Friday 17 November 2017

TV stations go to battle for a modern Sherlock Holmes

Adam Sherwin

It's a fresh take on Sherlock Holmes which will transplant the sleuth to a modern-day setting. But it doesn't take Baker Street's finest to deduce the source material for a major new drama announced by American network CBS.

The producers of the BBC's acclaimed 'Sherlock' series, starring Benedict Cumberbatch, are prepared to take legal action against the US network over a rival Holmes series which appears to tread on familiar ground.

The BBC version is already a cult hit in America, where it is screened on the PBS network. The show's contemporary reinvention of Arthur Conan Doyle's stories, allied to slick production values, impressed network executives at CBS -- so when an offer to remake the BBC's 'Sherlock' for US viewers came to nothing, they decided to go ahead and make their own.

In a move which has caused concern at Hartswood Films, the BBC show's producers, CBS has commissioned 'Elementary', described as a new Sherlock Holmes adaptation set in modern-day New York.

Sue Vertue, 'Sherlock' executive producer at Hartswood Films, said: "We have to assume that their modernised Sherlock Holmes doesn't resemble ours in any way, as that would be extremely worrying."

Margaret Tofalides, a copyright specialist at law firm Manches, said: "The concept of a new Sherlock Holmes is unprotectable. But if the unusual elements of the BBC series -- the modern settings, characters, clothes, plots and distinctive visual style -- were closely reproduced in the CBS version, that could form the basis of a potential copyright claim." (© Independent News Service)

Irish Independent

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