Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
If Rob Doherty, the creator and showrunner of the freshman CBS hit Elementary, wasn’t already nervous about the fact that his Sherlock Holmes-centered hour has been given the covered post-Super Bowl slot on February 3, he is now. During a TCA session promoting the series touted by the network as the most-watched new show of the season, Doherty called the surprising move “a tremendous honor” while promising to “do our level best to keep the audience in their seats after the game.” But one critic asked Doherty to dig a little deeper into his soul and assess how it really feels to be given a time period that will guarantee the episode draws “more people than anything you’ve ever done in your life — and if it works might result in you being set for life.”
“Well, now I’m stressed,” Doherty quipped. “Yes, I’ve felt all of those things. I mean, I’m stressed-out all the time anyway. It’s hard to go from a 10 to an 11, but I did.” He added that mostly what he feels is “great excitement” more than grave responsibility. “It’s an incredible opportunity to expose the show to people who haven’t checked it out yet, and we took that into consideration when developing the episode.” The production team hasn’t quite wrapped work on the installment of a series that had its episodic order increased from 22 to 24 last year, with work delayed by a two-week shutdown in December for the holidays.
Beyond the Super Bowl, Doherty told critics that in general he’s getting less grief these days from Holmes purists that he’d committed blasphemy by casting a woman (Lucy Liu) to portray Watson. He now says he has a suggestion for those still upset over: “Please move on.” He added, “We’re really not trying to undo anything that (Sir Arthur) Conan Doyle tried to do.” He also continued to tease for Holmes fans that the iconic villain Moriarty will be introduced during the show’s 12th episode. But Doherty remained coy about what form that introduction would take, having previously noted only that Moriarty “plays a part” in that episode and refusing even to commit to having hired an actor to play him. “Most of you know that Moriarty is coming,” he said. “Well, he’s still coming.”
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