Emboldened by its years of taking successful risks on procedurals where an eccentric, cocky Sherlock Holmes descendant solves crimes using unorthodox methods, CBS has recently begun experimenting with some even more out-there ideas. Like Elementary, a procedural where an eccentric, cocky, actual Sherlock Holmes solves crimes using unorthodox methods in modern-day New York. Or Quean, a procedural in which an “edgy, independent hacker girl” helps an older male detective solve crimes using unorthodox methods, like edgy hacking.
However, much as proponents of the USA show Psych once criticized CBS’ The Mentalist for copying the basic premise of a faux-psychic using his highly attuned powers of observation to solve crimes, despite the fact that CBS’ version clearly wears a lot of vests, the network has recently come under fire for its new shows’ similarities to, respectively, the BBC’s Sherlock and The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. And much as the BBC threatened to take legal action against the producers of Elementary, the rumblings of a lawsuit from Sony against Warner Bros. TV has now prompted CBS to ditch its Quean idea entirely.
Of course, Elementary was able to escape a similar fate by casting Lucy Liu as Watson, instantly rendering its take on Sherlock completely and totally original, because look at her. Unfortunately, Quean couldn’t negate its own comparisons no matter how many women and ethnic groups it added: According to Deadline, the pilot script was rewritten to change “the lead’s employer from a PI to a law firm, her boss from a white male private investigator to a black female lawyer, and the protagonist herself from a loner to a girl with a boyfriend,” and yet still Sony wasn’t appeased, simply because the lead was still a female hacker, even if she did work with a black woman now. So the show has now been scrapped, with CBS forced to look elsewhere for its next trailblazing idea for an eccentric, cocky Sherlock Holmes descendant solving crimes using unorthodox methods. Like maybe in our own original spec script, The Symbologist, Like The Guy From The Da Vinci Code But Not Him Exactly, which is available for network perusal.