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'Sherlock' Season 3 airing January 19th in the US

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Sherlock is finally and officially coming back early next year. PBS has confirmed that the third season of Steven Moffat's acclaimed adaptation will premiere in the US on January 19th. The first episode will air on PBS' Masterpiece at 10PM, directly after Downton Abbey. "The Empty Hearse" was written by Mark Gatiss — responsible for two of the series' strongest episodes, "The Great Game" and "The Hounds of Baskerville" — and is based on Conan Doyle's story "The Adventure of the Empty House." Like that story, it's going to have to explain the protagonist's miraculous reappearance after his struggle with Moriarty at the end of the second season. After that, we'll see "The Sign of Three" (based on "The Sign of the Four") and "His Last Vow" (a reference to "His Last Bow," in which Holmes retires from detective work.)

PBS has revealed its date before the BBC announced when it would be airing the show in the UK. The BBC gets an exclusive viewing window, though, so British fans could be seeing it anywhere from weeks to months earlier. As for the delay in getting the new season to TV, Masterpiece producer Rebecca Eaton tells Entertainment Weekly that Cumberbatch and Freeman's popularity over the past year — both have ongoing roles in the Hobbit trilogy, and Cumberbatch appeared in Star Trek into Darkness and The Fifth Estate this year — made it difficult to plan filming. For now, there's a new teaser, which you can see below.