CBS Investigates New Sherlock Holmes TV Show

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CBS Investigates New Sherlock Holmes TV Show

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Now that Sherlock Holmes is back in the public eye, CBS wants to put bring the detective to televisions across the United States.

CBS has announced that it's ordered a pilot for a new TV show called Elementary, "a modern-day take on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's iconic Sherlock Holmes cases." The show is being produced and written by Robert Doherty, who is known for his hand in that other popular CBS crime drama, Medium.

At the moment, details about Elementary are few and far between, including the general setting of the show and how Holmes himself will be portrayed. However, this means that between Elementary and the BBC's (excellent) Sherlock, there will be two Sherlock Holmes shows on television.

What will be interesting to see is if Elementary will be able to differentiate itself enough from Sherlock to gain an audience of its own or alienate fans. However, this is the best time to produce a new show about the character, since the BBC just finished airing the most recent series and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows is wrapping up a gangbuster run at the box office. That means that Sherlock Holmes is still in peoples' minds and there's an empty period of time where CBS won't face any competition for Doyle fans' attention.

Still, keep this in mind: There's already another season of Sherlock planned for 2013, and Sherlock Holmes 3 is apparently planned for late 2013. Even if Elementary is well-done, the show may very well oversaturate the entertainment industry with the character.

Source: Screen Rant

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Another American version of a British TV show?
Well I'd better start this thread off right:
Looks like The Game's afoot! again

I can't imagine this outdoing the BBC's entry. I won't knock it until I've tried it, because I'm a sucker for Sherlock Holmes, but I'm not sure we really need two modern retellings on the air right now.

And by "right now," I mean in 2013, so maybe Sherlock will be off the air by then (I don't trust the BBC in terms of decision making), but even still, I can easily see this as the also-ran.

A US version of Sherlock Holmes? I thought they'd already tried the smart detective with a side kick who is usually there for moral conflicts or romance drama or witty remarks forumla with..I dunno, every investigative show that wasn't some acronym.

So, it's House without Hugh Laurie playing a doctor for the main character?

Somehow I think it will end up differentiating itself in a bad way.

SL33TBL1ND:
Somehow I think it will end up differentiating itself in a bad way.

I'm assuming Watson will end up being either Dumb Watson or Gay Watson.

I really doubt anybody from the US could recreate Sherlock Holmes as good as the one on BBC right now.
Just watch last Sunday's episode to see the kind of quality the new show would have to beat (OMFG that was so fucking awesome, kind of quality).

vansau:
"a modern-day take on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's iconic Sherlock Holmes cases."

Read this and immediately thought

DVS BSTrD:
Another American version of a British TV show?

This

But then realised that they're not even saying "Sherlock was really good, lets make an American version" they're honestly trying to come across as having an original idea. . . .so sad

Why would we need another version when Sherlock is the best thing I've seen on TV in at least two years?

I see this failing, and failing hard.

No love for the Masterpiece Mystery Sherlock?

Whoops, that's the same one as BBC.

Ahem... YAY! MORE SHERLOCK HOMES!

Beardly:

SL33TBL1ND:
Somehow I think it will end up differentiating itself in a bad way.

I'm assuming Watson will end up being either Dumb Watson or Gay Watson.

I was going to make a why not Zoidberg joke, but that required me to edit an image.

This is just sad. Not saying it couldn't work, and it's good that americans love the 20-ish episode season format, but.... it'd would have to be outstanding to command an audience.

I mean isn't being a a misfit prodigy the trope every new crime show goes to these days?

But we already have Sherlock. Why do we need an American version?

Is this show going to leave us with a cliff hanger for a year too?

If so, then I want no part in it. I'll wait till the series is finished.

(Reads responses to thread... Wow, why do you all really tell us how you feel about America? Does it make you feel special to hate on a country?)

Wow, the original poster took the words out of my mouth: it's already been done, and it's called Sherlock, and it's awesome.

Oh indeed. Listen, Sherlock is a brilliant re-telling of the many fine cases of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's work. The only other show that has ever been quite so good was this one, starring Jeremy Brett.

A great adaptation of the literature through fine acting in the classic style. And even though I also enjoy the Holmes movies, Sherlock is clearly proof of who OWNS the style. Let the British people have this epic themselves.

Sober Thal:
Is this show going to leave us with a cliff hanger for a year too?

If so, then I want no part in it. I'll wait till the series is finished.

(Reads responses to thread... Wow, why do you all really tell us how you feel about America? Does it make you feel special to hate on a country?)

Eh? That was an overreaction to the entirely true concept that American versions of British ideas rarely come out good - and something that RELIES on subtlety, wit and intelligence most certainly won't work with an American audience in mind.
I mean, Life On Mars was only SOMEWHAT profound with its life and death questions, and American producers managed to fuck it up. What hope does Sherlock Holmes have?

RaNDM G:
But we already have Sherlock. Why do we need an American version?

This - why the hell can't they just lease it from the BBC. Why go on and attempt a version of somethign that's already been done to a critically acclaimed standard where all that could be changed without hampering it is an american accent in american locations. Both of those are subject to opinion and would do little to improve the overall experience of watching the show. Besides, surely Americans would find it more entertaining to watch an English Sherlock Holmes based in the UK with the same technology? It'll be a fresher experience to the concrete grids most of their shows are set in.

I haven't been watching all the new Holmes stuff that has been going around, I should when I find the time. Who knows, maybe CBS can do it. I for one would welcome something like it on the networks. It would relieve us from the seemingly huge rut of comedy, comedy, reality show, typical cop/lawyer/mystery drama, typical cop/lawyer/mystery drama.

The only cop/mystery drama of late and the past few years that got my attention was Castle.

Though I found Terra Nova to be a good enough show to somewhat break the broadcast stations out of the rut. It's really the only new show that I've found to be remotely watchable, though I am a sucker for dinosaurs and cheesy shows about such things.

vansau:

Now that Sherlock Holmes is back in the public eye, CBS wants to put bring the detective to televisions across the United States.

I just wanted to point out the awkward error, "put bring".

While I have to admit I'll probably watch it, it seems odd to me to throw another one of these out here. I mean Sherlock Holmes Re-imagined has become almost a genre in itself at this point.

House
Psych
The Mentalist
Lie to Me
Monk
Endgame
The Finder

And that's just off the top of my head (and I have this damn itching that I'm missing at least one other obvious one). I like them all, but the novelty of having the character actually be named Sherlock Holmes doesn't really seem like a big selling point to me.

Well it might be good, but i really can't see it beating sherlock which is just pure awesome. I kinda doubt they will get to make long episodes also, which really helps make the sherlock episodes good.

no.
nothing against America redoing British TV shows, but its wrong.
Sherlock Holmes is a very British thing.
Sherlock works very well with the stories being adapted for the modern day, but just how would CBS do Hound of the Baskervilles (which Sherlock did a few weeks ago because it is probably the most popular of the Sherlock Holmes stories).

Sober Thal:
Is this show going to leave us with a cliff hanger for a year too?

which cliff-hanger are you talking about, the first season or the second?

Bvenged:

This - why the hell can't they just lease it from the BBC. Why go on and attempt a version of something that's already been done to a critically acclaimed standard where all that could be changed without hampering it is an American accent in American locations. Both of those are subject to opinion and would do little to improve the overall experience of watching the show. Besides, surely Americans would find it more entertaining to watch an English Sherlock Holmes based in the UK with the same technology? It'll be a fresher experience to the concrete grids most of their shows are set in.

The big reason is because the BBC shows Sherlock on BBC America to increase its own viewing figures at the expense of the CBS et al.

Another reason is the format of Sherlock isn't good fit for the US market. Each season consists of 3 90 minute advert free episodes. When you add in the adverts you end with a running time close to 2 hours which covers most of prime time. The normal US setup is 20 odd episodes with a running time of 1 hour including ads. They really cant increase the number per season easily because the writers and actors are all heavily committed elsewhere. Peter Jackson isn't going to the guy playing Bilbo walk off and play Doctor Watson for 6 months.

Sober Thal:
(Reads responses to thread... Wow, why do you all really tell us how you feel about America? Does it make you feel special to hate on a country?)

Nobody is hating on the US, everyone is just saying they do a terrible job of British humour - something I completely agree with.

Sonic Doctor:

vansau:

Now that Sherlock Holmes is back in the public eye, CBS wants to put bring the detective to televisions across the United States.

I just wanted to point out the awkward error, "put bring".

Glad I wasn't the only one who noticed.

But but but....

We already have Robert Downey Jr playing a fairly awesome Sherlock Holmes.

We also have these two playing a very awesome Sherlock and Watson!

image

I don't want an Americanised Sherlock! I bet they won't even set it in Baker Street!

TrilbyWill:
no.
nothing against America redoing British TV shows, but its wrong.
Sherlock Holmes is a very British thing.
Sherlock works very well with the stories being adapted for the modern day, but just how would CBS do Hound of the Baskervilles (which Sherlock did a few weeks ago because it is probably the most popular of the Sherlock Holmes stories).

Sober Thal:
Is this show going to leave us with a cliff hanger for a year too?

which cliff-hanger are you talking about, the first season or the second?

I wouldn't say that Sherlock Holmes is any more British than Law and Order is American and that made the jump fairly successfully. So far as Hound of the Baskervillee they could either just not do it, or set it in either New England or along the Mississippi river where you can have similar cultural settings.

What this basically says is

"Now that Britain has got some viewing figures, America wants to steal them by making it's own one, with blackjack and hookers."

Haven't we already established with "The Iron Lady" that your treatment of fiction is dodgy at best, and pandering to modern sensibilities at worse.

You've already done the best American version of Sherlock Holmes:

image

An American Sherlock Holmes? Blasphemy!, of course I said something similar about Sherlock (a modern day Sherlock Holmes? Blasphemy!) so there is the slight chance however little I care to admit it that the yanks mignt not screw it up.

As for why make another tv series I think it is because American companies assume that their audiences need something to be American or they won't enjoy it as much.

Bah! Say I. (And, no doubt, say you: A Holmes fanboy! You'd be right.)

Sherlock Holmes works best as a period piece. Personally, I thought the new BBC version was pretty bad. It was well-made enough to be watchable, but the writing team (known, in part, for that epitome of child-friendly writing, Dr Who) have massacred the story so much to make it fit a modern setting and their own poor opinion of their audience, that it bears scant resemblence to the original. To get Holmes to fit a modern setting you of course need to change the stories, and you need to change the characters, too. So I ask "what's the point"? Why not just write a new detective series and give yourself some creative freedom? Oh right, because production companies are so scared of new material that they won't fund it: they'll instead plump for another sequel or re-make.

As others have said: Jeremy Brett is widely renowned as the best Holmes, as you would expect from an actor who so completely immersed himself in the role (sadly at the expense of his health). He recognised that the character and stories are much-beloved, and to keep them so you should try and follow them closely. This is the point, despite the inevitable trappings of Hollywood, that the Downey/Law films got. And why they work, even with the differences; they retain enough to be faithful. It's this point that the new series misses, and that I predict the CBS version will miss too.

/rant

It's very easy, Elementary will differentiate itself from Sherlock by being not as good.

Pinguin:
Personally, I thought the new BBC version was pretty bad. It was well-made enough to be watchable, but the writing team (known, in part, for that epitome of child-friendly writing, Dr Who) have massacred the story so much to make it fit a modern setting and their own poor opinion of their audience, that it bears scant resemblence to the original. To get Holmes to fit a modern setting you of course need to change the stories, and you need to change the characters, too.

? Some of the episodes have almost been step for step rehashes of the short stories and because they aren't films, they've all been tonily much much similar to the magazine format of the originals. I mean I'm clearly not the Holmes expert that you are but for the life of me I can't think of a more faithful adaptation. I recognise 3 characterisation changes, one that of Molly who didn't exist before and occupies a place that perhaps people wouldn't associate at all with Holmes, two that of Irene Adler, who they, like all adaptations, overplayed but in it's defence to a much less extent and they captured several aspects of her character and her plot that every other adapation has pretty much ignored in their eagerness to stick the words 'love interest' there.

Finally Moriarty, who was played very straight until the finally episode where he has a strange and hugely important character change. It's the only one I recognise as really significant and it is significant.

The other inconsistency in the show would be the solution of the Hound of the Baskervilles and the general plot of the 'mass suicides' but with the hound of the baskervilles, it was a mistake which almost every adaptation ever makes, despite it being really stupid. Other than that, this Holmes cold scans, consults, is bored, makes Watson run around, cares for him, enjoys infuriating him, doesn't like wearing a deerstalker and has no respect for the richness or appropriateness of a case, like no other Holmes

Noooooo, listen here US producers. You already tried to emulate British tv shows and failed miserably, Life on Mars, Red Dwarf, Hustle, Ab Fab, Coupling, Fawlty towers, The IT Crowd, Skins, Spaced, The Vicar of Dibley.

Just air the damn bbc versions and let your audiences enjoy it.

XSin:

vansau:
"a modern-day take on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's iconic Sherlock Holmes cases."

Read this and immediately thought

DVS BSTrD:
Another American version of a British TV show?

This

But then realised that they're not even saying "Sherlock was really good, lets make an American version" they're honestly trying to come across as having an original idea. . . .so sad

I know right; have you read the permalink article? Here's an excerpt:

"In 2010, the BBC and PBS premiered Sherlock, which, similar to CBS' Elementary, is a modern-day telling of the adventures of Sherlock Holmes and his chronicler Dr. Watson. The show stars Benedict Cumberbatch (Star Trek 2) and Martin Freeman (The Hobbit), respectively."

Not only do they act like it's a done deal, the behave as though they got there first! And wtf are they doing referencing ST2 and The Hobbit as credentials, it's like saying Samuel Jackson (Avengers).This is just plain rage-inducing.

I'm sorry but a straight copy of Sherlock that happens to be American, is going to bug people. House is good because it's a twists on Sherlock, it's got all the components but it doesn't actually use the same characters or stories.

If you're main character is Sherlock Holmes and he sounds American. It's going to annoy people. It's be like Making a new James Bond film and making him American, only worse in my opinion.

Also BBC's version of it is fookin incredible. granted it only has 3 episodes a season. And I'd gladly kill to get another episode. But that's partially why it's so good. The Moff knows not to outstay their welcome. I don't think there's an American show in existence that understands that concept barring Breaking bad.

You just know it's going to be a 12 episode series. All about 45 minutes per ep. And There's going to be a lot of filler.

Just don't do it guys. Especially not with a writer from Medium.

wooty:
Noooooo, listen here US producers. You already tried to emulate British tv shows and failed miserably, Life on Mars, Red Dwarf, Hustle, Ab Fab, Coupling, Fawlty towers, The IT Crowd, Skins, Spaced, The Vicar of Dibley.

Just air the damn bbc versions and let your audiences enjoy it.

Ohhh God!

They tried a version of Red Dwarf, Ab Fab, Coupling, Fawlty towers and SPACED? They tried to remake SPACED?

That's fucking insulting. I knew about the other and their epic failures. Also Being Human and Shameless. screwed the pooch there too.

But Red Dwarft, Fawlty Towers and Spaced are fucking British institutions. Ab Fab, coupling and Vicor of Dibley weren't that great to begin with.

But those first 3 genuinely alarm me.

Why do they feel the need to remake anything they think is good? Especially when it's an English program. There's just no fucking excuse then. Because it's already in English.

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