Jonny Lee Miller & Lucy Liu Explain Their Elementary Take On Sherlock Holmes

Lucy Liu and Jonny Lee Miller in CBS' 'Elementary,' which will air Thursdays at 10 PM in Fall 2012 -- CBS

Sherlock Holmes has never been out of fashion, but he's getting a modern twist in primetime when "Elementary" heads to CBS this fall, starring Jonny Lee Miller.

"I looked at the books a lot and started to immerse myself in the books," Jonny told Access Hollywood on Wednesday in New York City as he hit the red carpet at the CBS Upfronts presentation. "You [kind of] cover them with Post-It notes and stuff like that; you try and see all the wonderful things that are still there that are timeless about this character and all the things that we could bring to it or make similar and change and I loved it.

PLAY IT NOW: Jonny Lee Miller & Lucy Liu On Their Elementary Retelling Of Sherlock Holmes

"He's a timeless guy," Jonny continued of the character he is set to play each week on CBS. "The story, the relationship between two friends, is essentially what a lot of the books are about. Timeless stuff, really."

In "Elementary," Jonny plays Sherlock, a recovering addict, whose Dr. Watson is his sober companion, played by - in a twist - Lucy Liu. When the brilliant sleuth decides he wants a change of scenery - from London to New York City - and to help out the NYPD, he brings Dr. Watson along for the ride.

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"She's looking after Sherlock, initially," Jonny said. "She's the sober companion [who] has to accompany him everywhere, [and] try and keep him on the straight and narrow, but he's got it in his head that he wants to start work as a consultant - a detective consultant -- so he drags her along with him and he starts to see that she has some real abilities to bring to the table."

Lucy, who most recently appeared on TNT's "Southland" said her Dr. Watson has her own demons.

"Watson has been in a kind of state of humiliation. She has been kicked out of her practice for malpractice," Lucy told Access. "I think she's kind of been having a few tough years and so she starts doing this job of being a sober companion and she discovers a new client that is more complicated than she would've expected. And I think she sort of drowns herself in her work, because it takes the thought [away] that she has to think about the state of her own life."

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And any retelling of "Sherlock Holmes" wouldn't be complete without some fancy technology, something the actors confirmed would be a part of "Elementary."

"We do have a couple of attachments," Jonny said. "He uses his smartphone a lot and he has some attachments for that, which are interesting and they do actually exist... But his mind is his gadget!"

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"Elementary" will follow "Person of Interest" on Thursday nights at 10 PM on CBS this Fall.

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