Lucy Liu Cast as Watson in CBS’ Modern-Day Sherlock Holmes Pilot ELEMENTARY

     February 27, 2012


A couple weeks ago, we told you that Jonny Lee Miller has been cast as Sherlock Holmes in the pilot for Elementary, CBS’ New York-set contemporary spin on the world’s most famous detective (next to Batman). It made sense; he’s British and has been bouncing around American airwaves the last few years, with a starring role on ABC’s Eli Stone and a juicy Big Bad turn on season five of Dexter.  A slightly less intuitive choice: casting Lucy Liu (Charlie’s Angels) as Holmes’ trusted companion Dr. Watson. But that’s exactly what exec producers Robert Doherty, Sarah Timberman and Carl Beverly have done, according to The Live Feed. Hit the jump for more.

If the show is ultimately ordered to series, this decision certainly has the potential to rankle fans of the original Sir Arthur Conan Doyle stories, particularly if it renders the Holmes-Watson dynamic in the provocative “will they-won’t they” sort of way common to opposite-sex partnerships on network TV. Can’t you just picture Miller whispering “You know my methods, Watson,” as his lips draw closer and closer to Liu’s, who breathily replies “Indubitably, Holmes” before a maddening cut to black just before the big payoff? There it is—that’s your first-season finale. Then again, I wouldn’t be surprised to find an identical scene in the next winking big-screen installment of the Robert Downey-Jude Law relationship, so what the hell? Maybe it’s not that big of a leap.


  • grittymcgritterson


    • cloxlider

      Oooh, potty mouth.

  • chris


  • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

    *Rolling in my grave*

    • Nigel Bruce

      As am I.

  • Adama

    Fail. Not only the whole concept behind this, more so after BBC’s success with Sherlock, but turning Watson into a woman its a tired cliche nowadays, and then, using Lucy Liu, an actress that its pretty much hated or ignored isnt helping either.

  • Alex–

    Let’s be honest, Watson is a bit of pussy.

  • Elitist Prick

    I hate everything about this. I mean, if it was an actress of substance, like Frances McDormand or something, I could see it working, but this strikes me as a repeat of David E. Kelley’s ‘Wonder Woman’ debacle.

  • LEM

    Congrats on killing a show before it airs! thankfully this means she is leaving Southland which is awesome.

    • seattlejohn

      she has been ferocious this season on SOUTHLAND and is great partnering with a big, burly cop on that show…which makes me intrigued to see her in something also with some dramatic heft like SHERLOCK HOLMES…I can picture her as an update of THE AVENGERS’ Diana Rigg – cool and steely and razorsharp attitude and mind

  • Lizard King

    At least this will make it different from the other current interpretations out right now. Hey, casting an originally male role to a female worked for Starbuck on the new Battlestar Galactica, and M in the Brosnan/Craig James Bond movies. I support the idea if it means preventing the show from being a direct copy of the BBC’s Sherlock.

  • Robbie

    Eh? I’m slightly confused, what’s wrong with the BBC’s current modern update? Not sure that there’s any need for another version just now. Perhaps maybe if it had an all chimpanzee cast or something but sounds like it’s just a waste of time and money to me.

    • b

      There’s nothing wrong with BBC’s update. In fact, there’s no way an American version will be better. So they’re trying this.

  • terry

    This could work but the writing has to be spot on(as the Brits say).
    This will be a combination of House with an overly sexual Lucy Liu with an enormous IG and a$$ kicking abilities.
    And if the show is a success, they should resist the temptation of making the two stars f***! That would kill the show.

    • cloxlider


    • Brtsh


      I actually Yawned!….Sorry, but this “Show” is a bad idea. The current BBC version is perfectly fine for now. There is absolutely no need for a new one.

      What happened to “ORIGINALITY?”

    • Robbie

      I think this british phrase would more accurately sum this up.

      “Bag of shite”

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  • SBT

    I find this outrageous. It would seem that CBS is cocking things up even worse than we had imagined.

    Just to be clear, this is not a jab at women, Asian-American actors, or Lucy Liu (all of which I am in support of), it is a jab at CBS’s seemingly careless and irritatingly predictable bastardization of Doyle canon and characters and apparent need to wedge boobs into every possible situation.