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'Sherlock' sleuths on despite busy schedules

Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman are having a busy year

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Fans of the PBS Masterpiece series Sherlock threw their deerstalker hats in the air when Benedict Cumberbatch recently said he would star in a fourth season of the U.K.-set modern-day Sir Arthur Conan Doyle adaptation. But as with so much in the world of Sherlock Holmes, things are not quite what they seem. ”I think that was Benedict spontaneously commissioning a new series,” jokes Sherlock co-creator and exec producer Steven Moffat, who’s currently in production on season 3, which does not yet have a U.S. premiere date. While Moffat adds that no decision has been made on a fourth season, fans had begun to worry that season 3 would be Sherlock’s last — due in part to the rising profiles of the series’ two stars. Cumberbatch will be featured in a string of projects, including this May’s Star Trek Into Darkness, the film adaptation of August: Osage County, and the WikiLeaks movie The Fifth Estate, in which he plays Julian Assange. Meanwhile, the dance card of Martin Freeman, who plays Sherlock‘s doughty Watson, has been similarly full thanks to his roles in the Hobbit trilogy and The World’s End, the new film from Shaun of the Dead director Edgar Wright, which hits theaters in August. Moffat, who in addition to his Sherlock labors is exec producer on Doctor Who, admits the pair’s crowded schedules have given him a few headaches. ”I get very grumpy,” he says. ”Everybody says we have to work our diaries around Benedict and Martin. I haven’t had a day off since 2008. Let them work around my bloody week! Which doesn’t work out, because they are rather bigger stars than I am.”