Pouring lighter fluid on their hot-and-bothered-ness, Steven Moffat, the executive producer of PBS’s Holmes drama — the Benedict Cumberbatch edition, not the Jeremy Brett edition — took to IGN to say CBS had approached him about having his team do a Sherlock Holmes series and “we said no, we weren’t ready to do that yet, but keep in touch . . . and then a few weeks later we discovered they were just going ahead and doing it anyway.”
Yes, CBS dared to order a Sherlock Holmes drama without Moffat — though, it had the cooperation of the estate of Sir Conan Doyle, who, you know, wrote the books.
Moffat said it was just “another example of what happens in L.A. television,” and, in case critics weren’t too clear, added he “wasn’t very impressed by it.” Moffat said he worried that if “Elementary” is bad it will “debase” Sherlock Holmes — as if he’s the gatekeeper or something, instead of the Doyle estate. Plus, if it’s too similar to his version — in which Holmes lives in the present day and uses modern technologies to solve crimes — “We’ll have to take action.”
This may explain why, before the “Elementary” Q&A session got underway, exec producer Robert Doherty took the stage to announce they “officially have a plan” for introducing Doyle’s Moriarty character and Sherlock Holmes’s father to the show. And, of course, CBS’s Holmes is a recovering addict and Watson is his “sober partner” and is played by a woman: Lucy Liu.
One critic was disappointed to learn the writers don’t intend to delve into Liu’s ethnic heritage in the show, complaining it isn’t really exercising ethnic diversity. Doherty explained the show is not about “teaching cultural differences to the audience.” Karl Beverly, the other executive producer, jumped in to suggest, “You maximize diversity by not speaking to it. Putting Lucy into the show and not speaking to it is the way we live our lives in society. We don’t need to shine a light on it.”
And, of course, their Sherlock Holmes operates in New York City, and something terrible has happened to him while he was in London, causing him to spiral out of control and “hit a serious wall” — hence, his sober partner, Watson.
Immediately after the “Elementary” panel discussion, critics began snapping at the Mutchnick-Kohan series “Partners.” It’s about two guys — one is gay, the other’s straight (like Mutchnick and Kohan) — who have known each other since they were kids (like Mutchnick and Kohan), and who work as professional partners (like Mutchnick and Kohan). They are architects — Mutchnick and Kohan are not. The pilot is directed by Jim Burrows.