For Elementary Fans Season 6 May Be a Short Farewell
I have been a fan of Elementary since it came to air 5 seasons ago. I like Jonny Lee Miller quite a bit, and I can tolerate Lucy Liu. The show has generally proven to be smart and biting, with enough twists and turns to keep me entertained. Sometimes I think they are just setting you up to feel smart, but for the most part, it’s good entertainment and something that is generally lacking in OTA network TV these days.
That said, the ratings haven’t been all that great. Elementary started well and sort of has been slowly fading over time. The show was shuffled off to the death chambers of Sunday night, but somehow has managed to survive. By the skin of it’s teeth (and by a ton of overseas resale income) the show has managed 5 good full seasons, with the ending of season 5 being a somewhat shocking cliff hanger with huge implications.
Sadly, whatever joy fans of Elementary had in finding out the show was renewed for a 6th season was lost with the small type that came with the announcement: Season 6 will only be 13 episodes, and they will only start “mid season”, so likely after the end of NFL football.
What this and the cliff hanger point to is a potential end play for Sherlock and his irregulars. I won’t disclose the cliff hanger here, but safe to say it could easily be played out over a short run of shows terminating in the ultimate, you can’t take that back ending of all endings. From where I sit, there is absolutely, utterly no change that there will be an Elementary Season 7. The 13 episodes of Elementary Season 6 will almost certainly be the loose end shows that tights everything up and sends us on our ways, dismissed in the same manner Sherlock might an innocent man.
The sad truth here is that network TV is fighting for it’s life. The difference between a successful show and a a failing show is a couple of rating points at best. CBS is undoubtedly also looking at salaries and costs, which generally go up over the lifetime of a show. On the other side, Miller and liu may also been watching the clock, 6 years given over to this project can be a very long time in an performer’s life, and the risk for each of them is getting stuck and typecast by this popular show. For Miller, he dispelled that at least a little bit by going back to the start and playing SickBoy again in the Transpotting sequel, which has generally been pretty well reviewed and let him be someone else for a change.
It’s going to be a long time before we see Sherlock again and see how this cliff hanger plays out, and it’s going to be sad to have such a short season to close out an excellent run.