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'Sherlock' second season premiere delivers solid ratings, but can't catch 'Downton Abbey'

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Sherlock Benedict

The second season of the PBS Masterpiece: Mystery series Sherlock is off to a terrific start, unearthing an average of 3.2 million viewers (and that doesn’t include DVR viewings, online streaming, or replays). The number is significantly higher than PBS’ usual audience in prime time, and better than recent numbers for high-profile basic cable shows like Mad Men.

But the modern-day detective (Benedict Cumberbatch) and his trusty blogger Watson (Martin Freeman) have their work cut out for them if they’re to catch fellow PBS/Brit import Downton Abbey. The season finale for that period soap pulled in a whopping 5.4 million for its second season finale. Sherlock had better get moving; there are only two episodes left this season.

Read more:

‘Sherlock’ season premiere review: Was ‘A Scandal in Belgravia’ a Holmes romp, or a sexist rout?

Why you should watch ‘Sherlock,’ a classic mystery that feels very modern

‘Sherlock’ sneak peek: Guess what the detective and Watson will be up to this spring — EXCLUSIVE VIDEO