Holmes gets new twist on CBS
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BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. -- Sherlock Holmes' popularity continues to soar. In addition to the Robert Downey Jr. film series and the "Masterpiece" production "Sherlock" starring Benedict Cumberbatch, CBS has its own take on the classic detective with "Elementary," airing Thursdays at 10 p.m. beginning Sept. 27. ("The Mentalist" moves to 10 p.m. Sunday.)
Jonny Lee Miller ("Eli Stone") stars in "Elementary" as Sherlock Holmes, a recent transplant from London to New York following a stint in rehab. His wealthy father hires Joan Watson (Lucy Liu, "Southland") to be Holmes' sobriety coach, but she also becomes his assistant in solving crimes that baffle New York police.
Executive producer Rob Doherty said "Elementary" fits comfortably into the current television landscape.
"I turn the dial on my television and I see his fingerprints everywhere," Mr. Doherty said. "I see him on every procedural show, most shows have a Sherlock in them, they just happen to be called something else. We have a name that means something and a mythology people treasure."
CBS Entertainment president Nina Tassler said she's a fan of the British "Sherlock" and she thinks there will be room for another Sherlock.
"When you have an opportunity to build a show around one of the greatest detectives in all of literature, you're going to jump at that opportunity," she said. "People were watching it, people were going to the movies, people have watched many great actors over the course of television history play that role. He's iconic. ... Theirs is very different from ours. ... I think there's plenty of room for another Holmes in our world."
Mr. Miller has acted opposite PBS's Sherlock, Mr. Cumberbatch, and said he's had conversations with him about taking the role on "Elementary."
"With 'Sherlock' I would call him up like a groupie after every episode came out and want to talk to him about it," Mr. Miller said. "We had a discussion about this project. It was a private discussion but Benedict has been very, very supportive, and I wanted to reassure him how different this script was, this project was. ... It's [set in] a different country and has a whole [different] vibe."
Mr. Doherty described the Holmes in "Elementary" as an obsessed, almost addicted puzzle solver. That connects to an aspect of the source material that most appealed to him.
"It was absolutely his drug use which I know has been mentioned and acknowledged once or twice outside of the books but it never really dictated the plot or informed or altered the course of the story," Mr. Doherty said.
For Mr. Miller, it's Holmes' attention to detail and his relationship with Watson that are most appealing.
"They become colleagues, partners and there's also another reason they have to be together that we have, the sober companion," Mr. Miller said. "Rob said if it's a man and a woman it shouldn't matter but there is that element and people are going to wonder [about the nature of their relationship]. Wondering and asking questions is something you always want your audience to do."
The ABC Family musical TV movie "Elixir," which filmed in Western Pennsylvania last fall, has a new name: "Love Struck." It's now expected to air in spring 2013.
At the TCA Awards Saturday night, no prime-time series won an overwhelming number of awards but cable programs dominated the winners' circle.
"Homeland" star Claire Danes thanked TV critics and credited her show's writers, saying, "I don't know how you do it; you're magical creatures."
Winner Louis C.K. ("Louie") was unable to attend but he sent a taped message, thanking TV critics: "Our show exists on your support. It certainly ain't the ratings keeping us on the air."
"Cheers" won the Heritage Award and "Cheers" writer Ken Levine said the show was initially trounced in the ratings "by something called 'Tucker's Witch' on ABC. ... NBC had nothing else, kinda like today. ... Who would have thought the one cast member to become a movie star would be Woody."
Mr. Levine said he hears from many showrunners today who say "Cheers" had an influence on them -- but they still don't hire him. "Just knowing that we inspired them and I'm going to be getting royalties long after they're canceled is enough," he said.
Here's a full list of winners:
Individual Achievement in Drama: Claire Danes ("Homeland," Showtime)
Individual Achievement in Comedy: Louis C.K. ("Louie," FX)
Outstanding Achievement in News and Information: "60 Minutes" (CBS)
Outstanding Achievement in Reality Programming: "So You Think You Can Dance" (Fox)
Outstanding Achievement in Youth Programming: "Switched at Birth" (ABC Family)
Outstanding New Program: "Homeland" (Showtime)
Outstanding Achievement in Movies, Miniseries and Specials: "Masterpiece: Downton Abbey" (PBS)
Outstanding Achievement in Drama: "Breaking Bad" (AMC)
Outstanding Achievement in Comedy: "Louie" (FX)
Career Achievement Award: David Letterman
Heritage Award: "Cheers"
Program of the Year: "Game of Thrones" (HBO)
Who says broadcast TV is dead? NBC's telecast of the Opening Ceremonies of the Summer Olympics in London drew more than 40 million viewers Friday night, making it the most-watched opening ceremony on record; first-night-of-competition ratings on Saturday also set a new viewing record, drawing more than 28 million viewers. ... A new season of FX's "American Horror Story" will debut in October telling a new story set in a 1960s-era sanitarium run by the Roman Catholic Church. ... FX has ordered a fourth season of comedy series "Louie." ... The second episode of TBS's Pittsburgh-set sitcom "Sullivan & Son" drew 2.5 million viewers Thursday, about the same as the premiere, but it improved its demo ratings by 15 percent in adults 18-34 and by 5 percent in adults 18-49.
First Published July 30, 2012 12:00 am