A legal fight may be looming over Sherlock, with the BBC wary of a plan by CBS Television.
Last week, CBS announced a pilot for its own modern retelling of the Holmes story to be set in New York.
BBC Executive Producer Sue Vertue, said, “We understand that CBS are doing their own version of an updated Sherlock Holmes. It’s interesting, as they approached us a while back about remaking our show. At the time, they made great assurances about their integrity, so we have to assume that their modernised Sherlock Holmes doesn’t resemble ours in any way, as that would be extremely worrying…We are very proud of our show and like any proud parent, will protect the interest and well being of our offspring.”
CBS told the Hollywood Reporter, “Our project is a contemporary take on Sherlock Homes that will be based on Holmes, Watson and other characters in the public domain, as well as original characters.
“We are, of course, respectful of all copyright laws and will not infringe on any stories or works that may still be protected.”
Some reports say that all but one of Doyle’s works are in the public domain, leading to some confusion over whether the character is still copyrighted. US copyright law meanwhile, only protects “substantially similar” expression and not ideas.
Nine has three new telemovies featuring the BBC’s Benedict Cumberbatch in the title role, due to begin airing shortly.