EGT, thank you for posting this, because this puts the nail on the head of many of the things which I am unsettled by - most directly, this: “we fear the ethos of our beloved characters will be ignored in favor of market research and general Los Angeles willy-nillying, and we already have a bit of a sugar high from all the Holmesian brilliance of late…”
I was weaned on network crime procedurals, and while they’re all well and good, I really don’t need another crime procedural, even if it does have badass Lucy Liu or Johnny Lee Miller at his most precious. If you make a show that can’t relate to its fanbase or its market, it will ultimately fail, straight out of the gate - and this looks like what “Elementary” is failing to do. Networks are afraid to make a show “too smart” and alienate its regular viewers - too many smart shows have failed or are hanging on by the shreds of its fanbase (See Fringe or Community)… But dumb it down too much and you lose its essence - Sherlock Holmes is by its nature a smart, fun fandom - even the action, eye-candy RDJ/Jude Law movies prove that you can have fun with the character - but take away the fun and the brilliance and what do you have? CSI: New York, the redux, and no one wants that.