One of the producers behind CBS's long-running procedural Elementary is taking a similar approach to another piece of classic literature with a new series based on Mary Shelley's Frankenstein ordered to pilot at the network.
According to Deadline, the series being developed by Jason Tracey will center on a San Francisco homicide detective who is mysteriously brought back to life after being killed in the line of duty -- but as he resumes his old life, and he and his wife realize he isn’t the same person he used to be, they zero in on the strange man behind his resurrection: Dr. Victor Frankenstein.
This is the second time in less than five years that a network police procedural has used the Frankenstein hook, the previous being Second Chance, which during the course of its labored and ultimately doomed development was known as Frankenstein, The Frankenstein Code, and Lookinglass.
In that series, which ran for 11 episodes on FOX in 2016, the resurrected character was a disgraced ex-cop who was revived as a younger version of himself. His resurrection granted him enhanced strength, speed, and stamina -- but he would start to die if he remained away from the rejuvenating powers of the Lookinglass corporation, which had revived him as part of a broader plan to save the life of one of its founders.
In general, Tracey and the network will have a tough road ahead of them; it has been quite a while since the last time there was a big hit based on Frankenstein. At the box office, the last adaptation of Shelley's masterpiece that managed to become a big hit was almost 25 years ago.
CBS recently revealed that Elementary would end after the current season, bringing to an end one of the most popular police procedurals in recent network history.
Since its debut in 2012, Elementary has been a staple of CBS' lineup. Initially airing on Thursday nights for its first three season, the series has moved time slots a handful of times. Season 4 was split over its original Thursday night and Sundays where it stayed through Season 5. Season 6 saw the series make some of its biggest shifts, moving not only to Monday nights but shifting from being part of the fall schedule to the summer one. Despite the shifts, Elementary has continued to be well-received by viewers and is one of only three broadcast series that made their debut in fall 2012 that remain on the air -- the other two being NBC's Chicago Fire and The CW"s Arrow.
In addition to being a solid performer for CBS domestically, the series has been profitable both off-network and internationally as well, with Elementary having been licensed in 200 territories, due largely in part to the show's premise as a modern take on Sherlock Holmes.
Elementary follows Holmes (played by Miller) who is a former consultant to Scotland Yard as well as a recovering drug addict who assists the NYPD with cases. He is in turn assisted by Dr. Joan Watson (Liu) who started the series as Holmes sober companion, though she eventually becomes his apprentice detective and, after Holmes left for London, Watson opens her own investigative firm.
CBS has not yet set a premiere date for the seventh and final season of Elementary. Stick around here for more details on the planned Frankenstein pilot.
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