Elementary Season 6 Starts With Season 7 Confirmed
It wasn’t looking very good for our friend Sherlock Holmes this past winter. CBS had taken the show Elementary, which had been sort of dragging along on Sunday nights, and marked it as a “winter replacement” or “spring only” series, and gave the team a very short order of episodes (some said as little as 10). At the time, I thought it was probably a deserved farewell round for the faithful Elementary fans, and the end was nigh.
How wrong I was!
Season 6 debuted in April, now on Monday nights on CBS in the US, with not only confirmation that the season would be a near full one, but also the even more surprising announcement that the series was already renewed for season 7. Interstingly, it doesn’t seem to be about the ratings on the network as much as the international sales, the resale to WGN, and the PPV / streaming options such as Hulu. The show has been remarkably profitable for CBS, who are the “full owners” of this series.
The ratings for season 6 are worse than season 6, down from 6.x to 4.x, but with a twist. Elementary is the winner in it’s timeslot, 10PM on a Monday night, although it lags slightly in the 18/49 demographic, which means that it’s audience is either younger (doubtful at that time) or older (more likely). In a recent survey, it outdrew it’s lead in show, the top rated comedy Big Bang. So while the 4.x ratings aren’t big, they are big for Monday nights and keep the money rolling in at CBS.
Giving the show a 7th season also helps to pad out any long term streaming or resale options for the show. If it is sold as a “5 nights a week” package to independent channels and such, you want to have as many episodes as possible to make it a “twice in a year” thing. There are 260 week days in a year, so you want at minimum 130 episodes in the can to make it work. With only 6 seasons, it would barely make it, with 7 seasons, it’s very likely to have 150+ episodes with makes for a nice longer term resale market.
Of course, none of this matters for the fans of our Sherlock. Jonny Lee Miller, Lucy Lui, and all of the cast are back in this new season, with Holmes mental issues front and center for the most part. There is a nice psycho killer story arc building, Joan is doubting her position in life, and her sister is much more front and center this year, giving Joan an outlet to sort of talk about stuff and get things out without having to use the police to do it. To be fair, Gregson and Bell on the police side have so far been getting the short shift on things, playing much more the cardboard roles they played in season 1. I suspect this is only temporary as we get to deal with Sherlock’s medical issues and Joan’s consideration of a life changing move. The cases so far have been great, the old Holmes shows through in picking out an odd detail or action and working the line solidly, keeping the audience on their toes trying to outguess the man and the myth. That He shows absolutely no qualms in crossing the line from legal to very grey is another quirk that keeps things interesting and moving forward.
For fans, it’s a celebration. We know how we have probably another 40-50 episodes of this series to come, it’s like a feast promised soon to be delivered!