12:16 pm - 12/19/2012

Elementary: Female Watson 'Started as a Joke'

Rob Doherty's choice to pair Jonny Lee Miller's Sherlock Holmes with a woman resulted in fall's No. 1 new series, and inclusion in THR's 2012 Rule Breakers portfolio.

"It started out as something of a joke," creator Rob Doherty confesses of his decision to make the Watson in his Sherlock Holmes tale a woman. When he began to research the story's original characters, he came across a handful of experts who had written up psychological assessments of Sherlock; one of them had noted an aversion to women.

"I thought to myself, 'What would make Holmes crazier than taking the figurative rock he has in Watson and making him a woman?' I scribbled it down and then went back to my research," the 38-year-old Elementary showrunner continues. "The more I thought about it, the more I wanted to try it."

The result: casting Asian-American film star Lucy Liu as the first female Watson opposite Jonny Lee Miller's Sherlock and an impressive 13.9 million viewers tuning in weekly, making Elementary the No. 1 new series with total viewers this fall. (Among the key 18-to-49 set, the series ranks No. 2 behind only NBC's breakout Revolution.) And come February, the CBS drama -- one of the season's few hits with critics and audiences alike -- will get the coveted post-Super Bowl slot.
The show's stars, Liu, 44, and Miller, 40, still are making sense of the series' success, particularly rewarding because the show colors outside the lines in a way that excites both of them.

"To me, one of the best things you can do in this profession is to take a risk," says Miller, whose co-star plays sober coach to his recovering-addict Sherlock. Liu says the tweak in formula can liberate the story in other ways as well: "There's an endless supply of unpredictability that we can delve into and we can change and add. It will still be a pound cake, but it could be marble, it could be lemon, it could be poppy seed."

fauxkaren 19th-Dec-2012 05:59 pm (UTC)
As this article says: "an impressive 13.9 million viewers tuning in weekly, making Elementary the No. 1 new series with total viewers this fall. (Among the key 18-to-49 set, the series ranks No. 2 behind only NBC's breakout Revolution.)"

Plus it pretty consistently wins its time slot, so it seems likely that it will be back for a second season.
sarahvma 19th-Dec-2012 06:05 pm (UTC)
Ah, good to know. I was wondering if "successful" meant, like, 8 million viewers, but 13.9 is a pretty definitive hit.

I just find it unfortunate that it can't seem to shake the comparison.

Plus I didn't watch past the early-release pilot, so I've been wondering if it's worthwhile. I'm plowing through all of Dr. Who right now, but I'll probably give it a shot after that.
doctorsmythe 19th-Dec-2012 07:34 pm (UTC)
Actually the 13.9 is cheating because that are actually the ratings including DVR numbers. The final ratings are between 10 and 11 million and those are the more important ones. And unfortunately it isn't doing as well as it should in the demographics where it lost the last two weeks against Scandal and where it rarely get in the top 25 of the week. It is also consistently loosing in all female demographics and in the 18-34 demographics to Scandal.

The show isn't doing badly, but it is nowhere near the hit CBS wants people to think it is and it is doing a lot worst than the show that was in the same spot last year, both in total viewers, demographic and placements in the top 25 and it is doing worst that a show that got cancelled last year.

I think and hope we'll get a second season, but it does need to grow a lot before it is real hit for CBS and that worries me.
hahahey 20th-Dec-2012 07:03 pm (UTC)
it's unfortunate that it's at the same time slot as Scandal. I'd love to watch it but I'm too dedicated to supporting Scandal.
manubibi 19th-Dec-2012 06:15 pm (UTC)
Partial OOT, I don't get how people can like Revolution. The characters are so dumb and stereotyped it hurts, like I had to drop it after two episodes because I could predict every single line they were gonna say and every single ship and every single thing in the plot lmao
This page was loaded Oct 23rd 2014, 4:35 pm GMT.