After reading all the screaming and angst among Sherlock Holmes fans (especially on Deadline, where they're having a highly entertaining meltdown), I realized this is a great object lesson for Trekkies in how TV actually gets made - not for existing fanbases (whether Sherlock fans or us) but for the audience of a specific network. Whether existing fans are going to like the results is not the chief concern of the people making the show.
CBS is not making this show for Sherlock Holmes fans. It's clearly making it for CBS viewers, and not assuming they're necessarily interested in Sherlock Holmes per se. That's definitely behind the switch of Watson's gender - gotta have that all important unresolved sexual tension!
This change probably wouldn't have happened if, say, Showtime or AMC were making the series. The change happened because the CBS audience expects certain things, and that's why they watch CBS. But any other channel would also have their audience expectations, and other changes would inevitably be made, maybe more extreme.
So something in this same vein could happen to Star Trek
when it returns to TV. I don't mean anything so direct as Spock being recast as a woman.
I mean, the audience where the series is airing will determine a lot of how it turns out.
We're all very fortunate that there's no way CBS would do a Star Trek
series - it's too far out of their usual cop-show template - and the changes could be very good for the franchise (more grownup drama, characterization and sexuality on Showtime for instance) - but I guess whether that's "good" depends on whether you're sympatico with the approach that Showtime takes already. Or wherever it ends up. There's no telling how it would turn out until we know where it's ending up.