‘Elementary,’ fall’s one and only sure bet
This update on Sherlock Holmes finds the detective in NYC
September 14, 2012
One in a series of Media Life previews of new fall shows leading up to the TV season.
Thursdays at 10 p.m.; premieres Sept. 27
This new drama could just as easily be called “CSI: Sherlock Holmes.” The reimagining of the classic detective in present-day New York City stars Johnny Lee Miller as Holmes and, in a twist on the original, Lucy Liu in the traditionally male Dr. Watson role.
Holmes is a recovering drug addict whose obsessive eye for detail lands him a job consulting with the NYPD. Watson is a former surgeon who has been hired by Holmes’ father to essentially act as his babysitter, ensuring that he stays drug-free.
The two team up to help solve the city’s goriest mysteries while also struggling to keep their personal demons in check.
“Elementary” is perhaps fall’s only sure bet. It should not only get a full-season order but survive for season two and beyond.
The pilot is sleek, sharp and refreshingly wry, and while Holmes is at times annoyingly quirky, it’s excusable because the character is so well established in our culture. Liu is terrific as his more nuanced sidekick.
“Elementary” isn’t actually all that different from the slew of procedurals that already dot CBS’s schedule, and that’s also a good thing for the network.
Though the “CSIs” and “NCISs” are aging, they still draw strong ratings, especially among older viewers.
“Elementary” also has one of the best timeslots CBS has to offer, airing at 10 p.m. Thursday and capping off a strong night for the network.
This slot was certainly more desirable a few years ago, when “CSI” was at 9 and still at its peak. But with a CBS Thursday lineup including “The Big Bang Theory,” “Two and a Half Men” and “Person of Interest” earlier in the night, “Elementary” should have some ratings momentum.
It also matches up well with lead-in “Person,” another slightly off-kilter mystery show. There’s a good chance its viewers will stick around for “Elementary.”
What media people are saying
In a Media Life poll posted the week after the networks made their upfront presentations, media buyers and planners voted “Elementary” fall’s most likely new hit.
They remain high on its prospects as fall approaches, citing the strong pilot, good timeslot and frequent promotions by the network, which seems very optimistic about the drama’s chances for success.
“Thursday night dramas are what Monday night comedies are to CBS — as close to a sure thing that network TV can provide,” says Harmelin Media’s fall CBS preview.
“'Elementary' gives a fresh feel to the usual crime drama and is a strong addition to the night.”
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