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‘Sherlock’ Season 3 American Premiere Date Set

Sherlock Holmes and John Watson will reunite in January 2014, but “Sherlock” will probably premiere on BBC One much earlier.

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After nearly two years between seasons, “Sherlock” will return to American television early next year.

PBS has announced that “Sherlock” Season 3 will make its American premiere on Sunday, January 19 at 10 p.m. for a three week run that includes “The Empty Hearse,” “The Sign of Three” and “His Last Vow.” “Sherlock” stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes and Martin Freeman as Doctor John Watson. “The Empty Hearse” will deal with the resolution of the season 2 cliffhanger in which Sherlock faked his death to protect John.

BBC One has not yet announced a premiere date for “Sherlock” Season 3, but it will likely happen this year. You may be wondering why PBS isn’t coordinating with BBC for a day and date release of “Sherlock” in order to thwart piracy. However, PBS’ older audience seems less likely to download TV shows and “Sherlock” Season 2 drew in 3.2 million viewers during its American premiere on PBS, months after it debuted on BBC One. 

“Sherlock’s” ratings on PBS are also consistently higher than the numbers that BBC America pulls in for its original lineup of dramas. This season, PBS is using another popular British import, “Downton Abbey” as a lead-in to “Sherlock;” which should give both series a boost.

Cumberbatch has previously indicated that there will be a “Sherlock” Season 4, but given the length between the first three seasons, that may not happen until 2016.