Watching Sherlock Holmes after the Ravens and the 49ers go head-to-head in the Super Bowl may not seem like a natural fit, but come Sunday, a few million more eyeballs will be tuning in for CBS' hit freshman drama Elementary— and whether those viewers have seen the show or not, they'll certainly be in for a ride.
"The challenge with that episode is to try to craft something that's more inclusive, something that our regular audience will enjoy, but something that will also hopefully pull in some new people," executive producer Rob Doherty tells TVGuide.com. "The goal is to demonstrate what the show is and can be week in and week out and we feel like we have a good episode for those purposes."
For that reason, the writers decided against their initial plan to air the Sebastian Moran (Vinnie Jones) episode, "M." — in which Sherlock (Jonny Lee Miller) tortures and nearly kills the British assassin after suspecting he killed Sherlock's former love, Irene Adler — for the Super Bowl.
"We found out we were doing a Super Bowl episode when I was breaking 'M.,'" Doherty recalls. "I wondered, 'Well, hey, we have a big mythological story here, many secrets are revealed. Is there something to be said for pushing this story to that slot?' The reason we didn't was one of the goals and hopes when you air an episode in that slot is to bring new people in and I feel like 'M.' is far more satisfying for people who have been watching the show from the beginning. Ultimately, in that slot, it becomes a little exclusive in that the majority of the audience will be going, 'OK, who's he and how does she know him?'"
Instead, viewers will see Sherlock and his sober companion Joan Watson (Lucy Liu) go on the hunt for Martin Ennis (Terry Kinney), a notorious and highly intelligent criminal who can match wits with the best of them — including Holmes. "He's on the loose in New York City and up to no good," Doherty previews. Both the NYPD and the FBI will work the case, which will lead to Sherlock running into a blast from his past in FBI profiler Kathryn Drummond (Covert Affairs' Kari Matchett).
"He has an intense dislike for her," Doherty says. "Joan's a little puzzled as to why that is, but as we get deeper into the episode, we find that they had a more significant connection than she initially thought."
Still, amidst the darkness of the manhunt, Doherty promises some lighter fun in Sunday's episode. "The first 90 seconds of the show is a fun little sting operation that Sherlock has put together in the brownstone," he says. "And we have a story about Joan being evicted from the apartment she maintains for what we hope will be highly entertaining reasons. The person she's subletting to did some things in the apartment that he wasn't supposed to." Does this mean Joan will be moving into the brownstone full time? "It guarantees nothing," he says. "Joan loves that apartment and that's where she plans to return after she wraps up with any client. It's her Fortress of Solitude."
Will you be tuning in for Sunday's post-Super Bowl episode? Hit the comments with your thoughts!
Elementary regularly airs Thursdays at 10/9c on CBS.