U.S. Premiere Date Of Season Three Of ‘Sherlock,’ Benedict Cumberbatch Confirms Fourth Season

sherlock-season-3

By now, you know how much we love the BBC’s Sherlock and we found out recently that Benedict Cumberbatch, who plays the role of the titular character in this contemporary take on Sir Arhtur Conan Doyle’s classic, has confirmed that there will indeed be a fourth season (series) of the hit series.

The remarks came at the South Bank Show Awards in London on March 12th, where Cunberbatch also verified the return of his co-star Martin Freeman as Dr. John Watson.

“We’ve agreed to two more series but I could get into trouble for saying that.  All I know at the moment is I’m doing these three [episodes of the upcoming series] and another three.”

Cumberbatch also stated that both he and Freeman are very interested in doing more seasons, noting that it is all dependent on he, Freeman and showrunner Steven Moffat’s availability.

“It just depends on Martin and I’s availability, how long we can keep it going. It depends on Steven’s ability. I’d love to keep it going.”

Season (series) three of Sherlock was supposed to begin shooting in 2012 but was delayed until January 2013 because of he and Freeman’s schedules (Cumberbatch was shooting the latest J.J. Abrams Star Trek film and Freeman was shooting The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey… with Cumberbatch) and has been delayed yet again as Cumberbatch was recently in Germany shooting the Wikileaks film, The Fifth Estate. Steven Moffat is also the showrunner on the hugely popular Doctor Who so getting everyone together at 221B Baker Street is proving to be challenging.

That being said, production on season (series) three of Sherlock has begun and U.S. audiences can expect new episodes this winter.

VIC’S REVIEWS: ‘Elementary’ (CBS – Thursday, 10:00 p.m.)

EDITORIAL NOTE: To understand how we do our reviews, please refer to our review of Revolutionhere.  To see Shawn’s original review of Elementary, go here.

ELEMENTARY stars Jonny Lee Miller as detective Sherlock Holmes and Lucy Liu as Dr. Joan Watson in a modern-day drama about a crime-solving duo that cracks the NYPD’s most impossible cases. Following his fall from grace in London and a stint in rehab, eccentric Sherlock escapes to Manhattan where his wealthy father forces him to live with his worst nightmare – a sober companion, Dr. Watson.  A successful surgeon until she lost a patient and her license three years ago, Watson views her current job as another opportunity to help people, as well as paying a penance.  However, the restless Sherlock is nothing like her previous clients.  He informs her that none of her expertise as an addiction specialist applies to him and he’s devised his own post-rehab regimen – resuming his work as a police consultant in New York City. Watson has no choice but to accompany her irascible new charge on his jobs.  But Sherlock finds her medical background helpful, and Watson realizes she has a knack for playing investigator. Sherlock’s police contact, Capt. Tobias “Toby” Gregson (Aidan Quinn), knows from previous experience working with Scotland Yard that Sherlock is brilliant at closing cases, and welcomes him as part of the team.  With the mischievous Sherlock Holmes now running free in New York solving crimes, it’s simple deduction that he’s going to need someone to keep him grounded, and it’s elementary that it’s a job for Watson.  Rob Doherty, Sarah Timberman, Carl Beverly and Michael Cuesta, who directed the pilot, are executive producers for CBS Television Studios. – CBS

Score:  75 out of 100

I don’t fancy the “Police Procedural” like I used to. Turning the tables on me though is Robert Doherty who is known for his exceptional work on Star Trek: Voyager and Medium. After hesitantly working up the nerve to watch a show which re-invents the famous Sherlock Holmes I’ve decided that while taking a few liberties and risks, Elementary is a slightly above-average crime show. Taking into mind that the BBC is light years ahead of CBS with their modern adaptation of Doyle’s iconic Detective with Sherlock, I still found some things to like here. I admit that I was very critical of CBS attempting this show. I, like Shawn and others, felt it was a blatant attempt to cash-in on the popularity of an already established “Reboot” or “re-imagining” started by Stephen Moffat.

First off, I was a bit thrown off by the casting of not Sherlock, but Watson. When they announced Miller I felt that it was an appropriate casting choice. Miller’s cool in my book. I’ve enjoyed his work going way back to Dracula 2000 and on. I believe I had issue with Watson being changed genders. Watson as the stoic male counterpart has always worked before so why change it? Well, I decided to accept Doherty’s take and I’m glad that I did. Kind of.  I won’t get into the chemistry between Miller and Liu too much here. It is a bit clunky at first but as each episode passes they start to gel. Watson is Holmes’ live in companion who is also an ex-surgeon. She needs to keep an eye on Holmes since he is in early addiction therapy. Some interesting moments between them include the often shown attendance of NA and AA Meetings meant to help Holmes with his rehabilitation.

From the pilot and further episodes it’s established that Holmes is combative, quirky and an isolationist. Jonny Lee Miller is very well capable dealing with the somewhat timid and redundant material and themes that he’s been given but I do like that he likes to pick locks and has decided to never pick up playing the violin again. Miller displaying his “Sherlockisms” is accurate and unconventional of course. Not much of the actual “essence” of the traditional Sherlock is displayed here. It comes in spurts. Doherty’s take falls into some conventions that can’t be helped but to be compared to other shows of it’s ilk like CSI and such. Despite my getting used to Liu and Miller there are times I wish that the crime solving was a bit more interesting and involving. Some of Doyle’s Holmes’ is on display here, especially regarding the addiction and obsessions. Holmes is quick, smart, perceptive and a social stooge. He’s brilliant but has absolutely no people skills. These aspects of the show are interesting. The crimes and stories in my opinion should have a bit more of a punch.

Aidan Quinn is just hands down brilliant as Captain Gregson. He’s fun to watch and even manages to steal a scene here and there. He provides simply placed drama playing against Miller. In one episode, he is forced to admit to Holmes that he has always known about his drug addiction. It is simply Quinn at his best. He acts with his eyes (I know it sounds weird) which is very fun to watch. Quinn plays the grizzled and work weary Captain to a “T.” He relishes having Holmes around, though, to help him with the mysterious and baffling  cases.

I’m five episodes into this season and I have grown to like the show a bit more than I did upon watching the pilot. My problem with the show is well… Lucy Liu. I have a kind of love/hate relationship with Liu’s interpretation and evolution of Watson. I got used to the gender change but I think that Watson is the most under-written character of the show. I do admit that we get to know about her much more in the later episodes. This is from Sherlock consistently picking her apart all aspects of her personal life from her love life to her now defunct medical career. Her role needs a bit more meat with more conflict and more revelations. Maybe I am being impatient but in keeping with the spirit of Doyle’s  Watson we should have had some more of a hands on feel for Watson and her inclusion in Holmes’ world. Liu is very cute, likable and very watchable but just when we want to know and see more of Watson doing her thing (with the exception of the episode, Lesser Evils, where Watson gets a diagnosis of endocarditis correct) we get some very routine melodrama (like some very lame boyfriend troubles… ugh.) and the character ends up at a standstill. I do believe that they will eventually get more out of Watson but I feel that she is falling by the wayside at times and gets boring. In Liu’s defense, she is spunky and very smart. She plays Watson with confidence and gives as good as she gets. She is just not as edgy and interesting as she should be. I’m nitpicking though.

The show is evolving nicely and I suspect the best is still yet to come.  The cast is great. Quinn and Miller being the standouts and the locale is just wonderful. Another show other than Person of Interest (CBS also) that beautifully shows off my old stomping grounds, NYC! Elementary just needs a bit more self confidence to elevate it above the mundane “Police Procedural” conventions.

REVIEW: ‘Elementary’ (CBS – Thursday, 10:00 p.m.)

EDITORIAL NOTE: To understand how we do our reviews, please refer to our review of Revolution, here.

ELEMENTARY stars Jonny Lee Miller as detective Sherlock Holmes and Lucy Liu as Dr. Joan Watson in a modern-day drama about a crime-solving duo that cracks the NYPD’s most impossible cases. Following his fall from grace in London and a stint in rehab, eccentric Sherlock escapes to Manhattan where his wealthy father forces him to live with his worst nightmare – a sober companion, Dr. Watson.  A successful surgeon until she lost a patient and her license three years ago, Watson views her current job as another opportunity to help people, as well as paying a penance.  However, the restless Sherlock is nothing like her previous clients.  He informs her that none of her expertise as an addiction specialist applies to him and he’s devised his own post-rehab regimen – resuming his work as a police consultant in New York City. Watson has no choice but to accompany her irascible new charge on his jobs.  But Sherlock finds her medical background helpful, and Watson realizes she has a knack for playing investigator. Sherlock’s police contact, Capt. Tobias “Toby” Gregson (Aidan Quinn), knows from previous experience working with Scotland Yard that Sherlock is brilliant at closing cases, and welcomes him as part of the team.  With the mischievous Sherlock Holmes now running free in New York solving crimes, it’s simple deduction that he’s going to need someone to keep him grounded, and it’s elementary that it’s a job for Watson.  Rob Doherty, Sarah Timberman, Carl Beverly and Michael Cuesta, who directed the pilot, are executive producers for CBS Television Studios. – CBS

Score:     88 out of 100

Initial Impressions (September 6, 2012):

Shawn:  When we first heard about Elementary, we wanted to repeatedly punch ourselves in the face because we are kind of tired of seeing the U.S. television industry lazily copy the success of magnificent BBC programming by stealing their shows and then thoroughly screwing up what has made the BBC versions so great to begin with. To make matters worse, someone thought it was a great idea to send Holmes to New York and making matters even worse, casting Lucy Liu in the Watson role.  So, unlike the BBC’s Sherlock, which we’ll go as far to say may be the best show on television regardless of what side of the Atlantic you’re on, this adaptation of Doyle’s masterpiece not only has set the characters and the story in the modern era, but they’ve also gone so far as to change the locale to a completely different continent, ergo, destroying part of what makes Sherlock Holmes Sherlock Holmes, and they’ve changed Doctor Watson from a male, British Army Doctor to a female Asian-American surgeon.  Fantastic.  Despite that, after watching the trailer, it really doesn’t look bad.  Don’t get us wrong, it’s no Sherlock, but it doesn’t look awful.  That being said, don’t fool yourself, the lame suits at CBS have brought us, yet again, another police procedural with a gimmick (see: Numb3ers, Unforgettable, CSI and The Mentalist for recent examples of CBS doing this).

Initial Impressions (September 8, 2012):

Redeye:  Lucy Liu  in what could be a compelling crime procedural show. Only problem is, it’s a crime procedural show.  Won’t someone  please tell CBS that those are played out already?

The Review:

Shawn:  We both got it right and I am relieved to say that although Elementary is not as good as the BBC’s Sherlock, it’s still an incredibly worthy entry in the mythology of the Doyle franchise.

I wanted to bring Sherlock up immediately and discuss it regularly because it’s the biggest elephant in the room of all and it needs to be addressed so we can move on.  Elementary is not Sherlock but how the hell could it be? BBC shows are in a completely different class than American shows.  It’s not even a fair fight.  The BBC is a government-owned entity and has been its entire existence and is not nearly as dependent on advertising and 18 – 49 viewership as privately-owned American networks are.  When the BBC greenlights a project, it’s from a perspective that quality programming begets more viewership.  That’s not how it works in the U.S.  The model here is to present a product that has the most likelihood of gaining the attention and eyes of the 18 – 49 crowd on a weekly basis, quality of programming being a secondary consideration.  This really is an apples and oranges comparison.

There is ZERO chance that Sherlock could ever be produced in the U.S. with its 90-minute feature-film run times and three-episode seasons.  It just isn’t possible except for maybe on a premium network like HBO.  It’s not a coincidence that the vast majority of BBC programming that has found its way to this side of the pond has found its success on PBS (including Sherlock), a not-for-profit entity funded exclusively by donations and government grants.  So, as someone who enjoys quality television programming, not only am I thankful for what the the BBC offers, I’m beginning to appreciate the government-funded model for the arts (because television is an art) that has been the tradition in the U.K. since the BBC’s inception and I would actually prefer that the U.S. follow their lead.

That being said, I am aware that the possibility of that occurring is slim to none and I’ve come to accept how the U.S. television industry works, warts and all, and that quality programming is possible even when working within and around the standard guidelines. I’m reminded of shows like Lost that managed to find an audience on ABC because it was three years into the series before audiences realized that they were watching a Science Fiction serial, which they had generally given up on a decade earlier. The fact is that 22-episode police procedurals generally succeed in the U.S. by just moving the pieces around and cutting and pasting and that, to an extent, is why Elementary works here so well.

As I’ve noted, what’s become more and more commonplace is the the police procedural with the main character possessing some kind of uncanny and unique ability that’s not supernatural, however it does give them an advantage and greater ability to solve crimes. These shows have found a lot of success and though I’m generally skeptical of them because I come from the perspective of “you’re not fooling me, I can smell a generic procedural a mile away,” that didn’t happen with Elementary because like its BBC counterpart (which I grant is far more epic), it’s not about the ability, it’s about the characters of Holmes and Watson themselves, and they are portrayed masterfully through both writing and acting by Miller and Liu.

One of the things that needs to be noted as to why Sherlock is so good is because, frankly, Steven Moffat is a better writer than Doyle ever was and his main character’s persona being that of a self-described “high-functioning sociopath” (which was easy to call before he even admitted it) elaborates on themes only hinted at in the original work.  Why it works is because the writing never strays from that model nor do they stray from Watson’s model of the damaged, somewhat angry and lonely former soldier trying to make sense of it all while possibly being the only person that is capable of reigning in the eccentric consulting detective.  The point of this is that Moffat has smartly taken the template for the classic characters and re-imagined them while staying true to Doyle’s original intentions and this is exactly what Elementary does and it should be celebrated for doing it as effectively as it does, despite the handicap of being on American network television.

Miller is as perfectly cast for this Holmes as his long-time friend Cumberbatch is cast for his Holmes on the BBC’s hit.  Shockingly, Lucy Liu is an excellent Watson who serves to bring fresh perspectives that Holmes is frankly incapable of due to his inability to maintain normal interpersonal relationships, regardless of who’s writing the character.  As brilliant as Holmes is, even Doyle made a point to highlight his many weaknesses and in this version there is far more emphasis on the implied drug abuse issues than have been in the past. Other than the drug abuse issue, Holmes’ biggest character flaw is that though he may understand the human psyche and mentality, his own ego and inability to experience empathy has always been his downfall as well as ignoring the obvious when sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.  A strong Watson is an absolute necessity in order to humanize Holmes and Liu does it aptly but don’t expect any romance between the two because it’s not even hinted at a little bit and I think the writers are aware that going that route would effectively be the sign that the show has officially jumped the shark.

Rounding out the trifecta is Aidan Quinn playing the role of Lt. Gregson (basically the equivalent of the D.I. Lestrade character on Sherlock), an NYPD detective who has had experience with Holmes and his unique abilities since his stint in London post-9/11 and respects his insights greatly to the point where he depends on them.  I like Quinn in this role – again, another perfect job of casting.  Quinn’s best performances in my opinion are where he plays the strong every man. I think he’s been short-changed in his career in a lot of roles where the attempt has been to portray him as the larger than life leading man or the villain.  He’s far more Jimmy Stewart than he is Cary Grant and his understated performance here brings a calming influence yet he still exudes a sense of leadership despite the fact that much to the dismay of the younger detectives under his command, he often defers to the expertise of Holmes.  Gregson comes off as a character who has had enough experience professionally to know that in order to be as good as he is at what he does there is a greater wisdom in deferring to the experts at the sake of even your own ego, even if that means placating Holmes’ already massive ego.

One of my biggest concerns was that Elementary was set in New York City and not London and that’s because if you’re a fan of the franchise, you know that the city of London is as much of an integral character to the stories as any of the actual performers.  I’ve noted several times how effective a locale can be for a series when done correctly.  Think of Los Angeles for  The Shield or Albuquerque in Breaking Bad or the biggest example, the island in Lost.  London in my mind has always been just as important to this franchise.  The truth is that Elementary is so well-rounded that the locale is almost insignificant and New York works nicely for it.

This being a standard 22-episode American series, don’t expect the writers to re-imagine classic Doyle tales the way that Sherlock has done (there’s simply not enough of them to do this with and 43 minutes isn’t enough time to do them justice), but it is apparent that the writers for Elementary have been chosen well and have a masterful ability to weave a good yarn in the traditional Holmesian style.  The pilot was incredibly impressive despite the fact that it was a one-off, killer-of-the-week story that is the hallmark for all procedurals.  That being said, the best part of the story was being engaged in Holmes’ process and his uncomfortable interactions with other characters and most importantly there was no Scooby Doo ending and that alone makes it a winner.

Brilliantly cast, brilliantly written with no sense of needing to prove itself, Elementary is by far one of the best new dramas of the fall and it stands alone as an excellent tribute to the classic detective.  The biggest issue I have with the series is that CBS, being the scared little babies that they are, actually used the hashtag #Sherlock during the pilot to generate buzz for the series.  That’s cheap and unnecessary and it shows that as much confidence that the writers and producers have in the series, CBS is a little more skeptical and is hedging their bets.  Dumb across the board.

Chance of Renewal:  100%

It’s already huge and with Person of Interest as its lead-in, CBS has a one-two drama punch on Thursday that’s going to be impossible to beat.

Watch Elementary, here.

Upfronts 2012: CBS Announces 2012 – 2013 Schedule, Cancels ‘Unforgettable, ‘NYC 22’

Broken record time.  CBS announced their 2012 – 2013 schedule today at their upfront advertising event.  As usual, the press release is posted below and we’ll provide video trailers and commentary on all of their new offerings which will include our impressions of the quality of the programming and whether or not the show has a chance of surviving its first season.  That being said, the whole concept of a contemporary Sherlock Holmes in New York City makes us want to vomit and we hope BBC sues CBS.

Also, we missed this on Sunday (again, we were out of town on vacation) but CBS has also canceled Unforgettable which was pretty forgettable and NYC 22 which we never even saw a single trailer for.

Via Press Release:

CBS ANNOUNCES 2012-2013 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE

America’s Most-Watched Network Adds Four New Series

New Series Include the Dramas ELEMENTARY, VEGAS, MADE IN JERSEY, Plus the New Comedy PARTNERS

19 Current Series Return

CBS Makes Four Key Time Period Moves to Grow Nights and Spread Strength Across the Schedule

#1 New Comedy 2 BROKE GIRLS Moves to 9:00 PM on Monday

TWO AND A HALF MEN Moves to Thursday at 8:30 PM, Creating A Powerful Comedy Block with THE BIG BANG THEORY at 8:00 PM

CSI: NY to Open Fridays at 8:00 PM and THE MENTALIST Takes Over Sundays at 10:00 PM

             NEW YORK – CBS announced today its new 2012-2013 primetime schedule, ordering four new series and making four key time period moves to further enhance television’s top-rated schedule. CBS will finish the season as America’s most-watched network for the ninth time in the past 10 years, leading in viewers by the widest margin of any network in 23 years.

The new series include ELEMENTARY, a contemporary take on the legendary detective Sherlock Holmes in New York City, starring Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu; VEGAS, a drama inspired by a real-life sheriff and his battle with a powerful mobster for control of Las Vegas in the 1960s, starring Dennis Quaid and Michael Chiklis; MADE IN JERSEY, starring Janet Montgomery as a smart first-year lawyer with working-class roots practicing at a prestigious Manhattan law firm; and PARTNERS, a comedy about two very different life-long best friends and business partners and their significant others, starring David Krumholtz and Michael Urie.

“These new series feature a great range of bold concepts, rich characters, big stars and fresh faces,” said Nina Tassler, President, CBS Entertainment.  “From a new take on Sherlock Holmes to an epic battle for control of 1960s Las Vegas to a working-class point of view in a prestigious law firm, the dramas each have a unique style and sensibility.  And, our new comedy PARTNERS fits perfectly with the CBS Monday night tradition of relationship comedies with a lot of heart and humor.”

The freshman series will be joined by 19 returning shows, including the season’s #1 drama/scripted program – NCIS; the #1 scripted series in adults 18-49 and #1 comedy – THE BIG BANG THEORY; #1 new series – PERSON OF INTEREST; #1 new series/comedy in adults 18-49/25-54 – 2 BROKE GIRLS; #1 news program – 60 MINUTES; and the eight-time Emmy Award winner THE AMAZING RACE.

The other returning series include HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER, MIKE & MOLLY, HAWAII FIVE-0, NCIS: LOS ANGELES, SURVIVOR, CRIMINAL MINDS, CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION, TWO AND A HALF MEN, CSI: NY, BLUE BLOODS, 48 HOURS MYSTERY, THE MENTALIST and THE GOOD WIFE.

For midseason, the Emmy Award-nominated UNDERCOVER BOSS returns, plus the new reality series THE JOB from executive producers Michael Davies and Mark Burnett. Also for midseason are the new drama GOLDEN BOY and the new comedy FRIEND ME.

The new 2012-2013 schedule is as follows:

On Monday, CBS makes a bold scheduling move and adds a new half-hour series to TV’s top comedy night. The veteran HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER returns at 8:00 PM and provides a strong lead-in for the new comedy PARTNERS at 8:30 PM. The #1 new comedy of the season, 2 BROKE GIRLS, moves to 9:00 PM to anchor the night, followed by the sophomore hits MIKE & MOLLY at 9:30 PM and HAWAII FIVE-0 at 10:00 PM, the top-rated 10:00 PM series on television in adults 18-49.

On Tuesday, CBS uses television’s top-rated dramas as lead-ins for a new one-hour series. The #1 drama/scripted series NCIS remains at 8:00 PM, followed by the #2 drama/scripted series NCIS: LOS ANGELES at 9:00 PM, which will provide a powerful and compatible lead-in for the star-studded new series VEGAS at 10:00 PM.

On Wednesday, a successful night remains intact with potent lead-off hitter SURVIVOR at 8:00 PM, popular thriller CRIMINAL MINDS at 9:00 PM, and the resurgent time period-winning CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION at 10:00 PM, where it improved the time period by 23% in adults 18-49.

On Thursday, CBS creates a powerful comedy block and adds a provocative new drama. The #1 comedy THE BIG BANG THEORY at 8:00 PM is now paired with the #2 comedy TWO AND A HALF MEN at 8:30 PM, creating a formidable comedy duo as a lead-in for the #1 new drama PERSON OF INTEREST at 9:00 PM, which flows seamlessly into the smart new drama ELEMENTARY at 10:00 PM.

On Friday, CBS moves a veteran series to kick off the night and launches a new drama in a protected time period. CSI: NY, which consistently wins its time period, moves to 8:00 PM, providing an established lead-in for the new legal drama MADE IN JERSEY at 9:00 PM. BLUE BLOODS, the night’s most-watched series, remains a solid anchor at 10:00 PM.

Saturday will feature CBS’s CRIMETIME programming from 8:00-10:00 PM, followed by the popular true crime series 48 HOURS MYSTERY at 10:00 PM.

On Sunday, CBS adds a hit drama to a prestigious, award-winning lineup. The acclaimed news magazine 60 MINUTES returns for its 45th season to open at 7:00 PM, followed by the eight-time Emmy Award-winning THE AMAZING RACE at 8:00 PM and the critically lauded and award-winning drama THE GOOD WIFE at 9:00 PM. A proven ratings winner at 10:00 PM, THE MENTALIST moves to Sunday to close out the night.

The New Dramas:

ELEMENTARY stars Jonny Lee Miller as detective Sherlock Holmes and Lucy Liu as Dr. Joan Watson in a modern-day drama about a crime-solving duo that cracks the NYPD’s most impossible cases. Following his fall from grace in London and a stint in rehab, eccentric Sherlock escapes to Manhattan where his wealthy father forces him tolive with his worst nightmare – a sober companion, Dr. Watson.  A successful surgeon until she lost a patient and her license three years ago, Watson views her current job as another opportunity to help people, as well as paying a penance.  However, the restless Sherlock is nothing like her previous clients.  He informs her that none of her expertise as an addiction specialist applies to him and he’s devised his own post-rehab regimen – resuming his work as a police consultant in New York City. Watson has no choice but to accompany her irascible new charge on his jobs.  But Sherlock finds her medical background helpful, and Watson realizes she has a knack for playing investigator. Sherlock’s police contact, Capt. Tobias “Toby” Gregson (Aidan Quinn), knows from previous experience working with Scotland Yard that Sherlock is brilliant at closing cases, and welcomes him as part of the team.  With the mischievous Sherlock Holmes now running free in New York solving crimes, it’s simple deduction that he’s going to need someone to keep him grounded, and it’s elementary that it’s a job for Watson.  Rob Doherty, Sarah Timberman, Carl Beverly and Michael Cuesta, who directed the pilot, are executive producers for CBS Television Studios.

Dennis Quaid and Michael Chiklis star in VEGAS, a drama inspired by the true story of former Las Vegas Sheriff Ralph Lamb, a fourth-generation rancher tasked with bringing order to Las Vegas in the 1960s, a gambling and entertainment mecca emerging from the tumbleweeds.  Ralph Lamb (Quaid) wants to be left in peace to run his ranch, but Las Vegas is now swelling with outsiders and corruption which are intruding on his simple life.  Recalling Lamb’s command as a military police officer during World War II, the Mayor appeals to his sense of duty to look into a murder of a casino worker – and so begins Lamb’s clash with Vincent Savino (Chiklis), a ruthless Chicago gangster who plans to make Vegas his own.  Assisting Lamb in keeping law and order are his two deputies: his diplomatic, even-keeled brother Jack (Jason O’Mara) and his charming but impulsive son, Dixon (Taylor Handley).  Ambitious Assistant District Attorney Katherine O’Connell (Carrie-Anne Moss), who grew up on the ranch next to the Lambs, also lends a hand in preserving justice.  In Vegas, two powerful men – Lamb and Savino – are engaged in a fierce battle for control of the budding oasis, and for both of them, folding is not an option.  Nicholas Pileggi, Greg Walker, Cathy Konrad, Arthur Sarkissian and James Mangold, who also directed the pilot, are the executive producers for CBS Television Studios.

MADE IN JERSEY is a drama about a young working-class woman who uses her street smarts to compete among her pedigreed Manhattan colleagues at a prestigious New York law firm.  Martina Garretti (Janet Montgomery) finds her firm’s cutthroat landscape challenging, but what she lacks in an Ivy League education she more than makes up for with tenacity and blue-collar insight. After just a few weeks, firm founder Donovan Stark (Kyle MacLachlan), takes note of Martina’s ingenuity and resourcefulness, as does her sassy secretary Cyndi Vega (Toni Trucks).  With the support of her big Italian family, including her sexy older sister Bonnie (Erin Cummings), Martina is able to stay true to her roots as a bold, passionate lawyer on the rise in a new intimidating environment.  Jamie Tarses, Kevin Falls, Julia Franz and Mark Waters, who also directed the pilot, are the executive producers for Sony Pictures Television in association with CBS Television Studios.  Pilot was written by creator and co-executive producer Dana Calvo.

The New Comedy:

PARTNERS is a comedy based on the lives of creators David Kohan and Max Mutchnick, about two life-long best friends and business partners whose “bromance” is tested when one of them is engaged to be married.  Joe (David Krumholtz) is an accomplished architect who leads with his head and not his heart, especially in his love life.  That’s in stark contrast to his gay co-worker, Louis (Michael Urie), who is spontaneous, emotional and prone to exaggeration.  Both have found joy in their love lives: Joe is newly engaged to Ali (Sophia Bush), a beautiful and sophisticated jewelry designer, while Louis is dating Wyatt (Brandon Routh), a vegan nurse who Louis insists is just a promotion away from becoming a doctor.  As news of Joe’s engagement settles, time will tell if their business and personal bond can adapt to the addition of two other important relationships.  Emmy Award winners David Kohan and Max Mutchnick are executive producers for Warner Bros. Television.  Emmy Award winner James Burrows directed the pilot.

The New Midseason Series:

GOLDEN BOY is a drama about the meteoric rise of an ambitious cop who becomes the youngest police commissioner in the history of New York City, and the high personal and professional cost he pays to achieve it.  As he’s interviewed for a story about his career, Walter William Clark, Jr. (Theo James) flashes back on his hard-fought journey from street kid to the most powerful man in law enforcement.  After only three years as a beat cop, Clark’s heroics on the job make him bold enough to ask for and receive the unheard – of promotion to Homicide Detective, angering the members of his new department who are eager to see him fail.  Clark’s disappointed to be partnered with veteran Detective Don Owen (Chi McBride), a gruff lifer just two years shy of retirement.  He would rather team with First Grade Detective Christian Arroyo (Kevin Alejandro), the alpha dog in the squad who’s just as ambitious as Clark, but without a moral center.  Arroyo’s partner is Detective Deborah McKenzie (Bonnie Somerville), a tough third-generation cop and the only female detective in the unit. Also on the team is Detective Joe Diaco (Holt McCallany), well-connected with tremendous resources which Clark might find useful.  Though laser-focused on moving up the ladder, Clark’s soft spot is serving as the sole caregiver and supporter of his sister, Agnes (Stella Maeve), a teenager demonstrating increasingly dangerous behavior.  Keenly observant and politically savvy, the Golden Boy bases his career decisions solely on his need to succeed as quickly as possible, and he’ll find that his epic journey will be filled with consequences.  Greg Berlanti, Emmy Award winner Nicholas Wootton and Richard Shepard, who directed the pilot, are executive producers for Warner Bros. Television.

FRIEND ME is a comedy about two 20-something best friends who just moved from Indiana to Los Angeles to start cool new jobs, but can’t agree on how to socially engage in their new city. Rob (Nicholas Braun) is eager to embrace the L.A. scene and meet new people who aren’t looking down at their smart phones or laptops.  Evan (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), however, prefers to socialize online at home in his underwear, web-chatting and playing poker with his Hoosier buddies Mike (Parveesh Cheena), Sully (Tim Robinson) and Farhad (Dan Ahdoot) just a keystroke away. Meanwhile, Rob’s had enough of iChatting, and naively posts a flyer seeking new friends on the coffee house bulletin board, despite Evan’s warning that no good can come from meeting strangers in person. Soon the calls start rolling in, some with potential, some just disturbing, and Rob and a reluctant Evan embark on what will be a series of the most epic adventures – and disasters – of their lives.  Alan Kirschenbaum and Ajay Sahgal, Eric and Kim Tannenbaum, are executive producers for CBS Television Studios, in association with The Tannenbaum Company.  The pilot was directed by Pamela Fryman.

From reality show masters Michael Davies (“Who Wants To Be A Millionaire,” “Watch What Happens Live”) and Mark Burnett (“Survivor,” “The Voice”) comes a new reality series, THE JOB, where every week talented candidates are chosen from across the country for a chance to win their dream job at one of America’s most prestigious companies. Host Lisa Ling guides participants through several rounds of the most intense interviews of their lives, including challenges ranging from an on-the-spot quiz to assess their knowledge of the company to deadline-driven tasks while spending a day on the job. But the candidates aren’t the only ones in the hot seat. Adding to the pressure, a rival company is also present and waiting for an opportunity to swoop in and steal any of the contenders by making a competing offer. The participant must then decide immediately whether they will take the rival’s offer or stay in the competition in the hope that they are the last one standing for this once-in-a-lifetime job opportunity. Produced by Sony Pictures Television and Embassy Row.

CBS TELEVISION NETWORK

2012-2013 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE

(N=New, NT=New Time, all times ET/PT)

MONDAY

8:00-8:30 PM  HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER

8:30-9:00 PM  PARTNERS (N)

9:00-9:30 PM  2 BROKE GIRLS (NT)

9:30-10:00 PM  MIKE & MOLLY

10:00-11:00 PM  HAWAII FIVE-0

TUESDAY

8:00-9:00 PM  NCIS

9:00-10:00 PM  NCIS: LOS ANGELES

10:00-11:00 PM  VEGAS (N)

WEDNESDAY

8:00-9:00 PM  SURVIVOR

9:00-10:00 PM  CRIMINAL MINDS

10:00-11:00 PM  CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION

THURSDAY

8:00-8:30 PM  THE BIG BANG THEORY

8:30-9:00 PM  TWO AND A HALF MEN (NT)

9:00-10:00 PM  PERSON OF INTEREST

10:00-11:00 PM  ELEMENTARY (N)

FRIDAY

8:00-9:00 PM  CSI: NY (NT)

9:00-10:00 PM  MADE IN JERSEY (N)

10:00-11:00 PM  BLUE BLOODS

SATURDAY

8:00-9:00 PM  CRIMETIME SATURDAY

9:00-10:00 PM  CRIMETIME SATURDAY

10:00-11:00 PM  48 HOURS MYSTERY

SUNDAY

7:00-8:00 PM  60 MINUTES

8:00-9:00 PM  THE AMAZING RACE

9:00-10:00 PM  THE GOOD WIFE

10:00-11:00 PM  THE MENTALIST (NT)

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About CBS Corporation

CBS Corporation (NYSE: CBS.A and CBS) is a mass media company that creates and distributes industry-leading content across a variety of platforms to audiences around the world. The Company has businesses with origins that date back to the dawn of the broadcasting age as well as new ventures that operate on the leading edge of media. CBS owns the most-watched television network in the U.S. and one of the world’s largest libraries of entertainment content, making its brand – “the Eye” – one of the most recognized in business. The Company’s operations span virtually every field of media and entertainment, including cable, publishing, radio, local TV, film, outdoor advertising, and interactive and socially responsible media. CBS’s businesses include CBS Television Network, The CW (a joint venture between CBS Corporation and Warner Bros. Entertainment), Showtime Networks, CBS Sports Network, Smithsonian Networks, Simon & Schuster, CBS Television Stations, CBS Radio, CBS Outdoor, CBS Television Studios, CBS Studios International, CBS Television Distribution, CBS Interactive, CBS Consumer Products, CBS Home Entertainment, CBS Films and CBS EcoMedia. For more information, go to www.cbscorporation.com.

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REVIEW: Sherlock (PBS – Sunday, 10:00 p.m.)

A contemporary take on the classic Arthur Conan Doyle stories, Sherlock is a thrilling, funny, fast-paced adventure series set in present-day London. Co-created by Steven Moffat (Doctor Who, Coupling) and Mark Gatiss, Sherlock stars BAFTA-nominee Benedict Cumberbatch (Hawking, Amazing Grace) as the new Sherlock Holmes and Martin Freeman (The Office, Love Actually), as his loyal friend, Doctor John Watson. Rupert Graves plays Inspector Lestrade. The iconic details from Conan Doyle’s original books remain–they live at the same address, have the same names and, somewhere out there, Moriarty is waiting for them. And so across three thrilling, scary, action-packed and highly modern-day adventures, Sherlock and John navigate a maze of cryptic clues and lethal killers to get at the truth. – Amazon

100 out of 100 

Sherlock, a new British Television series, really took us by surprise and has us hooked. It is the best drama series to come out of the UK since the impressive Foyle’s War. It is an updated and contemporary re-telling of the exploits of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson and we are thrilled to say that the title characters created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle are in good hands with creators Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss.

The first season consists of three 90-minute episodes that find our sleuths solving cases, getting into trouble and irritating Scotland Yard to no end. The first episode, A Study in Pink, introduces us to John Watson, played brilliantly by Martin Freeman (The Hobbit). Watson is a war vet and has been wounded in battle. After his discharge he returns to London, desperate for room and board and for some company. Well, he does find this and more in the form of a tall, lanky and messy-haired private dick named Sherlock Holmes, played with incredible flexibility by Benedict Cumberbatch. Holmes eventually dissects Watson after meeting up with a mutual friend at a crime lab. This is the first of many wonderful scenes where we watch Sherlock deduce, examine, take apart and observe the world around him. He is arrogant, aloof, methodical and impertinent. He is even a bit unstable and Watson is even warned to stay away from him as he is considered a bit on the dangerous and reckless side.

Holmes and Watson take a trip forward in time... but not this far.

Cumberbatch and Freemanare perfectly cast in the title roles of these classic characters. Cumberbatch’s Holmes is a quick-witted thinker and is always one or two steps ahead of everyone. He and Freeman are incredible to watch since Freeman’s Watson is the more, somewhat “cooler head” and not so spontaneous, quick and less face it… impulsive. Freeman plays Watson as an injured soul who desperately needs action and misses the war. He has seen some atrocities and wants to move ahead with his life but finds it hard to adjust. He is then at the mercy of Holmes who makes Watson’s world a living hell. And there’s where this breezy, smart show turns comical. Watson is always trying to keep up with Holmes and at one point Holmes even allows Watson to get arrested.

Sherlock is very strong in dialogue and rooted in the basic tradition that incorporates the Holmes canon. There is, of course, Holmes’ addictive nature, however, instead of cocaine and many of the other vices the original regularly would partake in, in this verison, our hero is addicted to nicotine patches that he claims “help him think.” So, no traditional pipe. He has a landlady named Mrs Hudson, who is constantly being yelled at by Holmes and they, of course, live at 221B Baker Sreet.

Holmes also butts heads with Inspector Greg Lestrade, played by actor Rupert Graves. Lestrade constantly requires Holmes’ help but can never admit it out loud. He is frustrated by him but admires his ability. Holmes makes it a priority to always insult the Scotland Yard authorities. When things click and mesh between Holmes and Watson (which takes a while) that is when the game is afoot!  (Sorry… but we just couldn’t resist.)

By the second episode, The Blind Banker, Holmes and Watson are settled in with their routine of solving very strange and difficult cases. Cumberbatch is athletic and the camera movements are fun to watch as the show is framed perfectly in order to keep up with the mobility of the characters. London has never looked better. It is bustling, raw and alive. Just the perfect place for mayhem and murder.

What makes the show work besides its great production values, smart scripts that never insult your intelligence and complicated mysteries, is the insanely well-timed chemistry of Cumberbatch and Freeman. They are so much fun to watch. When they argue we can’t help but smile. They are best friends but Holmes’ eccentricities madden Watson. More than once, Watson gets locked out of places that Holmes is in. These small things just endear us to them. Holmes manages to spit out the witty dialogue with machine gun rapidity and at times may even lose the viewer (we often have to turn the subtitles on to catch some of this rapid-fire dialogue) if they do not concentrate on the events at hand.

Sherlock never insults or panders to us. We get totally immersed and involved in the updated world of these two icons. Where the old Holmes may be a bit stiff and rigid, this new Holmes is energized and quick on his feet. It is indeed a new Victorian interpretation for these modern times. What we admire is the respect given to these wonderful characters and Professor Moriarty, played by Andrew Scott, does make his appearance in The Great Game and we are in for some fantastic confrontations between he and Holmes.  Of course Watcon asks the question that we’re all thinking: “Does anyone really ever have a arch-nemesis?” Watch and find out if it’s true between Holmes and Moriarty.

The three episodes of season one are currently airing on PBS (check your local listings, here.) and season two will begin on May 6th.  In the meantime, Netflix customers have the entire first season available in full 1080p HD for streaming at any time.  So watch Sherlock,  and remember, it’s “Elementary.”