Thursday, January 30, 2014

Back to WGN for a guy named Sherlock.

It's Elementary night in America. Time to settle in with your two favorite hookers, some take-out from your brother's restaurant, and do a self-tattoo of the episode number and name of your latest hour of random elements before your redundant detective room-mate gets home.

Wow, a lot of pent-up Elementary love there . . .  sorry, we all have our demons. But on to the news of the day.

WGN America announced a deal to get first dibs on running Elementary's reruns today, which is significant when one considers WGN's roots as a Chicago TV station . . . especially regarding an earlier contract they were involved in. Here's a paragraph from John Nieminski's history of The Hounds of the Baskerville (sic):

"In the summer of 1966, WGN-TV purchased screening rights to the twelve Sherlock Holmes films produced by Universal in the 1940s, for airing that fall on 'The Sherlock Holmes Theater," and contracted with their star, Basil Rathbone, to do opening and closing commentaries and commercial break lead-ins. The actor travelled to Chicago in August of that year for three days of taping, and on the afternoon of the 23rd was the feature attraction at a combined press party and post-production luncheon held in an executive conference room on the premises."

Vincent Starrett, along with three other members of The Hounds of the Baskerville (sic) got to lunch at WGN with Rathbone that day, where Rathbone regaled them with some amazing stories, one of which involved Adrian Conan Doyle trying to talk Basil into meeting his father's ghost.

Even though WGN America of now isn't WGN-TV of then, it would still be pretty cool if Jonny Lee Miller went to Chicago and had lunch with a few of the Hounds (and if they got him to Starrett's grave . . . well, cool upon cool.) Funny how things circle 'round.


  1. Interesting reminiscence of WGN. Don't feel guilty for your opinion of Elementary. You watch it so we don't have to.

    On a very shallow level--I want my Sherlocks to be good looking. Basil Rathbone had that aquiline elegant thing going--much like the classic illustrations in the Strand. Jeremy Brett was beautiful, until his health failed. Benedict Cumberbatch was an actor with a striking face--until Sherlock made him a heartthrob. (Robert Downey doesn't really count but I enjoy Tony Stark's Steampunk Adventures. Jude Law is an excellent Watson, though.)

    Sherlock should NOT be tattooed. Nor should he have permastubble. (And I don't need to hear about HIS ADDICTION. Don't tell me about drugs--I lived through the 60's--and the 70's, 80's & 90's. Tell me about brilliant, entertaining people who may have a personality quirk or two!)

  2. Have a pic, in one of my books somewhere, of that luncheon - one of the other Hounds of the Baskerville was Bob Hahn - one of the two BSI I've met in my time (I don't get around much!)