from bbc worldwide. It is the law in the uk that ANYONE who owns a tv must pay a tv licence of £150 a year to the bbc. This is regardless as to whether you watch the channel or not. Every household in Britain pays for these shows to be made. The bbc has 4 chanels, but most people only tend to watch bbc 1. I pay for satellite tv. I watch the other three chanels occasionally that have commercial breaks and so do not cost a licence fee, itv 1 and 2, channel 4 and Chanel 5. But I tend to stick to the satellite chanels as these are where I get my American tv.

      • anglophenia says:

        i understand that the beebs doesn’t only make money from their commercial chain, but in comparison to how the us networks work that’s where it makes a good portion of money as the only way american networks make money is off of ads and syndication. unlike the beebs, these networks don’t own the shows but instead are renting them for the period. the beebs didn’t necessarily make sherlock just for money, because they’d be getting the 150 quid from you no matter what.

  43. molly says:

    I’m a big fan of Sherlock Holmes in many adaptions but I can’t say anything is attracting me to this rather suspiciously timed cash in. The set up sounds exactly like dozens of other network procedurals with a currently fashionable franchise name tacked on.

    Neither actor is much of a draw, JLM has been excellent in British film and theatre but frankly his last outing as a lead of a US network show was desperately underwhelming, not a hint of his usual charisma and flair. Lucy Liu is just dire, I don’t think she’s had a facial expression since 1995 and I’ve seen less wooden acting Gerry Anderson’s Supermarionation shows.

    And frankly anyone who believes that they won’t be playing the will they/won’t they card within a half season (if it lasts that long) can’t have actually watched much US network TV.

    The only thing that really interests me in this amusing display of American crassness is will it crash and burn in the short term like most of their attempts at remaking UK shows or will the formulaic appeal of yet another cookie cutter procedural win them the same audience that seems to devour repetitive pap like Bones, Castle, the Mentalist, Monk etc etc etc…?

  44. Molly says:

    Too bad they cast Lucy Liu as Watson…I was excited about the show until I learned she would be in it. She has zero acting ability.

  45. Ruby says:

    I’ll stick to the BBC version thank you very much that takes place in England like it is supposed to, we don’t have to amercanize everything there are plenty of interesting characters from fiction they can do.

  46. Zoe says:

    I’m really interested in this show. Also, I think I’m already shipping Sherlock and Watson. -shrug- No regrets.

  47. Christian says:

    I hope this show crashes and burns because I hate CBS’ lazy way of programming!

  48. Emma says:

    after watching the pilot i must say that i am disapointed. i love the bbc sherlock and its hard to be objective but i dont feel the relationship between watson and holmes is anywhere near as good, in the books and the bbc adaptation you really connect with the characters straight away, i did not feel this was the case with Elementary.

    i am also concerned as to why the made watson a woman, if its because they did not want any potential homoerotic subtext or if they just wanted holmes and watson to have sexual tension then i am definatly not going to continue watching it.

    i even heard one of the acting cast say that they had pushed the boundries and that one of the most brilliant parts of the programme is holmes and watsons relationship, its amusing that they think that is the case.

  49. Emma says:

    A comment above suggested a female holmes, that would be very interesting, i would want to see that. i dont know why cbs did not do that instead it would have been more origional. also it would be interesing to see the relationship between holmes and mycroft if holmes was femael, and how other people treated her.

  50. Scott says:

    CBS moved The Mentalist to Sundays for this? It’s not going to last a whole season because comparisons to the excellent British remake “Sherlock” and the RDJ movies are inevitable and Elementary will be found lacking to both. Not interested.