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Sherlock: Series 3 – Show to Ring in New Year on PBS

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The game is afoot Sherlock Holmes fans!

The much anticipated third season of BBC’s Sherlock will premiere in the United States on January 19 at 10 pm. PBS is no doubt banking on the UK mega hit and a little creative scheduling putting them front and center of the January ratings game.

According to PBS chief programmer Beth Hoppe “The pairing of Downton Abbey and Sherlock in January offers a blockbuster night of British drama only on PBS stations.” A blockbuster night scheduled on PBS? Believe it. Sherlock‘s second season averaged about 8 million viewers per episode, Downton Abbey‘s third season average 11 million viewers and with a very real crossover in potential audience. Masterpiece Theatre will continue to live up to its high standards and score coveted ratings all around.

With show creators Steven Moffat (Dr. Who, Coupling) and Mark Gatiss (The League of Gentlemen) returning to the still fertile ground of this 100+ year old franchise, fans can rest assured that they’ll get more of the solid dialogue and twisted plots which have thrilled critics from sea to shining sea. Benedict Cumberbatch (Star Trek, The Fifth Estate, and the Hobbit Films) returns as the legendarily eccentric detective along with Martin Freeman (also starring in all three Hobbit films) as his much harried partner, Dr. Watson. The third season will feature three new episodes; “The Empty Hearse”, “The Sign of Three” and “The Last Vow.”

Sherlock is a thorough and quite modern re-imagining of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Victorian era super-sleuth, created in 1887 with dozens of books, movies, and stage plays following. 2009′s Sherlock Holmes and 2011’s Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows together grossed over 1 billion dollars worldwide.

The BBC has not yet named an air date for the fourth season of the show.

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