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The game is afoot! CBS has unveiled the first trailer for Elementary, the modern day retelling of Sherlock Holmes set in NYC.

As part of the broadcaster’s up-fronts from earlier on today, CBS released a lengthy promo trailer for the controversial series starring Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu. The three and a half minute video takes us behind the scenes as cast and crew discuss characters, tone, and setting. We also get to see the super sleuth in action for the first time, interacting with a female Dr. Watson and performing some of his trademark deductions.

This morning we brought you the official synopsis and four promo stills for the series.

How do you feel about the series after seeing the trailer? Is it too similar to Sherlock, or too different from the original canon?

  • ElainaCG


  • Tom

    First impressions: Jonny Lee Miller is making his Holmes too similar to Cumberbatch’s and is nowhere near as good. Too Americanised for me also. I won’t be watching.

    • http://twitter.com/sparklylulz Grace Elephanteee

      Completely agree, I kept thinking ‘Are you trying to be like Benedict, because it’s not working out so well…’ This entire show just rubs me the wrong way with a female John and Manhattan… it’s just too much. 

  • Guest

    Ugh, I still really don’t know…

  • http://twitter.com/StarkidSims Simone


  • Kate

    It’s even filmed more similarly to British television shows. British shows just have a certain look to them and this has that look.

    Definitely don’t think that the writing is as strong as Sherlock, based on these snippets in the trailer.

  • Guest

    Still doesn’t feel like sherlock holmes

  • Dani

    I’m not sure how I feel about this… feels like an American show trying to gain success since the British version is doing so well. we’ll see. I’ll watch for Lucy Lu at least the first episode. 

  • Aguest

    not really grabbing me yet – but i’m willing to give it a chance. 
    (even if Granada Jeremy Holmes will ALWAYS be my favorite)

    I also find it ironic that people are whinning about they putting a relationship between Holmes and JoanWatson, and  saying it’s ooc, but have no problem with pairing Holmes and Watson when they’re both guys.

    true, Holmes wasn’t attracted to women sexually, but neither was he to Watson. (no matter what the slashers keep on arguing with. the text said otherwise)

    i just find it ironic that holmes/watson is not canon, but when it’s guy/guy holmes and watson people are  all for the shipping, but when it’s guy!holmes/female!watson they’re all “its ooc! they’re ruining sherlock holmes”

    • Watson

       It’s not the fact that they made Watson female that’s offensive.  It’s that the writers/producers think that this change in itself is enough to make the show interesting or distinctive from the BBC version. The writers clearly don’t have any real thought behind this.  The trailer shows an incredibly boring and ho-hum interpretation of Watson/Sherlock and no chemistry whatsoever between the two.  I don’t care if they make Watson a Martian or a dog — these writers would still manage to make it uninteresting.  The Watson/Holmes friendship as shown by the BBC version is hugely complex, funny, touching, and completely asexual.  Their sparring is a joy to watch.

      • MJW

        should’ve made John a hedgehog. I would watch the hell out of that.

    • Aeryn

      I don’t know… I’m a BBC!Sherlock shipper – not because I have an exclusive taste in guy-on-guy action, but because of all the wonderful subtext and the chemistry of the leads. Saying that Sherlock/Joan is OOC, or that it’s ruining “Sherlock Holmes” is plain ridiculous, I agree, since, as you point out, anything of that nature is OOC with regards to the canon. 

      However, what offends me personally is the heteronormative nature of “Elementary”. I believe that more reimaginings need more female characters, especially strong and capable ones, but turning John into Joan is so blatant an attempt to make the iconic relationship sexual, but also palatable for the more homophobic viewers.If the BBC had done it first, it would have been marginally less bad, but only because it wouldn’t be a horrible gimmick employed to distinguish a horribly uninspired show from the template it obviously follows. I still would have hated turning Watson into a glorified love interest. :shudder:IMHO, if they really wanted to do something original, they should’ve genderflipped both of them.

      • Watson

         YES!  Now that could have been interesting!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001426435099 Louelle van Rens

    No.. just no. ‘Sherlock’ and Benedict and Martin are perfection.

    I’ll still watch this though, so I can make fun of it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sarah.upchurch Sarah Upchurch

    This feels like a rather disappointing attempt to recreate something already good. Leave it to Hollywood to try and cash in on whatever they can set their eyes on. I will most certainly not be watching.

  • http://twitter.com/dreamfall31 Kevin Slechta

    …there is only one Sherlock Holmes show on and it does NOT take place in America!

  • notenoughpuff

    You know, I was always vehemently against this show because it seemed on the surface to be just a bad imitation of BBC’s Sherlock, a show which I adore. But after watching this preview, I am intrigued by the differences between the two Sherlock’s, rather than their similarities. Don’t get me wrong, I love the character Sherlock Holmes in all his forms, including RDJ’s and “Granda Holmes”. But I like how this one seems to be harsh, not cold, as the BBC’s Sherlock is. Still, there are some obvious “borrowed concepts”, such as Detective Javier being a very Anderson type character.

    However I’m seeing this adaptation like I do with Once Upon A Time’s take on fairy tales. It is different and they’re making drastic, but overall similar changes that keep the story true to the main theme. I might see a few episodes, but I’m not sold on it yet. (At the very least, we’ll have something to watch during the massive gap between Sherlock seasons.)

    • Star

      Well said.  I want to try it out.  I happen to love JLM and Lucy Liu, so I’m hoping they chose a great show to work on.  Until it premieres, I’ll just watch BBC Sherlock over and over and over and…

  • Watson


  • Glaciusx

    This is an obvious rip-off. I mean, come ON! Look at the scarf; they just changed the color of it. *SIGH* It’s days like this when I’m ashamed of being American. 

  • TheHamburglar

    Let’s face it…even if this show was the greatest thing since sliced bread, the typical Hypable commenter would still hate it. I realize a fansite is the worst place to search for objectivity, but let’s give the show a chance. You can’t judge an entire series based off a 3 minute video. It’s very possible that you could like both shows. No one is forcing you to pick sides.

  • Irish_Sheep

    I really wanted to keep an open mind regarding this show but after seeing the preview I definitely won’t watch it when it airs live

  • Jamie

    You can never have too many variations of Sherlock, especially when my current favorite only serves up 3 episodes every year or so. Even if it is hard to top the amazing Mr. Cumberbatch, this looks like an engaging alternative for those long hiatuses.

  • https://twitter.com/#!/HarriFSargeant Harri Sargeant

    You know the more I watch this trailer, the more I am convinced that it could actually be worth watching. There are actually quite a lot of differences between Elementary and Sherlock, and my biggest concern now is that it will veer too far from the original canon. While it won’t be in the same league as the BBC version, if we put that to one side and try to enjoy it independently then it could at least become a fun way to bridge the ever widening gap between each series of Sherlock. As long as it doesn’t push the Holmes/Watson relationship I am willing to give it the time of day.

  • http://twitter.com/Woffles92 Sarah Barnett

    I’m a HUGE fan of Sherlock but this looks interesting! I shall defiantly be taking a look!

    I also get a kick out of the fact that Jonny Lee Millar and Bennedict worked together recently on a stage production of Frankenstein. Small world for actors, huh?

  • Matthewhpg

    Okay, sorry to call my self American. I’ll just change my name and move to Wales or…I don’t know, France or something.

    • ElainaCG

      Try London :-P

  • stargazer

    Honestly, if this is the best that the producers can give us as a preview, then they’re in really big trouble.  My eyes were glazed over the entire time.  The actors don’t show good acting skills, Sherlock Holmes could be any British guy as of right now (except apparently he goes shirtless in his apartment for some strange reason), and the feel of the show is that of any American crime drama.  In fact, it reminded me a little bit of Monk for some strange reason–something I can’t put my finger on, as this Sherlock Holmes doesn’t really act like Monk and Joan Watson is depressing in these shots, whereas Sherona and Natalie were full of energy. It doesn’t seem at all like ANY sort of Sherlock Holmes–except when I saw the scarf I immediately thought “that’s stolen from Sherlock–except that one looks annoying.”

  • http://www.hypable.com Richard Reid

    Looks like a blatant rip-off to Sherlock to me.

    • Azeem


  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Maria-Wang/542480760 Maria Wang

    this sherlock has no character at all.

  • Marly

    Honestly this preview makes the show look boring, just like an average crime TV show. I hope it sticks with the canon stories…

  • MJW

    okay, I was willing to give it a chance, but after this, the way forward is clear, my friends: kill it with fire. And I hope that BBC gets the balls to do just that. Fuck me, this is terrible.

  • http://twitter.com/chelsaat Chelsey Saatkamp

    It’s on CBS, so it’s probably pretty awful. And will have all the ratings. 

  • Hugo weasley

    all he needs is a pair of sunglasses and this is csi miami

  • 7Starrchasers

    The Lens was already SHINED…ugh no this is not right…I hate it even more now.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=646371872 Elizabeth Lee Hammons

    I think it really will be different. While the BBC’s Sherlock takes the original Arthur Conan Doyle stories and makes them modern, this version looks like it’s going to take a case that could be on any crime show and solve using Sherlock’s superior reasoning abilities.
    I’ll give it a shot, but the BBC has set an impossibly high bar to go up against.

  • http://twitter.com/ivangatewood Ivan Gatewood

    How dare they make Watson a woman! 

  • Jen

    Man, I wish I didn’t love Johnny Lee Miller so much. This doesn’t look great though, despite his efforts.

  • rdh014

    Yeah…watching this just makes me hate it more. It just doesn’t seem have the same spark that Sherlock has. 

  • Andrew_ww

    I think its nice to have a change. I get tired of watching the same characters with the same personalities.
    I might try it out.

    • ElainaCG

      But people shouldn’t change characters just because they’re tired of how they’re generaly written. The reason Sherlock is the way he is in adaptions is because THAT is the character. People should spend their time on original stories and pilots and stop ripping off everything else. And by that, I mean, Elementary appears at this point to be ripping off the story of Sherlock Holmes by giving their main character his name, but not characteristics. And it’s not right.

  • fcanaj

    This is what? The 10th or so British show the US has ripped off. CBS would do better to just air the BBC Sherlock episodes. 
    Looks dumbed down to me. 

  • fcanaj

    Also the “Sometimes I hate it when I’m right” line is basically everything Sherlock Holmes is not about. He doesn’t hate when he’s wrong, he lives for being right, no matter who is hurt. So I think thats a core problem.
    I dont hate Joan tho, its an interesting twist, still tho. Ill give it 2 episodes. 

    • Theamazingduck

       Actually, no, in the books he’s not all about being right. He cares about people, albeit in a detached kind of way. The BBC Sherlock went in the direction of making him only care about puzzles, but the original Holmes wasn’t quite so cold.

  • Whiggy

    Fail, please.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=731070910 Fiolla Korenica

    It does seem quite different from the BBC’s Sherlock, but it’s just a shame that a lot of Americans will not get to appreciate the AMAZING BBC version due to this version.Also, there are so many interpretations of Sherlock out there, that this show could actually be good, given the chance.

  • ElainaCG

    “I’ve been to rehab because I’m edgy and I have tattoos and I like to compliment people on their eye colour while deducing things really slowly so the audience can keep up because they’re slow, right, and also I sometimes hate it when I’m right but only because people think that’s funny, it’s really not true because I’m Sherlock Holmes and of course I love being right and everything I just said is B.S when you think about it…”
    So, what might we deduce about Elementary?
    It is not a show about Sherlock Holmes.

  • Jelly

    I think perhaps they should have done a ‘based on Sherlock Holmes’ (as in ‘inspired by’) series not using the same characters. It’s possible to just base something on an idea – a set up and some general characteristics. Just be real about it.  Anyway, looks good to me if I can distract myself from the main character’s name.

  • Jazz

        I don’t know, I think it looks alright. People are getting too precious about BBC Sherlock. Obviously the intentions of CBS were to rip off Sherlock (since they were turned down to make a direct American adaptation), we all know that, but I’d probably try and watch any adaption of Sherlock Holmes just because I like the characters and the stories. While it’s CBS’ intention to make quick cash, it isn’t necessarily the showrunner’s. Look at the recent 21 Jumpstreet movie. Obviously someone wanted to make a shitty quick movie but the writers got in the way and made a hilarious film.
        Don’t misunderstand me, I don’t think there is a chance in a hell this version will come even a little close to the brilliance of Sherlock, because I fully believe it’s one of the best shows currently being made (along with Mad Men and Game of Thrones) but that doesn’t mean I can’t still enjoy a little cheesy romp with a different Holmes and Watson.
        I mean, not all Holmes adaptions are winners and there’s still going to be more adaptions after this one (modern one’s too, no doubt) and while Sherlock has made it’s mark in Sherlockian history that doesn’t mean the stories can no longer be adapted by anyone. While Sherlock may have been the first direct television modernization of Doyle’s stories, it isn’t the first time the character has been used as a bases for modern characters (most obviously, House). So let’s all take a breath and make an objective decision here.

  • http://twitter.com/vonchambers Devon Chambers

    looks strange (read: shit) but perhaps it’ll fill the void I have because Sherlock is only 3 90 minute episodes every two years it seems … which is not enough.

  • Mrs_Badcrumble

    I think this could be interesting, but the timing certainly doesn’t help to see it as an original series… It’s just to close the “Sherlock” and with to many similarities…
    I don’t know if Americans just didn’t catch the BBC series, but for everyone who did it’s very difficult to distance the two.

  • Amy S.

    There could have been potential for this if they had done a full gender swap (as in both characters are female) but making one of them female just seems like a cheap homophobic way to hook up the two characters, because there seems to be no other way to ever get Holmes and Watson together on screen…

    • http://twitter.com/vonchambers Devon Chambers

      … but Watson and Holmes aren’t gay – why do they need to be gay together? this makes no sense, stop pushing your sexual fantasies onto shows and just enjoy two straight characters. 

      • Azeem

        I agree, Holmes just  is a character that doesn’t feel. A bit like Sheldon Cooper from TBBT. He is more of an asexual type. 

      • Amy S.

        It doesn’t matter if Holmes and Watson are gay in your opinion or mine, I’m annoyed that they turn one of them into a woman so they can justify a possible relationship on this show. 

        • Lord Menon

          I think they are trying to show just how asexual the character Sherlock Holmes is……

  • Azeem

    Sherlock Holmes is a British creation, and I’m not saying that to make Americans look stupid or because I don’t like Americans. In fact one of my best friends is American. I just think that the British feel in Sherlock and the original canon and previous TV series was the reason that people loved it so much. Also, I really think the directing and editing is terrible. In Sherlock, they use really different and inventive camera angles so you don’t feel like your watching the camera just going to and fro, but in Elementary, that’s all they do. I wanted to kill myself when I was watching the promo. Hopefully it get’s cancelled after the first season airs. 

    • Lord Menon

       Dear Azeem….. If you dont like it, dont watch it……But why do you have to be such a killjoy and say things like you hope that it gets cancelled……Tell me agian how exactly the show affects your day to day life…..

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Connor-Frye/1326652893 Connor Frye

    I think the guy who is playing Sherlock can cool it off, but the Joan Watson actor is just awkward. 

  • Brittany

    Cumberbatch all the way ( and Freeman of course: can’t wait for The Hobbit)! As long as they keep making more of the BBC SHERLOCK everything will be fine. Americans can do what they want. But I won’t be watching.

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