Over 9 million people watched the return of Sherlock yesterday in Britain, but we here in America are technically supposed to remain oblivious to that fact until January 19, when the show debuts on PBS.
Though the frustrating delay between British and American airings of popular programs is nothing new, the 18 days between last night's BBC premiere and the show's return to PBS seems like an especially trying tease. Not only has Sherlock been off the air since 2012, but the last episode, The Reichenbach Fall, ended on a massive cliffhanger as Sherlock Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch) appeared to fall to his death.
Now, obviously the TV show Sherlock wasn't going to kill off the lead character Sherlock, that much was even clear in the second season finale. But now that the series has resumed on the BBC, UK fans now know the specifics of how it all played out. (Maybe.) And PBS, for one, really hopes those stiff upper lips are sealed.
Even in making the episode available to U.S. press, PBS gave the episode an oddly specific disclaimer: "Though we know you would never spoil the story behind Sherlock's 'death' for your readers, we're duty-bound to ask you to please avoid any mention of how Sherlock survived, what he's been up to, or John's reaction to his return." The network also encouraged viewers not to share the episode with anyone; "not even your Sherlock-obsessed grandmother," it added cheekily. Of course, even that Sherlock-obsessed grandma probably found a way to torrent or live stream the episode.