For those looking at ratings as the only reason for renewing shows, the move does not make too much sense. But Deadline reports that the series has a huge profit margin thanks to international and off-network deals.
Repeats already air on WGN America and in syndication on broadcast networks. Hulu Plus also has streaming rights. Internationally, it is a big seller for CBS TV Studios, since Sherlock Holmes remains a well-known character worldwide.
CBS wholly owns Elementary, which explains why CBS chief Les Moonves told investors in May 2016 that the series "made approximately an $80 million profit for the corporation" in 2015.
Last year, CBS only gave Elementary a 13-episode order, but the network later ordered eight more episodes. This effectively turned the show into a summer series, since season six did not premiere until April 30.
Elementary stars Jonny Lee Miller as a modern Sherlock Holmes based in New York. He teams up with Dr. Joan Watson, played by Lucy Liu, who is assigned to help him stay sober. The two also work with Captain Thomas Gregson (Aidan Quinn) to solve crimes for the New York City Police Department.
"We find out that Sherlock, who's played by Jonny Lee Miller (who is fantastic and is just a darling), is basically suffering from concussions, so his mind is not his own," Liu said in a recent interview with CBS This Morning. "And it changes the game up, because he's the one who innately knows and detects and is able to discover and come up with ideas that nobody else could, to discover basically whodunit. So, what happens when he's not on par with his usual self?"
Liu has also directed episodes of the series. She directed the upcoming "The Adventure of Erstaz Sobekneferu," which airs on July 2.
The cast also includes Jon Michael Hill, Desmond Harrington, Nelsan Ellis, John Noble, Ophelia Lovibond, Ato Essandoh and Rhys Ifans.
CBS has also renewed Criminal Minds, Instinct, Man With A Plan, Life in Pieces, The Big Bang Theory, Blue Bloods, Bull, Hawaii Five-0, MacGyver, Mom, NCIS, NCIS: Los Angeles, NCIS: New Orleans, Seal Team, SWAT, Young Sheldon, Ransom and Salvation.
New episodes of Elementary air on CBS at 10 p.m. ET Mondays.