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Sherlock Holmes Series Elementary Gets a Full-Season Order From CBS: Four Things to Work On

CBS announced yesterday that it’s giving a full-season order to its freshman drama series Elementary. This news isn’t a huge surprise - the modern-day Sherlock Holmes adaptation has been performing admirably for the network on Thursday nights. It’s the second most popular new series of the season and averages somewhere in the 11-14 million viewers per episode range, even if their demos do skew rather on the older side. (This is CBS though, so I’m sure that fact wasn’t terribly unexpected, either.)

For many Sherlock Holmes enthusiasts, this is probably very welcome news – and I agree that more Holmes in any incarnation is almost always excellent. While Elementary did not turn out to be quite the trainwreck I had originally envisioned and I mostly enjoyed the pilot, personally, I’ve found its subsequent episodes to be somewhat mediocre. Since it’s now confirmed that we’ll be seeing a lot more of Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu for the rest of the year – American seasons run for 22 episodes after all – there’s plenty of time for the show to work out its kinks. Here are a few suggestions.

Returning Cast Members, Storylines Revealed for Final Series of Skins

E4 has confirmed which cast members will return for the final series of its groundbreaking teen drama Skins. The show will bow out with three two-part specials, each focused on a different character and their journey into adulthood.

The finale specials will primarily feature Kaya Scodelario’s Effy, Jack O’Connell’s Cook and Hannah Murray’s Cassie, though it’s looking likely that several of the other regular Skins cast members will make appearances in each of these episodes. For example, Lily Loveless and Kat Prescott are set to appear as fan favorites Naomi and Emily, though none of the specials will technically be centered on their characters.

The episodes – titled Skins Pure, Skins Rise and Skins Fire - will be written by series creators Brian Elsley and Jamie Brittain, with some help from Jess Brittain. Series 7 is described by producers as being “more adult” and “more uncompromising” than previous installments, since the teens are now young adults facing real-world problems. Well, well, well, huh? Click through some for some plot details about each of these new episodes and my thoughts on all this madness. (Spoiler: It’s a mixed bag.)

CBS' Elementary Is Actually Better Than These Posters Would Indicate

My relationship with upcoming CBS Sherlock Holmes adaptation Elementary is already rather fraught and complicated, and the series hasn’t even premiered yet. Since way back when this was announced as a pilot – well before it was even greenlit to series – I have not been entirely thrilled about the prospect of another modern-day Holmes TV show, and transplanted to New York no less! (I know that I was not alone in this initial reaction either, so I don’t feel too badly about it.)

My opinions toward Elementary, however, have softened considerably since seeing the pilot episode at Comic Con this summer. While it’s certainly got nothing on BBC’s masterful Sherlock series, the CBS adaptation does have its moments and star Jonny Lee Miller is interesting enough in the role of Holmes to at least merit a couple of episodes’ worth of our attention. It will certainly be interesting to read all the initial reactions to this series once it premieres on September 27 (that';s day after tomorrow, if you're counting).

Unfortunately the promotional material surrounding the series’ debut seems determined to play up the most cliché, cringeworthy and even, yes, elementary elements prior to its launch. When everyone who follows any sort of entertainment television at all is automatically going to compare this show to the BBC’s highly stylized and super intelligent Sherlock series, the decision to release an initial series of promos and clips that appear designed to showcase the most banal and expected moments from the American version seems ill-advised. And that’s before we get to this, the latest set of promotional posters that have been released. Which are…not good. Like, really, really not good.

There is literally no way to prepare you for how bad this is, so click through and just look at them for yourselves.

 

Get Your First Look at Sherlock’s Benedict Cumberbatch in Parade’s End

The first trailer for BBC Two’s sumptuous-looking costume drama Parade’s End starring Sherlock’s Benedict Cumberbatch and The Town’s Rebecca Hall has been released. Finally. The whole idea of Cumberbatch + period drama + romantic angst is basically my personal kryptonite, so I’ve pretty much been refreshing my Google feeds daily for any information about this upcoming series. And in my obviously quite biased opinion, this looks fantastic. Lush and romantic and full of class issues, all the sorts of things that those of us who love costume drama tend to crave.

The five-part miniseries is written by no less than Sir Tom Stoppard (Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, Arcadia) and is based on a series of four novels by Ford Madox Ford. Parade’s End will follow the story of English aristocrat Christopher Tietjens (Cumberbatch) and his wife Sylvia (Hall) from the last years of the Edwardian era through the end of the First World War.

Click through, take a look for yourself, and leave your thoughts in the comments.

It's Tiny, But BBC One's Promo for Ripper Street Still Packs a Lot of Atmosphere

The BBC used the closing ceremonies of the London Olympics last night to kick off their promotional campaign for upcoming period/crime drama Ripper Street, with what I assume must be one of the shortest teaser trailers in existence.

“As the sun sets on the Olympics, darkness rises,” intones an ominous sounding voiceover, as three men chase (presumably) a criminal through a shadowy alley. That’s literally it as far as new footage goes, but since Ripper Street is pretty high on my list of 2012 programs I’m excited about, I don’t mind so much. It’s all terribly atmospheric.

Created by Mistresses’ writer Richard Warlow and starring MI-5’s Matthew Macfadyen, Game of Thrones’ Jerome Flynn, The Twilight Saga’s Myanna Buring and Luther’s David Dawson, this eight-part period drama will attempt to make the oft-depicted Jack the Ripper murders interesting again by focusing on the aftermath of the famous crimes instead of identity of the murderer. Ripper Street will dramatize the life of London’s H Division, the police precinct charged with keeping order in the Whitechapel neighborhood in the days following the Ripper killings.

Click through and take a look. There’s certainly not enough (any?) actual footage to make any sort of judgment about the series, but if this sort of thing is your cup of tea, it’s enough to get you excited for more.

New Trailer for CBS’ Sherlock Holmes Adaptation Elementary

CBS has released a new trailer for their upcoming Sherlock Holmes adaptation Elementary. This one is very heavy on the Jonny Lee Miller version of Holmes being sort of quirky and strange stuff, but at least seems to have backed off the Holmes/Watson vaguely relationship-oriented tension thing, which is nice.

Is it weird that it bugs me so much that Joan apparently doesn’t get a first name in this trailer? She’s just “WATSON”. So bizarre. That’s a kind of strange tick throughout the pilot actually – they’re forever calling her Watson, which I suppose is some kind of nod to the canon, but I am having a hard time imagining a woman who enjoys being addressed like that.

Click through and take a look for yourself - Elementary premieres Thursday, September 27. It will be so interesting to see what everyone else thinks of it.

David Tennant Talks Upcoming Drama The Spies of Warsaw

During last week’s Television Critics Association Press Tour, former Doctor Who star David Tennant was on hand to get the promotional wheels started for his new upcoming spy drama, a BBC/BBC America co-production called The Spies of Warsaw. Based on the Alan Furst novel of the same name, Tennant will be starring opposite a stellar ensemble cast that includes Torchwood’s Burn Gorman, The Hour’s Anton Lesser and White Heat’s Richard Lintern.

Tennant took the time to appear on G4’s Attack of the Show, where he was most adorable, used his real accent and talked a bit about both his latest project and his time on Doctor Who. Oh, and there’s also dancing. It’s definitely worth a watch. Click through and take a look for yourself!

The Countdown to Series 7 is On – New Doctor Who Trailer and Promotional Art!

The first trailer for the upcoming seventh series of Doctor Who hit the internet this morning and in a word, it's awesome. The show’s producers really weren’t kidding apparently, when they said this season would have a “blockbuster” feel – this clip could probably compete with most movie ads.

The first proper footage from Series 7 – outside of the clips they screened for fans at Comic Con - is quite impressive, including everything from Daleks to dinosaurs to Weeping Angels to River Song to Detective Inspector Lestrade from Sherlock (sort of). No official date has been announced for Doctor Who’s return as yet, though most people online are speculating that the premiere will happen in late August. (Since BBC America has been screening Who the same day-and-date as BBC One, it’s likely this will hold true in the States, as well.)

Click through for a look at the new Doctor Who trailer for yourselves, as well as the first bit of (really amazing) Series 7 promotional art.

Want a First Look at the Elementary Pilot? Read on for an Early Review

CBS held a preview screening and cast Q&A with the stars and writers of their new modern Sherlock Holmes adaptation Elementary at this year’s San Diego Comic Con. Several thousand of us all got to watch the pilot together and then listen to folks behind the scenes talk about their new project.

Given that I have previously expressed more than a few varied and detailed issues with the fact that this CBS Holmes adaptation exists at all, you may be surprised by what I’m about to say here. Which is, basically, that Elementary – or the pilot at least – is not nearly as bad as I expected. In fact, it’s quite enjoyable.

The pilot isn’t perfect, and it seems apparent that this show will never hit anywhere close to the same level of quality as the BBC Sherlock that’s currently all the rage on both sides of the pond. That said, it’s very watchable, thanks in large part to the great cast. It’s enjoyable enough even that I’m going to give it a couple of episodes to see how it goes instead of just immediately writing it off. (Trust me, I’m as surprised as any of you about this fact.)

Why? Click through for a more detailed read on my early thoughts on Elementary, as well as a few tidbits about the show’s direction that were let out of the bag during their Comic Con panel.

 

The First Trailer for the US Remake of The Inbetweeners is Here

MTV is yet again attempting to remake a popular British teen series for American audiences. Their version of E4’s The Inbetweeners is set to premiere on August 20 and the first trailer for this adaptation has officially arrived.

You should all know that I’m very, very fond of the original Inbetweeners, so the thought of anyone messing with it sort of makes me upset. (If you’ve never seen it, the original is legitimately hilarious, even if you occasionally do need a strong stomach or high tolerance for profanity to get through an episode.) To put it bluntly, the initial trailer does not give me a lot of high hopes for the quality of this remake, and I fear we are about to add yet another series to the list of attempted “Americanized” British shows that didn’t work at all.

Cilck through to take a look at the new MTV trailer for yourself as well as watch a clip from the original series, and then let’s have a chat about this whole “remake” thing.

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