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And All Was Right With the World

Sherlock S3 Premiere Gets Highest Ratings Ever From The Fans Who Waited

The BBC’s Sherlock finally returned to (UK) television screens last night, after a painful two-year-long hiatus. Despite essentially being the Amy Pond of fandoms, Sherlockians proved that they were still as dedicated as ever to the Cumberbatch/Freeman cause by giving the show its highest ratings of all time for The Empty Hearse.

Airing on BBC One on New Year’s Day in the UK, The Empty Hearse picked up after The Reichenbach Fall‘s nerve-wracking cliffhanger, where Sherlock threw himself off a building to his supposed death. The new episode was ninety minutes long, and 9.7 million viewers tuned in to see Smaug reunited with Bilbo at last (I’m sure this crossover fic exists on the internet somewhere). Though these are only provisional ratings, it looks like The Empty Hearse will be the most-watched episode of TV for the whole holiday in the UK, substantially beating out the 8.3 million viewers who witnessed Matt Smith’s departure from Doctor Who on Christmas day.

Writer Mark Gatiss and co-creator Steven Moffat expressed their happiness for the overnight ratings, with Gatiss saying:

“Delighted our loyal audience tuned in on an appropriately bleak and stormy New Year’s night! After two years it’s fantastic to have this response to Sherlock, John and all the team being back on TV. All this and Dr Watson gets married in three days’ time!”

Moffat, who also show-runs Doctor Who, added:

“Thrilling news on overnight ratings for Sherlock. A tribute to the team who work so hard, and with such pride, on the show, and of course to the genius of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. It’s proof that audiences will show up if you give them what they want – though we can’t throw Benedict [Cumberbatch] off a roof every week.”

He then rubbed his hands together manically, saying, “But I’m Steven Moffat and I can do whatever I want,” before laughing an evil laugh.

Okay, I may have made that last part up, but it’s not totally out of the realm of possibility.

US Sherlockians have to wait another few weeks to see the episode (legally), when it airs on PBS January 19th. UK fans can look forward to episode 2, “The Sign of Three,” on January 5th!

(via DeadlineDigitalSpy)

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  • Anonymous

    Looking forward to seeing it, as much as I’ve been disappointed by Dr. Who recently. That said, what does “the Amy Pond of fandoms” mean?

  • Carmen Sandiego

    Wait, did I not view it legally? It was on the BBC One website.

  • Sabrina

    Amy Pond was “the girl who waited” ;)

  • Anonymous

    /head desk

    Of course!

  • Andrea Pantoja

    I was thinking exactly that as I watched brilliant after brilliant bit of writing and character development on my tv. Perhaps it’s time for Moffat to handhand over the Who reins to Gatiss.

  • Sabrina

    lol, it’s alright – we all have days like that! XD

  • Allison Hoekwater

    It was only released in the UK. We have a few more weeks to wait in the United States.

  • Anonymous

    Or you could just imbibe something psychoactive and go surf Tumblr for 2 hours …it will essentially be the same as watching that ep ;)

  • Anonymous

    “I’m sure this crossover fic exists somewhere on the net.”

    Yes. It’s called “Tumblr”, and you can find approximately 6743.8 variants on that particular crossover pairing there. ;)

  • Anonymous

    If it comes out on Hulu, great. Even things like this don’t make me miss cable.

  • Anonymous

    Sherlock will appear on PBS in the USA. PBS is still “broadcast” in most markets. And the shows will probably be available at the PBS website for a while after broadcast….

  • Anonymous

    Sherlock will appear on PBS in the USA. PBS is still “broadcast” in most markets. And the shows will probably be available at the PBS website for a while after broadcast….

  • Anonymous

    Would Gatiss have the time & energy for that brilliant writing–and his acting career–and co-managing Sheriock–if he was engaged in the huge job of running Doctor Who?

    I read RTD’s account of the endless administrative & artistic struggles involved in running BBC’s colossus. (That was before the Beeb’s current budget crunch.) Moffat has written some fine stuff himself–when he had fewer responsibilities.

  • Joanna =)

  • Jeff Ratcliff

    I actually thought S3E1 might have been better if written by Moffat instead of Gatiss. On the other hand, my reaction to the Sherlock episode and the Dr. Who Christmas special were about the same – didn’t live up to my expectations.

  • Carmen Sandiego

    I saw it live streaming on the BBC One website and I’m in the US.

  • Jill Pantozzi

    Well consider yourself lucky then I guess. Says it’s only playable in the UK for me.

  • Anonymous

    Everyone…you will not be disappointed. And that’s two years of anticipation talking…you will not be dissapointed. It is BRILLIANT.

  • Sophie

    I think Moffat and Gatiss work well together because they both have opposite strengths. Moffat seems to be interested in plot at the expense of character, Gatiss in character at the expense of plot. Also their obsession with the original books means there’s a lot of fun attention to detail for perceptive fans.