Sherlock is Back on PBS Despite Cumberbatch and Freeman's Hollywood Calling

It spawned a spike in the careers of both Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, causing Hollywood to come calling for both, but they’ll be back as Sherlock and Watson as the modern telling of Arthur Conan Doyle’s comes back for a third season on PBS.

Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman
Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman in Sherlock

Sherlock will return to PBS Masterpiece on Jan. 19 at 10 p.m, which chimes in nicely with another British export, Downton Abbey, which will air on January 5th. This is the first time the American air date has been announced before the U.K gets theirs, but the BBC have ‘first dibs’ on the show, so U.K audiences: you’ll get it before Jan 19th.

“They’re fantastic,” Masterpiece executive producer Rebecca Eaton says of the new episodes. “They are jaw dropping. They are like small movies. Benedict and Martin are so in their Sherlock-Watson groove. They are so comfortable with that relationship it’s like being in the room with them. (Entertainment Weekly)

Sherlock executive producer Sue Vertue added in a statement: “We are hugely excited about this next series of Sherlock, and have worked closely with our partners, Masterpiece and PBS, to bring these episodes to U.S. audiences in January. We promise our fans that Season 3 is worth waiting for.”

Cumberbatch went onto to star in Star Trek Into Darkness as Khan (sort of), The Fifth Estate as Julian Assange, 12 Years a Slave as Ford and August: Osage County as ‘Little’ Charles Aiken. He also joined Freeman on the Hobbit franchise, playing Smaug.

“The first holdup was the boys, of course, and getting all of them together — not just Benedict and Martin but also [creators] Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss,” Eaton says. “They had to break up the production to accommodate all the movies they wanted to make.”

Seasons one and two were a huge hit in the U.K before moving across the ocean and hitting the U.S. The modern remake, which takes vital elements of Conan-Doyle’s classic crime creation but splices in contemporary thriller tropes, has been critically acclaimed, too, as well as garnering solid ratings.

“We love that Sherlock fans are so passionate and eager to see Season 3,” said PBS chief programmer Beth Hoppe in a statement. “The pairing of Downton Abbey and Sherlock in January offers a blockbuster night of British drama only on PBS stations.”


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