Sherlock represents one of the biggest love/hate relationships that fans have with favorite television shows. On one hand the show is incredibly popular and stars the also popular Benedict Cumberbatch. On the other hand, fans often have to wait years between seasons, instead of the traditional waiting period for most other television shows.
And then there's the actual episodes themselves. Showrunner Steven Moffat seems to be a brilliant writer, but only when he's not trying to be. Some episodes come off as pure brilliance, while others appear as a beautiful, terrible mess. The last episode (Sherlock: The Abominable Bride) was a Christmas special that took a Victorian, Inception-esc spin on the series but did little to drive the overall story forward since the tantalizing cliffhanger at the end of season 3, which aired in January of 2014. And now it seems fans may have to wait an additional year before they see Sherlock return.
Zap2It brings us news from the 2016 TCA winter press tour where PBS president Paula Kerger shed some light on the premiere date for season 4 of Sherlock. Thankfully, they seem to have a date. Sadly, it may still be "coming up about a year from now," according to Kerger.
For fans who want an explanation on the long wait in between seasons of Sherlock, Kerger went on to explain that part of the reason was Benedict Cumberbatch's busy schedule:
“As you know, Benedict has gotten to be somewhat popular since we began our work with him [Kerger laughs] and he very much wants to continue with ‘Sherlock.’ As you know, they are produced almost like films, and we’re hoping the next one will be about a year from now.”
It's true that Cumberbatch didn't launch into stardom until after Sherlock began. Now he's dealing with multiple films in his schedule, including big-budget films like Doctor Strange, part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. So scheduling him for Sherlock cannot be the easiest of tasks.
At one point, the show was slated to film its season 4 episodes at the same time as the Christmas special, but obviously that didn't happen. But at least we know that season 4 will arrive next year. The new season will apparently be "deeper and darker" than previous seasons, and many fans are speculating (based on the source material written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle) that this may involve the demise of key supporting character whose death we won't spoil here. Then again, the Sherlock writers have strayed from Doyle's source material multiple times before - so who knows what to expect?
Sherlock season 4 is expected to arrive in 2017.