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First Look at Elementary, CBS’s Modern Take on Sherlock Holmes

CBS has released the first official image of Jonny Lee Miller as Sherlock Holmes and Lucy Liu as Dr. Watson in Elementary, which transplants Arthur Conan Doyle’s legendary detective from Victorian London to present-day New York City. It’s one of four new series joining the network’s 2012-2013 schedule. Here’s the official description:

ELEMENTARY stars Jonny Lee Miller as detective Sherlock Holmes and Lucy Liu as Dr. Joan Watson in a modern-day drama about a crime-solving duo that cracks the NYPD’s most impossible cases. Following his fall from grace in London and a stint in rehab, eccentric Sherlock escapes to Manhattan where his wealthy father forces him to live with his worst nightmare – a sober companion, Dr. Watson. A successful surgeon until she lost a patient and her license three years ago, Watson views her current job as another opportunity to help people, as well as paying a penance. However, the restless Sherlock is nothing like her previous clients. He informs her that none of her expertise as an addiction specialist applies to him and he’s devised his own post-rehab regimen – resuming his work as a police consultant in New York City. Watson has no choice but to accompany her irascible new charge on his jobs. But Sherlock finds her medical background helpful, and Watson realizes she has a knack for playing investigator. Sherlock’s police contact, Capt. Tobias “Toby” Gregson (Aidan Quinn), knows from previous experience working with Scotland Yard that Sherlock is brilliant at closing cases, and welcomes him as part of the team. With the mischievous Sherlock Holmes now running free in New York solving crimes, it’s simple deduction that he’s going to need someone to keep him grounded, and it’s elementary that it’s a job for Watson. Rob Doherty, Sarah Timberman, Carl Beverly and Michael Cuesta, who directed the pilot, are executive producers for CBS Television Studios.

Elementary will air Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.


  • 0bsessions

    Sounds a whole hell of a lot like it’s just House, MD without the MD.

    (And yes, I know House is primarily an homage to Sherlock, but suffice to say: Sherlock in America has been done for the last eight years)

  • Relyks75

    Not to mention that the BBC has been doing an amazing job of transplanting Holmes into the modern era with SHERLOCK for the last couple of years!  I’d take Martin Freeman as Watson over Lucy Liu any day of the week.

    And Sherlock belongs in London…

  • Michael J

    There’s a process that happens on tv shows when it involves an attractive single man and woman working together to solve crimes.First comes the occasional bickering and disagreements this is followed by an unquestionable respect for one another.Then we have the will they or won’t they moments.This part is obvious with the simple signs of flirtation between the man and woman.Sometimes the signs aren’t so obvious.

    This is due to the resistance between the two working partners in hooking up but this barrier is eventually broken in the later seasons of said show.The third phase is the first kiss which leads to the bedroom and if the two are really serious about each other they become a couple.Fox tv show Bones is the best example of said partnership.

    CBS’s Elementary tv show could very well follow this pattern but at a more slower pace.

  • Richardcasey

    ugh, even that publicity shot looks like an American rip off of the BBC show. 

  • Orphan

    It’s a moot point arguing good or bad on this project. There is no way in hell this will get past 1 season anyway.Epecially on CBS.Besides this won’t allow Downey the chance to come on board to explore the gay subtext between Holmes and Watson if Watson is female in this version.

  • Lastnamecumbie

    I will watch it and give it a shot because I am a huge sherlock holmes fan

  • Cjorg2

    And I’d take Lucy Liu over Freeman any day of the week – excellent actress and easy on the eyes : )

  • Cjorg2

    There’s no gay subtext in the Downey Jnr versions whatsoever – you’re just shit-stirring, or reading your own issues into the stories.  What next? Hand and Chewbacca are lovers?

  • 0bsessions

    I didn’t realize Sherlock was set in modern day. I’ve been meaning to check it out, but I’ve got whole bunches of other TV to sift through.

  • 0bsessions

    If Sherlock and Watson have anything but a strictly platonic relationship, I will have my pitchfork ready.

  • Bethann

    Think there’s a problem in the fact some people seem to not know about “Sherlock” the BBC show..which has won Baftas and all kinds of awards.  Benedict Cumberbatch is the ICONIC Sherlock for this generation.  It was conceived by people who love the Holmes stories and know everything about them and it was done as a labor of Love.  There is passion and excellence behind it.
    To think anyone has not had time to watch it because of other t.v. shows….have read of people who have put it off and finally seen season 1 ( fact airing the last episode of season 2 (there are 3 because its 90 minutes and they are treated like movies..this Sunday night – considered by many as a Classic already) and felt really silly for not giving it a chance before because they loved it.
    “Elementary” seems like they’ve given the character the name Sherlock but it just happens to be that. 
    One thing “Sherlock” isn’t is an everyday procedural.  It does not look ordinary and like every other show.

  • Ian

    This just sounds so completely…….stupid.