CBS Orders Modern 'Sherlock Holmes' Pilot (In Spite of BBC's 'Sherlock')

Update: ‘Sherlock’ Producer Warns CBS: We Will Protect Our Series (Legally)

CBS is looking to bring even more Sherlock Homes to the entertainment industry by announcing today that they have ordered pilot for Elementary, a modern-day take on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s iconic Sherlock Holmes cases by former Medium producer and writer, Robert Doherty.

This series, which will also have A Gifted Man and Unforgettable executive producers Sarah Timberman and Carl Beverly serving as producers, would mark the second Sherlock Holmes-based series currently on television.

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.

Created by Doctor Who executive producer Stephen Moffat and The League of Gentleman star Mark Gatiss, Sherlock just completed its second season in the UK and went on to win a BAFTA for Best Drama Series, Best Editing and Best Support Actor for Freeman.

Despite the increased demand for both Cumberbatch and Freeman in Hollywood, both actors are expected to return for a third season of Sherlock in 2013.

With CBS ordering a pilot that’s thematically similar to Sherlock, one has to question what exactly CBS’ intentions are for their potential new series – and whether or not the world of entertainment already has its fill of Holmes-based projects.

Sherlock - Watson

On top of the possibility that television will have two Sherlock Holmes series, there are always the Guy Ritchie Sherlock Holmes films with Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law waiting on cable – not to mention, Sherlock Holmes 3 expected in theaters in late 2013.

While there certainly is the potential for an oversaturation of Sherlock Homes, it appears that CBS may not only be trying to benefit from the financial success of Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, but also benefit from the critical acclaim and word of mouth that Sherlock is receiving.

Since Sherlock and Richie’s film versions only come around everyone other year, one could say that CBS has an entire year of Sherlock Holmes to themselves - which would either allow Elementary to differentiate itself… or to potentially ruin it for the other, more successful, iterations of Holmes, by leaving a bad taste in everyone’s mouth.

I suppose we’ll have to wait and see which one it is.


Expect to hear CBS’ decision on Elementary in May.  Sherlock season 2 also premieres May 2012 on PBS.

Follow Anthony on Twitter @anthonyocasio

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

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