On the American broadcast of the Elementary episode "You Do It to Yourself", there was a product placement scene where Sherlock Holmes prepares his Microsoft Surface™ tablet computer.


However, when I watched the episode again as broadcast in the UK, I think that scene was missing, jumping straight from picking the tablet up to searching for the sex offenders register without showing him adding the keyboard or using the kick-stand.

(I am unsure because I had already deleted the episode from my DVR once it occurred to me.)

Is my recollection correct? If so, which version is canon?

(Note, the answer "It doesn't matter" is quite incorrect. You won't convice someone who uses the word "canon" about a TV show.)

  • 1
    Doesn't seem to be a big difference in terms of something being "canon." It doesn't affect anything by showing a little more of the computer. Therefore I disagree with your last comment. "It doesn't matter" seems correct if @vastra360's answer below is true and he uses Surface in both edits. If you're counting the number of seconds of product placement as canon, I question your definition of canon. Mar 11, 2014 at 22:58
  • It for sure is a Mycorft product placement. Not worthy Sherlock, who for sure would not use such an infant operating system, he would for sure use an operating system for geniuses.
    – user29704
    Jan 9, 2016 at 22:07

1 Answer 1


I'm not sure exactly what your question is. In both versions (if it was cut for the UK) it seems pretty clear that he uses a Surface, although the US version makes more of a big deal out of it. The US version seems like it would be canon, as the show is produced for CBS and broadcast in the US first. The UK cut is an alteration for a different audience.

As for why the product placement would be cut from the UK version, it is likely that Microsoft only paid CBS for product placement to a US audience. Product placement in the UK is more rare than in the US. According to Ofcom, a UK communications regulator, product placement was only made legal in 2011, and all programs have to declare if they have product placement with a logo at the beginning and the end of the show. (I found it really interesting that all BBC programs paid for by the TV license are still product-placement free)

If Sky, the broadcaster of Elementary in the UK, wasn't getting paid by Microsoft for product placement, it would make sense for them to cut it and charge for the additional advertising time. It wouldn't be much, but still.

  • 6
    +1: I'd agree with this and only add that the canon seems totally irrelevant. We're not talking about any integral part of any storyline here, just a case of paid-for-product-placement. Mar 11, 2014 at 23:11
  • I perhaps over-simplified the title question. My questions are: 1. Was the UK broadcast edited? 2. If so, which is canonical version? You've answered both.
    – billpg
    Mar 12, 2014 at 10:14

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .