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After years of uncertainty and less-than-stellar ratings, Elementary has officially gotten the axe from CBS. The modern-day retelling of the classic Holmes and Watson dynamic won a core of loyal fans over the years, and the adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Joan Watson have gone strong story-wise for six seasons, which is a healthy run on network television. The cancellation will nevertheless disappoint fans, but they don't need to despair just yet. There's good news.
Unlike other shows that had the bad luck to be cancelled after already being renewed for another season, Elementary's renewal from back in May still stands. The show will still be back for its seventh season, which will likely premiere at some point in 2019, although CBS hasn't set a premiere date just yet. Additionally, Elementary's end at the conclusion of Season 7 has reportedly been more or less set for quite a while now.
According to Deadline, CBS' early renewal for Season 7 way back in the beginning of Season 6 came with the decision that the Season 7 finale would be the series finale, although the end wasn't confirmed quite that early. Knowledge that the end was coming may have allowed the Elementary team to bring the show to a natural and satisfying conclusion rather than ending on a cliffhanger never to be resolved due to a premature cancellation.
Sherlock and Joan's stories can be wrapped up rather than cut short, and that can only be a good thing. The unfortunate news is that Season 7 will be the series' shortest to date with a run of only 13 episodes. Production wrapped on December 14, and in a departure from most shows' production, the final scene to be filmed was the final scene in the series finale. Something tells me that's going to be an emotional sequence!
It's not altogether shocking that Elementary has been cancelled, even if it did get the axe well before the next season even premiered. Stars Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu's contracts were set to be up soon, and the ratings haven't been impressive for a while. The story has felt like it's been leading to a natural conclusion for a while, and it's no accident that the Season 6 finale felt like an end.
The executive producers actually deliberately crafted a Season 6 finale that could double as a series finale if plans for a final Season 7 fell through. That finale revealed Sherlock and Watson had relocated to London, but creator/executive producer Rob Doherty has already stated that the dynamic duo will be back in New York for the seventh season, so fans don't need to worry that they saw the last of the characters left behind.
There's still a wait before Elementary hits the airwaves, but you can always relive the first six seasons streaming on Hulu. CBS was not the big ratings winner of 2018, so the Eye Network may be hoping for a bigger ratings winner in the future once Elementary has concluded its run. Only time will tell. For some additional viewing options beyond rewatching Elementary, check out our midseason TV premiere schedule.