We all knew that the launch of the third series of Sherlock would be a huge deal, but with over 9 million people tuning in on New Year’s Day to watch the UK premier, The Empty Hearse, it made records for becoming the most watched BBC drama for over a decade.
But it wasn’t just good old Blighty that appreciated the series, which we had to wait a staggering two years for, it has been a roaring success in the US too, with over 4 million US viewers tuning in to see the first episode on Sunday night, which is 25% more viewers than the premiere of season two, according to Nielsen, and 80% more viewers than the average figures for the PBS time slot.
America fell in love with our now infamous crime fighting duo of Sherlock and Watson, played by Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, so much so that the pair have become overnight global superstars with more TV and movie offers than they can shake a stick at.
However, both actors have always insisted that they will remain loyal to the show that launched their careers, with Benedict Cumberbatch admitting in a recent Entertainment Weekly interview:
“I’m going to keep going with it. I love it. I find it very invigorating.”
This, we imagine, must be music to co-creator Steven Moffat’s ears as he has admitted that if he were to approach them now he doubts he would be able to get them to sign up, revealing to the same publication:
“There’s something quite special about the fact that it’s on television, starring those two.
“That wasn’t the case in the beginning. Mark (Gatiss, Sherlock co-creator) and I sometimes imagine what would happen if we had written it now and were saying, ‘We’d like Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman for the parts!’”
Meanwhile Moffat’s wife, and Sherlock producer Sue Vertue, explained what the viewing figures, and new record means to the show in a recent Radio Times interview, in which she commented:
“Making a series we love this much is its own reward, but this figures news doesn’t hurt.”
As well as adding with regards to the premier date of series 4, which we have previously been promised would be produced “as quickly as possible”:
“We’re working on dates”.
Watch a recent Q&A session with the cast of Sherlock in the clip below: