Starring Morris Chestnut as the iconic literary character, Watson is expected to air in the 2024-2025 TV season. In a January 3 press release, CBS announced a straight-to-series order of the drama series.

The contemporary story occurs during Sherlock Holmes’ absence when he was presumed dead after battling to stop arch-villain Professor Moriarty. According to the official show description, Watson is back practicing medicine “as the head of a clinic dedicated to treating rare disorders.” Still, his old life isn’t done with him – “Moriarty and Watson are set to write their own chapter of a story that has fascinated audiences for more than a century.”

In Sir Arthur Conan Doyle‘s original stories, Holmes and Moriarty plunge to their deaths over Reichenbach Falls in Switzerland. Doyle was tired of the character’s popularity, preferring to write other things, including historical and adventure fiction, so he killed him. However, public demand meant he eventually returned three years later in storytime. Moriarty presumably stayed dead.

Morris Chestnut, a Black man in a vest and tie, sitting on a couch.
Photo: Diondre Jones/CBS Studios

The flip here is that with Moriarty back and Holmes gone, the show can avoid the question of the specific nature of Holmes and Watson’s relationship, a topic where fans and showrunners often clash. Furthermore, the medical setting will also allow for case-of-the-week medical mysteries.

The showrunner of Watson is Craig Sweeny, who previously worked on Elementary, another modern-day reworking of the Doyle classic that aired from 2012 to 2019, also on CBS. Jonny Lee Miller played Sherlock Holmes, and Lucy Liu played Dr. Joan Watson. Sweeny and Chestnut serve as executive producers on Watson.

Chestnut previously appeared in The Resident and The Best Man. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen Dr. Watson as a person of color. Most recently, Netflix’s short-lived The Irregulars series (2021) also cast a Black man, Royce Pierreson, in the role.

Watson, as the investigator, was the premise of the last major Sherlock Holmes project of a previous generation. Without a Clue (1988) starred Ben Kingsley as Dr. Watson, the brains behind the myth. He wanted to be called the “Crime Doctor” when he tried to rid himself of the drunken actor (Michael Caine) he’d hired to pretend to be Holmes. That was the last major media presentation of the characters until 2010, when the BBC’s Sherlock aired.

Watson arrives from CBS Studios for the 2024-2025 broadcast season.


  1. Do we really need another garbage Sherlock Holmes rip-off/retread? Didn’t CBS just have one of those for several seasons? Create something new!

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