The highly-anticipated premiere of Sherlock series 3 set a new ratings record for the detective drama starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman.
Episode 1, “The Empty Hearse,” aired Wednesday night on BBC One to 9.3 million viewers in the United Kingdom, which is an all-time ratings high for Sherlock.
The big number won’t come as too big of a surprise to long-time fans. Sherlock has been slowly but surely building its audience thanks to great word of mouth and its availability on Netflix since series 2 aired roughly two years ago.
By comparison, the Doctor Who Christmas Special (featuring Matt Smith’s goodbye) grabbed 8.29 million viewers. The Downton Abbey Christmas Special pulled in 7.01 million.
You can read our recap of “The Empty Hearse” at this link. Episode 2, “The Sign of Three,” airs Sunday, January 5 at 8:30 p.m. GMT on BBC One.
Meanwhile, fans in the United States must wait until January 19 to watch Sherlock series 3 on PBS.