'Sherlock' Season Three Premiere Draws Highest Audience for Series Ever in the UK

Categories: 1-Featured,Broadcast TV

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January 2nd, 2014


Sherlock premiered its third season last night in the UK to a record 9.2 million total viewers (a 33.8% share), which marks the best performance of any episode of the series, ever. It also makes Sherlock the most-watched "holiday" drama for the BBC, beating out holiday episodes of Doctor Who and Downton Abbey.

Sherlock will be making its debut stateside on PBS January 19.

  • Ekras

    @Alejandro – the difference is we are the center of the world – the UK no longer is.

  • craiguk

    To all those saying British TV doesn’t order more then 6-12 episodes of a show per year keep in mind that Eastenders and Coronation Street commission around 150 episodes per year each.

    Also Downton on PBS will get (and cost PBS) a fraction of what a network show in the States will cost to come to air.

  • thesnowleopard


    PBS would probably love to get rights to those shows sooner, but it has to wait until the Brit networks producing them are willing to sell the foreign rights. There are usually delays to reduce competition and loss of domestic revenue from illegal downloads thanks to foreign sales. Also, there may be concerns that simultaneous broadcast puts too much stress on the production team through unrealistic deadlines.

    Keep in mind that British viewers, in particular, have to pay a tax in order to own any television with a receiver. BBC, ITV, Channel Four, etc. can’t get away with broadcasting simultaneously to British viewers (who have to pay a fee) and American viewers (who don’t) without angering a lot of people and probably getting in trouble with their own government. The delay is a compromise.

    The delay really has very little to do with PBS. Waiting is not exactly in their best interests.

  • Jimmy

    @cory, at the time the article said program, not most watched drama, I did a copy paste quote in my comment, so the article was changed later on.

  • Carole

    Orphan Black was co produced by Space in Canada and BBC America. It premiered in March in the States and we had to wait till September to see it on BBC Three here in the UK. That is far too long. As we pay for the BBC through the licence fee the BBC trust asks viewers what they think of the channels. I said that this situation of having to wait months especially for a co production is nutty in the digital age. There is no advertising so that doesn’t come into it here.

  • Chris_SAdvisor

    @Ekras – Hard to tell if that is sarcasm or americanism. Either way, it is funny. ;)

    Too bad the episode had at least three major flaws. I will not spoil them, but I have only seen two flaws in the previous two seasons, total. Hopefully this is not a new trend. BTW, they promised an explanation to the cliffhanger, and did not deliver. I wonder if they were lying or if it is coming. The ones discussed in the episode were all impossible (even the last), though the second was pretty funny.

  • Ricky


    You are wrong on a lot of fronts. The license fee is for BBC1-4 and interactive services. This is public money requiring BBC to meet requirements in the charter and what Ofcom lays down for PSBs.

    BBC America is owned and operated by BBC Worldwide which is a FOR PROFIT company, designed to maximise the profitability of BBC assets and programming which emanates from the license fee. A proportion is then paid back into the public service broadcaster which is funded by the fee. Given that. BBCWW’s job is to get the most money they can out of any deal, which means treating BBC1-4 the same as any other buyer when it comes to international distribution or risk falling foul of fair trade rules.

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