'Sherlock' Season 3 UK premiere gets series-high ratings
Overnight ratings for the BBC One broadcast (as reported by Deadline.com) show that 9.2 million viewers tuned in to see Sherlock Holmes ( Benedict Cumberbatch) return from the dead and reunite with Dr. John Watson ( Martin Freeman). The premiere episode, "The Empty Hearse," had a 33.8 percent share to dominate the day's broadcasts.
With peak numbers of 9.7 million and provisional final ratings indicating that "Sherlock" was also the highest-rated drama of the entire 2013-2014 holiday season, there's a chance that the show may have beaten creator Steven Moffatt's other hit, "Doctor Who."
Wednesday's holiday return was helped along by the Christmas Eve release of a 7-minute mini-episode, "Many Happy Returns." Taking place in the period between the Season 2 finale, "The Reichenbach Fall," and the Season 3 premiere, 1.5 million watched the episode on the BBC. Almost 5 million have tuned in via YouTube as well.
A second episode, "The Sign of Three," will air in the UK on Sunday (Jan. 5), while "Sherlock" Season 3 premieres on PBS in the US on Sunday, Jan. 19.