Earlier this year CBS announced it had given a green-light for its own modern-day take on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous creation of Sherlock Holmes. As soon as the news was revealed everyone was very quick to point out the world already has a such a drama; BBC One’s Sherlock starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman.
The producers of Sherlock revealed that CBS had approached them about adapting the series for an American audience but were turned down. The Sherlock production team were quick to warn any similarities between the two shows – that were not part of Conan Doyle’s work – would result in legal action.
So is the television market big enough for two shows with the same basic concept and using the same source material? Well CBS president Nina Tassler has defended Elementary against criticism but cleverly started off by praising the BBC series “I think their version is extraordinary. It’s a wonderful show [but] there’s is very different from ours…. I think there’s plenty of room for another Holmes in our world.”
Elementary lead-star Jonny Lee Miller also praised the BBC series in-particular his opposite number Benedict Cumberbatch but also stated the differences between the two dramas would be obvious “Even before this project came along, I love the work that Benedict had done with Sherlock. I would call him up like a groupie after episodes came out and talk to him about it. Benedict has been very, very supportive…All the other differences will kind of be apparent.”
One of the big differences between Sherlock and Elementary is the decision by the CBS drama to make the character of Dr. Watson into a female role – played by Lucy Liu in the American version. The difference is the settings of the drama will also mean stories will play out differently; Sherlock is based in London but Elementary relocates the drama to New York.
Via Entertainment Weekly