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Can CBS' Elementary out-Holmes the BBC's Sherlock?

05.17.2012

A lifelong Sherlock Holmes fan, I absolutely love the recent BBC series SHERLOCK starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman. The quality of the show is phenomenal (only 3 episodes per season) and the writing is superb. Taking the original Conan Doyle stories and updating them for the 21st century, series creators Stephen Moffat and Mark Gatiss have crafted one of the best shows on any network in any country.

Not to be outdone by the Brits, CBS has a new Sherlock series of their own that was recently announced to premiere this fall.

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 (ITV's "Headcases"), Sarah Timberman, Carl Beverly and Michael Cuesta, who directed the pilot, are executive producers for CBS Television Studios.

Wait, Lucy Liu? As in CHARLIES ANGELS Lucy Liu? What the hell?

Surprisingly, it kind of works. While I have no doubt the show will not be as good as SHERLOCK, it does have some appeal to it. Transplanting Holmes to New York City but maintaining his addiction and quirky personality plays well. Miller looks like a natural Holmes. Liu gets to play the straight (wo)man to Holmes oddball and she seems to do well when showing character restraint.

Check out the ELEMENTARY trailer/behind the scenes clip and then look at the SHERLOCK trailer below it. Choose your preferred Holmes and explain why in the comments below.

Source: CBS

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10:23PM on 06/11/2012

hahaha nice try USA

I'm American and a HUGE fan of both Sherlock and Doctor Who. This is not a good idea. CBS just wants to do it because BBC did. No way will it be better than the team of Cumberbatch and Freeman or Moffat for that matter! I'm also a female and don't like the idea for "Dr. Joan Watson." no. No. NO. Overall this looks stupid and I agree it's just America poorly competing with England. Making a better Sherlock Holmes based TV show than Sherlock is just not possible.
I'm American and a HUGE fan of both Sherlock and Doctor Who. This is not a good idea. CBS just wants to do it because BBC did. No way will it be better than the team of Cumberbatch and Freeman or Moffat for that matter! I'm also a female and don't like the idea for "Dr. Joan Watson." no. No. NO. Overall this looks stupid and I agree it's just America poorly competing with England. Making a better Sherlock Holmes based TV show than Sherlock is just not possible.
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2:47PM on 05/19/2012

no thanks

the show is appropriately titled- it is Elementery - elementery school level, compaired with Sherlock. i'll stick to my 3 episodes per season Sherlock, because its quality, over quantity.
the show is appropriately titled- it is Elementery - elementery school level, compaired with Sherlock. i'll stick to my 3 episodes per season Sherlock, because its quality, over quantity.
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3:41PM on 05/18/2012

What an awful title for a show

this sounds awful but looks even worse. Nothing can compete with bbc's Sherlock and lets be honest this is all that it is. An american Tv show trying to compete with BBC's excellent Sherlock. sigh. Americans still copying brits achievements because we cant come up with anything orginal anymore.
this sounds awful but looks even worse. Nothing can compete with bbc's Sherlock and lets be honest this is all that it is. An american Tv show trying to compete with BBC's excellent Sherlock. sigh. Americans still copying brits achievements because we cant come up with anything orginal anymore.
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9:08PM on 05/18/2012
How exactly are two different shows from two different countries "competing"? Are you only allowed to watch one or the other?

BTW the show copying happens both ways, and with many countries around the world.
How exactly are two different shows from two different countries "competing"? Are you only allowed to watch one or the other?

BTW the show copying happens both ways, and with many countries around the world.
6:17AM on 05/18/2012
Interesting premise, and a good actor and a GREAT costar, but...it's just NOT Sherlock Holmes! The premise is so far removed, with only the team, the names (to an extent), and the general plot - solving mysteries - are where the similarities end. It just doesn't FEEL like Sherlock Holmes anymore. Why couldn't they just change the names and say, "Oh, sorry, vaguely similar, but no relation"? it irks me - see, I understand how different SHERLOCK is from the original source material, but it at
Interesting premise, and a good actor and a GREAT costar, but...it's just NOT Sherlock Holmes! The premise is so far removed, with only the team, the names (to an extent), and the general plot - solving mysteries - are where the similarities end. It just doesn't FEEL like Sherlock Holmes anymore. Why couldn't they just change the names and say, "Oh, sorry, vaguely similar, but no relation"? it irks me - see, I understand how different SHERLOCK is from the original source material, but it at least makes an attempt - and it SUCCEEDS - at FEELING LIKE SHERLOCK HOLMES. The names, the cases, the HUMOR - THAT is what makes the BBC show so special: different as it is in some ways, at the end of the day, it IS Sherlock Holmes!

But again: I like Johnny Lee Miller, and I love Lucy Liu, and they're starring in a mystery show together? Neat. JUST DON'T SAY IT'S SHERLOCK HOLMES.

(NOTE: I'm not going to talk about the two RDJ/JL movies...they're a whole other conversation entirely.)
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5:07AM on 05/18/2012

Hmmm....

I seriously doubt Elementary will come close to equalling the greatness that is Sherlock, but... it might be a decent enough way to pass the time while I pine away for the 3rd season. The wait is painfully long after all...
I seriously doubt Elementary will come close to equalling the greatness that is Sherlock, but... it might be a decent enough way to pass the time while I pine away for the 3rd season. The wait is painfully long after all...
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+1
3:47AM on 05/18/2012
While it's nice to see Jonny Lee Miller getting work, this doesn't sound terribly promising.
While it's nice to see Jonny Lee Miller getting work, this doesn't sound terribly promising.
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2:45AM on 05/18/2012
Cumberbatch and Freeman are a great team. SHERLOCK is an amazing show. This won't better it.
Cumberbatch and Freeman are a great team. SHERLOCK is an amazing show. This won't better it.
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12:48AM on 05/18/2012

No Thank You

I'll patiently wait for SHERLOCK to return at the end of 2013/early 2014. The umpteenth time rewatching of the 6 episodes will still blow the 48 episodes from the next 2 seasons of this shit-sounding retake out of the water. I mean, Holmes stories are NOT FOR another boring-ass weekly procedural, for God's sake! And Lucy Liu as a John Watson standy?? Give me a break!!
I'll patiently wait for SHERLOCK to return at the end of 2013/early 2014. The umpteenth time rewatching of the 6 episodes will still blow the 48 episodes from the next 2 seasons of this shit-sounding retake out of the water. I mean, Holmes stories are NOT FOR another boring-ass weekly procedural, for God's sake! And Lucy Liu as a John Watson standy?? Give me a break!!
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-5
12:11AM on 05/18/2012
"Taking the original Conan Doyle stories and updating them for the 21st century,"

Pass.

"Jonny Lee Miller as detective Sherlock Holmes and Lucy Liu as Dr. Joan Watson"

Double pass.
"Taking the original Conan Doyle stories and updating them for the 21st century,"

Pass.

"Jonny Lee Miller as detective Sherlock Holmes and Lucy Liu as Dr. Joan Watson"

Double pass.
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+9
11:26PM on 05/17/2012
No, it can't. CBS has to cater to American audiences, and American audiences like their Holmes a certain way. That way is not true to the original Holmes (see the feature films). Sherlock is a brilliant, modern day retelling, one of the best shows on TV. There's no way that CBS will be able to top it. At the very least, I hope the show is good.
No, it can't. CBS has to cater to American audiences, and American audiences like their Holmes a certain way. That way is not true to the original Holmes (see the feature films). Sherlock is a brilliant, modern day retelling, one of the best shows on TV. There's no way that CBS will be able to top it. At the very least, I hope the show is good.
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11:22PM on 05/17/2012

Good luck to CBS

because they're gonna need it. I've only seen one episode of Sherlock (The Hound of the Baskervilles) but it kicked the holy hell out of anything I saw in that Elementary preview. Cumberbatch and Freeman are amazing and Stephen Moffat is an incredible writer and showrunner.
because they're gonna need it. I've only seen one episode of Sherlock (The Hound of the Baskervilles) but it kicked the holy hell out of anything I saw in that Elementary preview. Cumberbatch and Freeman are amazing and Stephen Moffat is an incredible writer and showrunner.
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+15
10:33PM on 05/17/2012
I just watched Season 1 ep 1 of Sherlock tonight. No way in hell this crap on CBS will touch the BBC show. Cumberbatch is brilliant. Omg what a fabulous show Sherlock is.
I just watched Season 1 ep 1 of Sherlock tonight. No way in hell this crap on CBS will touch the BBC show. Cumberbatch is brilliant. Omg what a fabulous show Sherlock is.
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+15
10:25PM on 05/17/2012
Having rewatched Series 1 and 2 of "Sherlock" the CBS version won't even come close.
Having rewatched Series 1 and 2 of "Sherlock" the CBS version won't even come close.
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+15
9:34PM on 05/17/2012
The BBC Sherlock is brilliant. A perfect update to Holmes, done right and with respect to Doyle. I cannot see how CBS is going to beat that. Plus who needs another police procedural show, my god dont we have enough of them!
The BBC Sherlock is brilliant. A perfect update to Holmes, done right and with respect to Doyle. I cannot see how CBS is going to beat that. Plus who needs another police procedural show, my god dont we have enough of them!
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8:58PM on 05/17/2012

Fail

I tried to give Elementary a fair shot, but it looks like typical CBS dogshit and the showrunner/people involved seem to BARELY understand the character.

"Sherlock is sortof an outcast..."


NO SHIT!!!

PS Sherlock is my 2nd fav show on television behind Breaking Bad. It's amazing.
I tried to give Elementary a fair shot, but it looks like typical CBS dogshit and the showrunner/people involved seem to BARELY understand the character.

"Sherlock is sortof an outcast..."


NO SHIT!!!

PS Sherlock is my 2nd fav show on television behind Breaking Bad. It's amazing.
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8:54PM on 05/17/2012
Watson has a dick last time I checked so no, this will not be better than Sherlock.
Watson has a dick last time I checked so no, this will not be better than Sherlock.
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+18
8:41PM on 05/17/2012
The best thing about Sherlock was not the idea to put the sleuth into the 21st Century but the overall style: the acting, the directing & the dialogue.
I don't think Elementary would match any of these.
The best thing about Sherlock was not the idea to put the sleuth into the 21st Century but the overall style: the acting, the directing & the dialogue.
I don't think Elementary would match any of these.
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+14
8:30PM on 05/17/2012
*Slaps hand to forehead and vigorously shakes his head 'NO!'*

Hell, if you want to do a future Holmes,why not just take the premise of the 90's cartoon that had a cryogenically frozen Holmes being awakened in a future London to fight a recently awakened cryogenically frozen Moriarty. At least that would have 'one upped' the BBC. Oh wait, that's right..the networks don't do sci-fi anymore.
*Slaps hand to forehead and vigorously shakes his head 'NO!'*

Hell, if you want to do a future Holmes,why not just take the premise of the 90's cartoon that had a cryogenically frozen Holmes being awakened in a future London to fight a recently awakened cryogenically frozen Moriarty. At least that would have 'one upped' the BBC. Oh wait, that's right..the networks don't do sci-fi anymore.
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9:35PM on 05/17/2012
Hey we agree on something! Go figure!
Hey we agree on something! Go figure!
7:56PM on 05/17/2012

Here's the season.

Procedural for 20 episodes.
Watson and Holmes fuck.
Season final has Moriarty (played by Idris Elba) and he's been behind every murder in the season.
The. End.
Procedural for 20 episodes.
Watson and Holmes fuck.
Season final has Moriarty (played by Idris Elba) and he's been behind every murder in the season.
The. End.
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7:14PM on 05/17/2012

Donkey Trots and Tater Tots.

Awaits America to try and make a Doctor Who show. Its going to happen, and I'm going to just throw my hands in the air and say "Fuck it, I'm out".
Awaits America to try and make a Doctor Who show. Its going to happen, and I'm going to just throw my hands in the air and say "Fuck it, I'm out".
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7:58PM on 05/17/2012
WE ALREADY DID. #8 was ours.
WE ALREADY DID. #8 was ours.
7:06PM on 05/17/2012
Why can't they leave well enough alone? Oh yeah, money. So, fun story: CBS wanted to actually remake the BBC show but the creators (thank god) said no. So CBS decided to launch their own. No way this is better, and I'm extremely skeptical that it'll even be mediocre.
Why can't they leave well enough alone? Oh yeah, money. So, fun story: CBS wanted to actually remake the BBC show but the creators (thank god) said no. So CBS decided to launch their own. No way this is better, and I'm extremely skeptical that it'll even be mediocre.
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+17
6:57PM on 05/17/2012

"Can CBS' Elementary out-Holmes the BBC's Sherlock?"

..no
..no
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6:54PM on 05/17/2012

Not Bad

I think Sherlock on BBC is indeed one of the finest things to hit TV in a long, long time. That being said, this really looks promising.
I think Sherlock on BBC is indeed one of the finest things to hit TV in a long, long time. That being said, this really looks promising.
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6:51PM on 05/17/2012

Cumberbatch

was born to play Sherlock. Enough said.
was born to play Sherlock. Enough said.
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6:48PM on 05/17/2012

Benedict Cumberbatch

He is one of the greatest television characters I have ever seen. He has reinvented the character of Holmes and is an absolute delight to watch. There is no way this new show will match the brilliance of "Sherlock".
He is one of the greatest television characters I have ever seen. He has reinvented the character of Holmes and is an absolute delight to watch. There is no way this new show will match the brilliance of "Sherlock".
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