Rob Sheffield's 2012 Fall TV Preview

Your day-by-day guide to the 21 new and returning shows worth watching

'Elementary'

'Elementary'
Craig Blankenhorn/CBS

CBS, Thursdays at 10 p.m.

We're living in a golden age of Sherlock Holmes knockoffs, from House to Breaking Bad, with brainy asshole antiheroes who boast superdeveloped intellects and no other human skills. But the Sherlock of
Elementary captures the brain-for-hire cynicism of the original stories. Jonny Lee Miller, best known as Sick Boy from Trainspotting, has a bratty restlessness that's perfect for this Holmes, a London-born rogue who just got out of rehab and moved to New York to get off drugs. (People do that in real life all the time, right?) Lucy Liu is his sober sidekick, Dr. Watson, and Aidan Quinn gives them a run for their money as the NYPD captain who has to work with this head case. It's Sherlock Holmes as the ultimate freelancer – especially since he has a rich daddy to cover his health insurance.

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