CBS’s long-running Sherlock Holmes drama Elementary is coming to an end. The series began under somewhat controversial circumstances, as Sherlock creator Steven Moffat revealed he had been approached by an American TV network about adapting his popular Sherlock Holmes take for U.S. audiences. When he declined due to schedule issues, he was dismayed to find said network went ahead without him. The resulting show was Elementary, a similarly modern take on the Sherlock Holmes story with its own twists. For one, Watson was portrayed by a woman—Lucy Liu. For another, Johnny Lee Miller’s Sherlock Holmes was reimagined as a recovering drug addict, with Watson joining him as his “sober partner” while he helped solve crimes for the NYPD.
In truth, Elementary has been one of CBS’s more interesting procedurals in recent memory. The network hasn’t exactly been fond of breaking the mold when it comes to its successful format, but Elementary threaded some solid serialized storytelling and even landed Natalie Dormer to fill the role of iconic villain Moriarty in yet another gender swapped character. On top of all of that, Miller and Liu make a great team.
But Deadline now reports that Elementary Season 7 will be the show’s last. It hasn’t exactly been cancelled (although ratings-wise it’s been on the bubble the last few years), but the decision was made earlier this year, before filming on the seventh season began, that this season would be the show’s last. One reason it’s ending so “soon” for a CBS series? The contracts for Miller and Liu were due to be renewed, and it would have been mighty expensive to keep the show going. And with the story winding down, all involved reportedly felt it was the right time.
The final season will consist of just 13 episodes, and was concocted from the beginning to be the series’ swan song. The Season 6 finale was actually crafted to be a potential series finale as the show’s producers weren’t sure if they’d get renewed, so Season 7 will work to get Holmes and Watson back to NYC following their jetsetting off to Baker Street in London at the end of Season 6.
Elementary Season 7 will feature James Frain as iconic Sherlock Holmes villain Odin Reichenbach, who will first appear in Episode 5, and there will be something of a time jump involved in the final season. No air date has been set just yet, but expect it to come to a close in 2019. When all is said and done, Elementary will have produced 154 episodes.