Sunday, July 10, 2016

The 80 Million Dollar Man.

A little article about the ongoing business behind CBS's Elementary revealed an interesting tidbit today: CBS's "Sherlock Holmes" has made approximately $80 million in profits for its corporate masters.

That figure . . . let me write it out in full, $80,000,000.00 . . . not only means the show made more than Conan Doyle did from Sherlock Holmes in his lifetime (After adjustments for inflation, though? Who knows?), it also possibly makes it the most profitable pastiche of all time.

While it's impossible to calculate all the profit that Conan Doyle's Holmes and the Original Canon has made for various publishers over the years, a figure that surely dwarfs that 80 mill, 80 million dollars profit is most certainly a monumental achievement. And we're not even talking major TV hit here. Not Game of Thrones, Walking Dead, or even the top CBS show -- Big Bang Theory and NCIS are the big performers over there. Can you imagine the sort of money Elementary would have made if it had actually been an indisputably great show? Or if CBS had successfully transitioned Sherlock to America, as they first hoped? And gave the show a bigger production budget? (Yes, less profit from bigger budget, but, oh, how weary one gets of those dull urban settings . . .)

But the rebuilt character Jonny Lee Miller fleshed out as an NYC version of Sherlock Holmes has at least one more season to go, despite the steady decline in ratings since the first season. So by the time he's done, syndication money and all, Mr. Elementary might even be a $100 Million Dollar Man.

Steve Austin, eat your heart out.

We live in strange times, my friends. A reality show blowhard is America's best-TV-ratings political candidate and a New York City heroin addict is America's Sherlock Holmes. And they're both making a ton of money, just being who they are.

And it fanfic writers sometimes think that they're the ones making Conan Doyle spin so fast in his grave these days, they might want to step back and consider the $80 Million Dollar Man and the RPMs that his situation is adding to Doyle's posthumous ire.

Because $80 mill is some real money.


  1. That news had to leave you a little flat this evening.

    1. “No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.”

  2. 'Can you imagine the sort of money Elementary would have made if it had actually been an indisputably great show?'

    It would have been cancelled within 4 episodes. Who me, bitter?