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CBS’s Modern Sherlock Holmes Pilot Casts Lucy Liu as Watson

Lucy Liu will play Watson to Jonny Lee Miller’s Sherlock Holmes in Elementary, the CBS drama pilot that transplants the legendary detective from Victorian London to present-day New York City, TVLine reports.

The switch from John Watson to Joan Watson will help to put a little distance between BBC One’s modern Sherlock, which concluded its second season last month, and the American spin.

Stepping up with the first significant details of the show, Deadline contends Miller’s eccentric Holmes is a former consultant for Scotland Yard whose addictions force him into a New York City rehab clinic. Now out, he consults for the New York Police Department while living in Brooklyn with “sober companion” Watson, a surgeon who lost her license following a patient’s death. Robert Doherty (Medium) wrote the script for the pilot, which will be directed by Michael Cuesta (Homeland).

Liu, who rose to fame on Fox’s Ally McBeal before moving on to such films as Charlie’s Angels, Chicago and Kill Bill Volume 1, currently has a recurring role on TNT’s Southland.


  • Anonymous

    Lucy Lui has been surprisingly great in Southland.

  • Companionless Doctor

    Wow… it’s almost like this will end up being bad or something… 

  • Muddblud911

    It’s funny, I’m an American living in UK don’t watch much if any English television. Lets be honest 2 things in uk stand out around the world as truly awful…. The food, and the television haha. But I do watch two program’s here Doctor Who and Sherlock strangely written by the same person, go figure haha

  • Mark_whittington0607

    I’ll concede that the Americans produce better Action, SciFi, Drama, etc, now days, with a few exceptions, like that awful Life in Mars remake, simply because the networks out there have far more money to throw around for them. However you will, never, ever, on your best day, have better comedy shows than us. Even the US at it’s finest with shows like Futurama, Archer or Arrested Development can’t hold a candle to something like The Thick of It.

  • jay

    OK. So they are not gonna try to “clone” “Sherlock”. This might be watchable.

  • Michael J

    I’ve got no problem watching a smart woman on a tv series or film but when you mess with my favorite fictional detective sidekick Dr.Watson who has shown that he can hold his own in a battle then we really have a problem.Dr.Watson is a smart man who has proven time and time again why he is not only a great friend to Sherlock Holmes but a fighter.

    I am so tired of the gender bending thing with some of these great iconic characters we’ve all come to know and love.Zenescope Entertainment  who is a comic book publisher did exactly that with Mowgli from the Jungle Book.Their version of Mowgli is now that of a scantily clad, big cleavage teenage girl.Come on really?

    This is just plain stupid.What next? Are we going to see a female Captain America? The gender bending thing with these long established male iconic characters have got to stop.It’s just plain stupid.

    Why not create a new smart or powerful woman, instead of changing the gender of the male characters.I do not want to see a female Zorro.CBS is a dinosaur of a network.It’s literally the senior citizen network.They are so out of touch with what the young people want to see.

  • Michael J

    A thought just occurred to me.It’s only a matter of time before CBS starts playing the will they, won’t they game with their female Dr.Watson and Sherlock Holmes.You know what I’m talking about.The flirtation between the two of them is bound to happen.A man and a woman just as friends forever, when they work so close together in a tv series and are both single means that the odds are more in the favor of them eventually hooking up.You also have to remember that this takes place in our modern time too.

  • Lydia Taylor

    I do not think that this show will do good at all; Watson is now a woman and because of that there will be so much tension in this show between Sherlock and Watson. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote this as a crime fighting/mystery story with two good friends solving the mysteries. Why change a good thing? It has always been a very good story in the past (and for BBC now) why change it all up? 
    I can see potential for failure. :|

  • sandwich eater

    I’m surprised anyone even bothers watching CBS shows; they are the most boring, predictable shows on TV.  This is such a terrible idea; I’m all for making a new character for Liu to play, but she shouldn’t be Watson.

    I will continue watching the BBC version, and I will put my fingers in my ear and hum loudly if anyone around me mentions that there is a Sherlocke Holmes show on CBS.