By all accounts, approaches were made to Moffat and the team making the BBC update about working on a similar project with American backing. That iteration never happened for one reason or another and as soon as the Moffat update was a great success, remarkably CBS suddenly find a contemporized take on Holmes down the back of their sofa and it’s accordingly on the 2012/13 TV schedule. The plot? Thickening quite nicely.
All purely coincidental of course – great minds thinking alike.
And, snark aside, Holmes is a character ripe for reinvention, as the successful Robert Downey Jnr./Jude Law/Guy Ritchie version has proven to be a success running in parallel to the Moffat/Mark Gatiss take – multiple takes on the same source material need not be a terrible thing.
Make up your own mind with this preview of the new “Elementary”, with Jonny Lee Miller as Holmes and Lucy Liu as Joan Watson. It looks perfectly fine, to be honest. Lacking perhaps something of the cold intelligence and perversity of the British version, but then it would do, wouldn’t it? CBS are not known for being the most cutting-edge TV network and this updated police procedural with name recognition and familiar stories is going to be totally in their comfort zone.
It looks pretty much as you might have expected it to – which is not a bad thing, just an indication that the makers of this show are working to an established formula, which with the amount of money which tends to ride on a show like this is probably to be expected.
If the audience don’t expect you to reinvent the wheel, why should you try?