During the network's upfront presentation, CBS president Les Moonves offered a behind the scenes look at Elementary, the somewhat contentious Sherlock Holmes modernization starring Johnny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu, as well as the promising period drama Vegas with Dennis Quaid making his first foray into a regular television series.
For the past several years, CBS has ruled the airwaves with a powerful combination of sitcoms and procedural dramas revolving around various facets of the law as they crack down on a variety of criminal scum determined to get away with murder. It was a great formula that took CBS to the top of the broadcast food chain and also served to make the Eye Network synonymous with cop dramas. However, as news came recently that one of the network's long-time earners, CSI: Miami, would be getting the axe, the announcement of fresh new procedurals aiming to fill that void was expected soon after.
Since CBS only ordered a handful of new programs for the fall, there is a lot riding on Elementary and Vegas in terms of the network being able to bring in original content, rather than spin successful shows off ad-infinitum – though there is likely to be some debate about the originality of Elementary, regardless of who is playing Watson. As you undoubtedly noticed in the behind the scenes featurette above, Lucy Liu is playing Joan Watson, former surgeon and current sober companion to Jonny Lee Miller's Sherlock Holmes. Those aspects, in addition to the series being set in New York City, will serves as the key differences between Elementary and the BBC Sherlock series starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman.
Elementary also features a role for Aidan Quinn, fresh from NBC's Prime Suspect, which was, coincidentally, also a remake of a popular BBC detective series. This time, however, Quinn will be playing Captain Tobias "Toby" Gregson, who worked with Holmes back when he was assigned to Scotland Yard.
Meanwhile, Moonves also unveiled the first look at the new period drams Vegas (formerly Ralph Lamb), from Goodfellas and Casino writer, Nicholas Pileggi. Boasting an impressive cast that included Dennis Quaid as Lamb, Carrie-Ann Moss as A.D.A. Kathrine O'Connell, Jason O'Mara (Terra Nova) as Ralph's younger brother Jack Lamb and, finally, Michael Chiklis as mobster Vincent Savino.
Take a look at Vegas below:
After The Playboy Club and Pan Am both went bust, most viewers have likely grown weary anytime someone mentions period dramas – especially those set during the '60s. Thankfully, Vegas isn't keen on aping from the Mad Men stylebook, but instead seems to be following in the footsteps of FX's Justified and Starz' own '60s crime drama, Magic City. This being network television, however, it will be interesting to see if Lamb's battle with the mob can hold its own against the less restrictive depictions of violence and vice seen on its cable-based competitors.
Look for Elementary on Thursday nights @10pm and Vegas to air Tuesdays @10pm on CBS this fall.
Source: TV Line