The cat’s now out of the bag, Sherlockians: the folks over at Entertainment Weekly have revealed that Sherlock‘s highly anticipated third season will return Sunday, January 19 at 10 pm ET on PBS Masterpiece. This ends months and months of speculation as to when the popular British drama would finally hit our airwaves again. (Although the release of a teaser back in August indicated that a launch was somewhat imminent.) For the first time ever, U.S. fans are getting a premiere date before their British cohorts, but the U.K. fans can take comfort in the fact that they have first-run rights to the show.
PBS has already announced that Downton Abbey would premiere Sunday, January 5, which means—cue the trumpets—Sherlock episodes will air the same night as the massively successful period drama, create a formidable block of programming for America’s public broadcaster. The Dowager Countess/Holmes memes simply produce themselves.
“We love that Sherlock fans are so passionate and eager to see Season 3,” said 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.”
Sherlock‘s stars, Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, have been busy taking over the world’s cineplexes, one movie at a time, which made shooting schedules for the series tricky. However, things came together, and we can now mark our calendars for what Masterpiece exec Rebecca Eaton is calling the show’s “best season yet.”
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