"Elementary" brings a new Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson to TV viewers

Pilot-- Jonny Lee Miller (right) stars as Sherlock Holmes and Lucy Liu (left) stars as Watson on the new television series ELEMENTARY, premiering Thursdays, 10pm ET/PT this Fall on the CBS Television Network. Photo: David M. Russell/CBS David M. Russell

(CBS News) Sherlock Holmes is back - with a few twists - in "Elementary," a new drama that premiered Thursday on CBS.

The show, from creator Robert Doherty, re-imagines Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller) as a modern-day sleuth and recovering drug addict. Watson is also presented in a new way - she's Dr. Joan Watson, and played by Lucy Liu.

When we meet Holmes, he is fresh out of rehab and living in New York City. Watson shows up at his home and announces she's his "sober companion" - hired by his father to make sure he keeps clean.

.Thanks to a NYPD captain (Aiden Quinn) Holmes worked with during his days in London, he gets a fresh start solving crimes on this side of the pond.

The crime portion of the show comes in the same procedural format you can see on many shows on many networks (This week's involved a woman murdered in what first appears to be a home invasion).

What makes things interesting here is seeing Holmes at work - he's methodical and hyper-astute, finding connections and clues in clever ways. And Watson quickly proves that she's got an aptitude for sleuthing, too.

Holmes is rude, anti-social and work-obsessed, but Miller succeeds in making the character likable. Liu's Watson is stoic and pragmatic but still vulnerable, making her a formidable foil. She also has a dark past of her own - Holmes manages to unravel some details during this first episode, but it appears there's still more to tell.

There's also no evidence that their relationship will become romantic. So far it's strictly business, and that benefits their characters and the show.

In a television field crowded with procedurals, the energy and strong central characters on "Elementary" show the potential to keep viewers investigating.

Tell us: Did you watch "Elementary"?

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  • Jessica Derschowitz

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