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The worst thing about Sherlock’s series 3 finale yesterday was wondering when the show would return.

As it turns out, series 4 may not be too far away.

The Sun (not always reputable) reports that the BBC is fast-tracking Sherlock series 4 for a Christmas Day 2014 premiere.

“The BBC is desperate for a Sherlock Christmas Day special this year. It wants its biggest guns ready,” a source told the British publication.

The only matter that could potentially ruin this plan is the schedules of Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock) and Martin Freeman (Watson). The two actors have skyrocketed to fame over the past couple of years thanks to a slew of films. Looking at their IMDb profiles, both look to have pretty open schedules in 2014 besides promoting The Hobbit finale There and Back Again late this year.

Sherlock series 3 has seen record ratings for the detective drama. Although ratings for last night’s season 3 finale aren’t out yet, it’s expected to have been watched by over 10 million viewers in the United Kingdom. Be sure to read our recap of last night’s grand finale.

Series 3 began filming in March 2013, so presumably Sherlock series 4 would have to start filming around the same time in order to make this rumored Christmas 2014 premiere.

Last week we told you that co-creators Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss have already met to discuss what could occur in series 4 and series 5.

The wait between Sherlock series 2 and series 3 was painfully long: Two years. To make the wait even worse, everyone was left wondering how Sherlock survived his fall (the answer came in series 3, episode 1 “The Empty Hearse”).

Meanwhile, Sherlock series 3 premieres this Sunday, January 19 on PBS at 10 p.m. eastern/pacific in the United States. It will air after new episodes of Downton Abbey which air at 9 p.m. eastern/pacific.

We’ll be sure to keep a close eye on any and all news concerning the production of Sherlock series 4. Given there’s only three episodes each series, it’s understandable that fans are hoping for a short wait between now and the premiere.

  • http://tyrionical.tumblr.com/ Kyle

    The sooner the better!

  • Raquel

    I won’t believe anything until I hear it coming directly from Sue, Mark or Moffat’s mouth. I’d rather wait 2 years again and have a wonderful group of three pure genius episodes than waiting 12 months to get three average not sherlock-material ones. BBC, calm down, let the masters do their magic!

    • Susan

      LOL, I’m not sure I’d believe it if it DID come from Moffat’s mouth…!

      • Raquel

        HAHAHA that could be true, I’ll give you that! But I think that that only applies to story development, characters etc. When it comes to the premiere date I doubt they would troll us. But you never know!

    • yanderenightmares

      You’ve got a point, because it is the time they put into the series that makes it the brilliant gem it is. Still, a christmas special seems really fun.

      • Raquel

        yes, I would really love to have another Sherlock episode still this year, but only if it is actually worth in terms of content and plot. Maybe a smaller episode, 30 minutes or so? I personally don’t think it’ll happen, unfortunately, but who knows, we’ll just have to wait and see (:

        • yanderenightmares

          There could never be enough Sherlock, but sometimes I wish they would end the show and put me out of my misery because even though the long period of time in between seasons is necessary to make it as good as possible, it is still awful to wait for longer than a year. Wasn’t the wait between 2 and 3 a little more than 2 years??

          Yea, a 30 minute special episode would be great. I really hope the last episode in series 3 didn’t end with a cliffhanger (haven’t seen it yet).

          • Amir

            Not spoiling but…


          • yanderenightmares

            *Sigh*…Sometimes I wish I learned of this show once it was all complete…but I guess it’s another two years of waiting.

  • PabloRuiz7


  • Gavin Walsh

    or officially from bbc news , over the sun

  • Gavin Walsh

    so Doctor who christmas day , mrs brown boys , and this hmm too much BBC perhaps ? ?

    • Laurelin

      …no such thing!!

      • Gavin Walsh

        depending what happens lol

    • Charlie

      I expect that the BBC won’t show Sherlock on Chistmas Day itself… It’s too long for the evening. They normally show Doctor Who and Eastenders back-to-back, and each is an hour long. Then they follow it up with some comedy. So I guess they’d show it Boxing Day or New Years. They aired the past two series at New Years, so….

      • MrsCumberbatch123

        I hope so!

      • Gavin Walsh

        Ditto i kinda knew that as well . Moffat is also highly busy with series 8 of Doctor Who filming at the moment till august at least.

        • Charlie

          Oh yeah, that’s true. Especially since it’s introducing a new Doctor, he’ll probably have more work to do editing other people’s DW scripts (to maintain consistency). Not sure if Gatiss is particularly busy this year.

  • PrisonerZero

    I’m not surprised cause the climax of His Last Vow took place on Christmas Day 2014

    • EP

      I think it’s supposed to be 2013 actually.

      • PrisonerZero

        No, series 3 started 2 years after season 2 ended which was 2012. That set up series 3 as 2014 by The Empty Hearse. The Sign of Three was summer of 2014. And then His Last Vow ended on Christmas Day 2014

        • Prepagan

          The Empty Hearse was set in November (Guy Fawkes night was integral to the plot) therefore unlikely to have been 2014 as you suggest and certainly not in the same numbered year as the other two episodes.

          • PrisonerZero

            so The Empty Hearse is end of 2013 and the rest are in 2014

          • Prepagan

            You appear to be basing your conclusion on the Reichenbach Fall being set in 2012. Was that year specifically identified during the episode or is this just an assumption of yours?

            In any event I think it only leads to headaches and frustration if one tries too hard to pin Sherlock down to particular dates. Personally, I’d rather not think of Sherlock episodes being set in the future.

          • Prepagan

            Did The Reichenbach Fall explicitly identify 2012 as its setting or is this just an assumption of yours?

            Personally, I’d rather Sherlock episodes not be set in the future.

            (second attempt to reply – don’t know what happened to my earlier effort)

    • Juan Pedia

      The dates on the screen from Magnussen’s point of view reveal that “The Reichenbach Fall” took place in 2011 and “The Empty Hearse” took place in 2013.

      • PrisonerZero

        The Empty Hearse was November 2013. The Sign of Three is summer 2014, and then His Last Vow would be Christmas 2014

        • Juan Pedia

          Makes sense.

  • somegirl91

    Gaah I hope this is true, a Sherlock Christmas special would be so awesome! But I do hope they take their time in making a great quality series 4.

  • http://ravenclaw1991.tumblr.com/ ravenclaw1991

    I’m not getting my hopes up since its The Sun. But I’m hoping for at least early next year and no later.

  • Julia

    The only thing that’s bugging is that a late-year premiere means they won’t be considered for Golden Globes, just like this year. And Benedict deserves that Globe so much, but with these release dates it’s just harder to win because the performance fades away in the memory of viewers. I just want him and the show to win already!

    • MrsCumberbatch123

      Cumberbatch deserves 20000000 Globes.

    • Susan

      It doesn’t fade away in MY memory, and it shouldn’t in anyone else’s, because this show and his (and Martin’s) performances are so amazing, but it’s true that release dates play big part – and it’s not fair.


    YES! Please!

  • A.P.W.B.Dumbledore

    I hope the ratings in America are good too because a lot of fans that do not live in the UK have been watching these online. I know that I will rewatch them on tv but I fear that because of the delayed showing, not as many will tune in as they would have if Sherlock was broadcast on the same day everywhere. This season was so amazing that it deserved all the ratings and awards it can get.

    • Tristan Mayer

      a lot of the cast and producers of the show have said that they really want to have simultaneous broadcasts. Plans didn’t work out for this series but I hope they will for series 4. I for one will be watching it all again on PBS just to try and fully take in all the craziness.

      • A.P.W.B.Dumbledore

        Maybe Benedict Cumberbatch can finally persuade them this time around.

        • Susan

          If he can’t, no one can; pretty sure they would do just about anything for him at this point. ;)

    • Johann Davies

      We don’t even have an air date in Australia.

      • Firerock

        You do. January 19th. This coming Sunday.

        • Johann Davies

          Well we didn’t for a while. It was sort of ridiculous how long we had to wait for a date.

          • Lady Tash

            Sadly, unless we live in Perth we still don’t have an air date. Not that I don’t think the Western Australians deserve getting to see Sherlock but it’s kind of like the west coast of Wales being given an air date and the rest of the UK still having to wait. Bit dodgy, Channel 9!

          • Johann Davies

            It is a bit dodgy. I do live in Perth, but that’s just stupid. This whole Sherlock business has reinforced the reasons why I hate commercial TV.

      • M. Hooper

        January the 19th at 8:30pm on Channel 9!

        You’re welcome :D

        • Johann Davies

          I probably won’t watch it live now that I’ve seen it anyway. I’ll buy it from iTunes, though.

      • MadameD

        Sadly Tasmania is also an outcast state like WA. Not going to air this Sunday according to this weekends paper.
        Bloody rude.

        • Johann Davies

          Channel 9 sucks.

    • Smithian

      Didn’t stop “Downton Abbey” from getting record ratings for PBS. Granted, much of that audience is older and more likely to think a bit torrent is some sort of freak weather pattern, but there’s plenty of similar fans in the US. Plus, “Downton” is its lead-in.

      • A.P.W.B.Dumbledore

        Hopefully that helps, but like you said an older generation is the main audience of the show. Obviously our generation does too (I am 20 and watch it), but in general, it has an older audience. Older audiences tend not to be internet savvy, so they wait for it to come to the tv. I wish I could wait for it to air on tv, but I am afraid of spoilers on the internet, which can be posted anywhere (I have read spoilers on Facebook and was really upset).

        • Carleen Phillips

          LOL! You 20 year olds better brush up your knowledge on “old folks”. ;)

          • A.P.W.B.Dumbledore

            I never said “old folks,” I said the older generation such as 60 (which is not very old) and above. For the most part, 60+ has a harder time with technology and the internet, so they use it for minor purposes if any at all. They are most likely to just tune in to whenever a show airs rather then get on a computer to watch it earlier.

    • Str8Knightmare

      I think I speak for all Americans….this show is freaking awesome and I’m telling everyone I meet in my loudest voice how good it is. You Brits make quality telly, that’s for sure.

      • Chris

        I know I speak for all Americans when I say “The Internet is f-ing awesome! Thank you Al Gore!”

        And thanks to all the pirate groups providing all this British awesomeness to the rest of the world.

    • Susan

      I could NOT wait, and I watched online, but I will definitely be watching on PBS, too – no such thing as too many viewings of this show!

    • fruttivendolo

      Well, for series 2 it aired in the US the following May and I guess it did all right, so I can’t imagine the ratings being worse when it’s only airing a few weeks late this time. Plus the show has become popular by word-of-mouth over the last few years, so the ratings are bound to be a little higher because of that anyway.

    • Tabs

      Across the pond we are LOOOOVING Sherlock!! I so wish they would make more episodes at a time. 3 seems just not enough. But I suppose I could never get enough Sherlock.

  • ConnorF42

    Should go for New Years again, and the same for Season 5 assuming quality didn’t drop because of the speed. I like uniformity :P

    • jhnre

      Are you, then, a fan of Pringles?

      • MrsCumberbatch123

        I am :).
        …Are you single ;)?

        • MrsCumberbatch123

          Sorry. I’m desparate.

  • jhnre

    What interests me about the fourth Series is that the wait for Series 3 was two years canonically, and two years in the real world. The ending of His Last Vow hardly allows for that much time to have gone by in Sherlock’s world when we pick it up again, unless the episode is told in flashback. I suppose they’ve given themselves some leeway if the climax of His Last Vow was set at Christmas 2014. Either way, they need to get their skates on!

    • Johann Davies

      But remember that the wait between Series 1 and 2 was also two years in the real world, but very little time canonically (no time at all if you consider the the resolution of the pool scene part of the story).

      • Charlie

        Though a fair bit of time did pass during that episode, if I remember correctly.

        • Johann Davies

          True. I don’t think it really matters, to be honest, just as long as the episode is good.

          • Charlie

            Yeah. Plus, they tend to jump a few months between same-season episodes anyway. I mean, Series 3 took place over 13 months.

  • jhnre

    Also, I have a nagging feeling that this may not be Moriarty at all. Although it wouldn’t work in the long-term, once it was revealed, I’ve been wondering if Sherlock might not be behind it, in order to escape what was really a protracted death-sentence.

    • Rachel Whelen

      I was thinking the same thing.

    • Charlie

      Yeah, it was only a photo of Moriarty that appeared on the screens. We saw ‘real’ Moriarty at the end, but considering how much of this episode took place inside people’s imaginations, that doesn’t exactly prove anything. Personally, I think it could be one of these:
      1)Somebody working in Moriarty’s name, using plans he made before his death.
      2) Somebody pretending to be Moriarty because they know that would get Sherlock’s attention.
      3) Somebody who didn’t want Sherlock to leave the country.
      4) Moriarty did fake his death (though, I wonder how… I was under the impression they recovered his body. Unless he had a twin? A lookalike? He managed to find a Sherlock look-a-like after all…)

      • Alexa

        wait sorry did i miss something?? when did we see ‘real moriarty’???? :o wasn’t the last scene the plane landing? i was using live stream and it cut out right after that!!! :O:O:O

        • allison

          The music for the credits started with the plane – but then there was some static and an extra scene with the cliffhanger!!!

        • Charlie

          Don’t worry, you didn’t miss much.

          The plane lands and the credits start rolling. Once the credits ended, there was a very short scene (only about a second or two) of Moriarty looking towards the camera and saying “Did you miss me?”. Unlike the earlier clips playing on the TVs, it was actual footage of Moriarty rather than a photograph.

          I think it was supposed to be more of a tease for the audience rather than something happening within the story- he’s looking straight at the viewer, after all. But maybe it was there to suggest its definitely Moriarty?

          • MrsCumberbatch123

            It is him, why are we even discussing this?!

          • Dizwod

            It had better not be, will taint everything if it is him. I assume one of his minions or someone else trying to scare everyone. Loved Moriarty but hes dead, leave him dead, he didnt come back in any of the Sherlock stories (from what i remeber) and they are kind of true to this, but going off on a Elementary type ramage of ruining loved characters will either please people who dont care about Sherlock stories or make everyone think its gone to poop.

          • Susan

            Because Moffat said unequivocally that Moriarty was dead; not coming back; “they didn’t fake suicide AT each other” – I know we can’t always believe Moffat, but dang, that sounded pretty final.

          • Sara Jung-Claßen

            He’s wearing the same suit and tie in the picture and the after-credits bit so it’s safe to assume (I know, never do that with Moftiss) that it occurs at the same time.

        • Jess

          Just after the plane took off, Minecroft rang Sherlock to say he was coming back because they needed him. All of the screens had Moriarty’s face on with him saying did you miss me? The plane landed and it went to the credits, then just after the credits they had the picture again saying did you miss me? for about two seconds.

      • MrsCumberbatch123

        I love Moriarty. I reckon it was him ;)!

      • Firerock

        An interesting fact: in the original story (The Final Problem), Professor Moriarty’s first name is never mentioned, though his brother’s is! Colonel James Moriarty! So what if we’ve only had James Moriarty for now, and his (twin?) brother, the “true” Moriarty, is yet to come? Sounds crazy and I don’t really believe it myself, but the name thing is actually true.

        • Sherlock

          I’m going to have to disappoint you there mate. As is obvious, this version of Sherlock Holmes is set in modern times, the writers have, on numerous occassions, said that because of this fact they like to play with certain classic, iconic names from the original books, as to give it more of a modern vibe. The James to Jim transformation is a good example of this fact. Besides that the writers would doubtfully find a better Moriarty for their show than Andrew Scott.

          • Melissa

            Sure, but Moriarty did have a brother in the original works. And actually in one of the stories he is called Professor James Moriarty. And in another his brother is called Col. James Moriarty. So based purely on the Doyle stories, both brothers are named James. Probably a mistake in the canon but I think the Sherlock writers could definitely play with that.

        • Raquel

          I also support that theory. It would be a bit repetitive if Moriarty actually was alive and now they would explain how that happened. I agree that just as Sherlock survived the fall, Moriarty could very well faked his own death too. But I don’t think they would do that. I believe it is either Moriarty’s brother (twin or not) using some old footage or something, or even Moran! He appeared in The Empty Hearse but didn’t get much attention. Plus, am I wrong or…didn’t they say they wouldn’t do Milverton? Well they did. They did say they weren’t going to do Moran… So, perhaps they will? Afterall, he was working with Moriarty… Let the theories and speculation begin! :D

        • Raquel

          I support that theory. I think bringing Moriarty back saying that he also survived is a bit repetitive. I agree that he’s just as capable to fake his death as Sherlock was, but I don’t think they would do that. I believe, like you said, that the footage shown at the end of HLV was probably created by Moriarty’s brother. Either that, or maybe Moran. He appeared in TEH but wasn’t given much attention. And am I wrong or… didn’t they say they wouldn’t do Milverton? Well they did. And they did say they wouldn’t do Moran. So.. maybe they will? It is plausible, I think. All we can do now is formulate theories and speculate for a few months. (:

        • Raquel

          I’m sorry for the double comment, I thought the first one hadn’t gone through. ^^

        • Kingserenade

          I was thinking it could be the last of Moriarty’s henchmen that Sherlock was going after during the time he was “dead” I forget the name but pretty sure when Sherlock talked about it one name was left out.Could be him trying to finish what moriarty started. Also idk the books but since some things have been changed, Microft said about them having another brother, and said “you know how that turned out” could Moriarty really be the last brother that they thought was now dead? I have a bunch more theories but Dont want to say them until I look more into the books so I don’t sound dumb… As I said i ever read the books so I don’t know full details about character back stories or anything. What do you think about my theories?

  • Nessa

    I can’t imagine them canceling the Doctor Who Christmas special for Sherlock. That and they can’t kill Moffat like that, we still need him.

    • MrsCumberbatch123

      Steven Moffat is legend. He’ll find a way :).

  • grapes9h5

    If this happens, it would be the best Christmas present ever

    • MrsCumberbatch123

      Totally! On-line high-five! *high-fives the screen*

  • CaRoLmIlEr

    Ok, as much I would love that series four would premiere this year, I think is impossible for 2 reasons:
    1 – if for the past 2 series, Moffat and Gatiss have taken 2 years to write, film and edit the show i don’t think that now it will only take them 1 year
    2 – Moffat is Doctor Who’s showrunner, and right now series eight is being filmed until probably August 2014, so i don’t think there is a great chance that Sherlock will have a Christmas premiere, at least not in 2014…
    But i could be wrong, and on this subject I will not be upset if I’m… only if they rush the 4th series and it becomes something very bad like the last few episodes of Doctor Who (except for the 50th Anniversary and Christmas Special)

    • Goran Mijailović

      It took them 9 months to film and edit. I can’t tell how long it took them to write these episodes. It lasted for two years because Benedict and Martin had tight schedule, so I believe that one year is very realistic apart from the fact that Moffat is doing Doctor Who.

  • disqus_yEKIhCL17E

    We are in the USA — huge ACDoyle fans, have had kids read him from early ages, and we ALL love this show!! So, so cleverly written! We recommend it to everyone, and canNOT wait for it to broadcast here — have the television set to tape as well so we can watch it over and over again! (Also buy the BBC DVDs!!)

  • alexa

    if steven moffat can successfully deal with doctor who series 8 filming now and give us sherlock AND doctor who christmas special (all of which are of good quality) than that man is seriously not human

  • MrsCumberbatch123

    I love sherlock to hell, I’m in love with benedict cumberbatch but I don’t believe this article. I don’t know who wrote it, or what his source is.
    But I hope it’s true!
    btw, If you loved the EPIC end to Sherlock 3/3, like!

  • Mariam Chikovani

    I live in Georgia and almost everyone in my country watches Sherlock , 4 million viewers here :D

  • Siddhant Sharma

    Moriarty is back!!!! But how??? Why do they leave us to wonder how someone survived their death???

  • CharleyXo

    Cumbercookie’s UNITE!!!!!

  • Ginny Cooper

    I’d actually prefer a longer wait and maintain the same level of quality than have them start cranking them out just to air sooner. I can’t be alone in thinking this, right? And considering that they started filming series 3 in March, I don’t see how that could possibly be feasible. Just keep the same format. It’s a long wait, but so worth it.

  • Leon Bagarić

    i can’t belive Jim moriarty is here again.I know that he will be back

  • Rob

    Patiently waiting here in the USA to see how Sherlock pulled it off.Absolutely love the show and have read all of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories. Recently discovered you Brits have the best television, been hooked on Foyles War and Midsommer Murders…of course Dr Who.

  • EP

    How can you call this report reputable when you admit that your source for this ‘news’ is The ‘not always reputable’ Sun?

  • teddy93093

    Just to say….they did imply that what Sherlock told Anderson isn’t what happened. We don’t know for sure that that is how he did it.

  • yanderenightmares

    We still have to wait almost an entire year. Series 3 ended way too fast…haven’t seen the last episode and am really really hoping it doesn’t end the same as series 1 and 2.

  • A

    Although I do not know when the premier date is or when they even will shoot I am guessing this is about right. Martin Freeman is in my town right now shooting Fargo until April,so I am assuming as soon as that wraps up, they will start shooting for season 4, unless he tackles both at once but that would be hard traveling from England to north america multiple times just to film.

  • Sherlockiangonemad

    I need my Sherlock!! If it takes them two years but there FANBLOODYTASTIC I can wait.

  • Shannon

    Would love for there to be a Christmas special this year <3

    But I would also like to point out to all of you American's out there that it's the exact same for us- you see it first, we have to wait for weeks or watch it online :'( – with pretty much every American show

    • Alonso

      The difference is, of course, there are no American shows worth watching

  • Sherlocked

    i belive if they do 30 min episode, series will lose its magic, but while we wait till christmas maybe Mark and Moffat could feed our hunger of sherlock by making some commertial related, no need to be related to the 4th episode, just to keep us knowing that they are working on it, seriously wait could kill some fans, we just cant stand 22 years of waiting

  • Laura J

    “The answer came in series 3, episode 1″ No it didn’t. We never got a clear answer.

  • Blake

    How long to you people think it takes to make 3 episodes. A year isn’t rushing at all. Shooting only takes them 3-4 months. If they have a basic idea of where they’re going then that gives them plenty of time to write the stories. They’ll have plenty of time if they decided to do this

  • duf

    bullshit. first of all: THE SUN as a source? *claps* how low can you go … secondly: they took a 2 months break while filming series 3 in order to let martin finish the hobbit. being: filming could start mid/end of May and they’d be fine (even later if you count out all the working days that the christmas-mini-ep took. BUT: neither the BBC nor anyone official has confirmed anything. least of all Moffat, who confirmed that S4 and 5 are planned out, but then added that this is something VERY different from actually having S4 commissioned. // I hope you got enough clicks from this, because it was clearly only written for that reason. 5,000 poor souls on tumblr need to do their research!

  • Lisa

    Looking at Cumberbatch’s IMDB, how in the heck is he going to have time to shoot Sherlock for this year? I just don’t think so unless they’ve filmed some scenes we don’t know about.

  • Evi Huiskamp

    you know what happened with the other one… Is sherlock one of a twin and did he really died the first episode?

  • Cheyenne Leo

    ooooooohhhhhhhh soooooo excited <3 Moriarty is second only to Mycroft in my list of fav characters! Sherlock himself, is, of course elevated past the level of favorite

  • Kathy0904

    I can’t wait for Season 4. This series is entertaining, well written, directed and acted. One of my favorites. I have bought seasons 1&2 and will be getting 3. Please don’t stop producing this series. A series for people of intelligence.

  • Lurch

    f…… this to long decembrie 2014.

  • cellisis

    series 3 became a low IQ show, and wonder if the writers can get its IQ back from the 1st 2 series? i have little expectation for it now, and wish i could erase this series 3 entirely from my mind.

  • Adriena

    Man, I hope if they do release Sherlock series 4 near Christmas, I hope it’s like all the others, I think it’s neat how they waited two years in between series 2 and 3. It makes the show more real! We may have to wait another two years though… :(

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