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November 26, 2012 at 06:13 PM EST

Expecting the return of Sherlock next summer?

Try late 2013. Perhaps even 2014, depending where you live.

Start of production on the third cycle of the fan-adored detective drama has been moved from January to March. Sources say the shift was necessary to accommodate the busy schedules of the show’s breakout stars, Benedict Cumberbatch (who’s in Star Trek 2) and Martin Freeman (starring in The Hobbit).

The BBC has not announced a premiere date for season three, but given that January was previously announced as the start of production, fans hoped to see Holmes and Watson return in the summer. Sources say the BBC will air Sherlock series three in late 2013. PBS has to wait until after the BBC’s window. A PBS spokesperson says Sherlock will air either late 2013 — or early 2014.

The first cycle of Sherlock debuted in the UK in July, 2010. The eagerly anticipated second season premiered last January, with PBS debuting the three 90-minute episodes in May. With its second season cliffhanger and increasing critical acclaim and worldwide buzz, anticipation for the next cycle of Sherlock is stronger than ever. From the BBC’s perspective, however, nothing about its schedule has really changed. Though production is starting slightly later than originally hoped, the company has only previously said the show will run sometime next year and recently hinted that a fall debut is likely. But for fans, particularly U.S. fans wanting more Sherlock as soon as possible, well, Holmes would advise patience.

The news comes on the heels of two other announcements about favorite British imports, with Downton Abbey receiving a fourth-season order and the creators of Merlin announcing the show will end after the upcoming fifth season.

Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman star in the celebrated U.K. series
type
TV Show
seasons
4
Genre
run date
01/19/14
Status
In Season
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