January blues be gone: the mystery surrounding the premiere of Sherlock season three has been solved, and it's been revealed that Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman and co. will return to our screens on January 19. And about time too. Rumours of a third season have been swirling for a couple of years, causing tantamount to fan hysteria—or at least that's how it's been in the R29 offices.
The first episode is titled The Empty Hearse and is based on Arthur Conan Doyle's story The Adventure Of The Empty House. It was written by Mark Gatiss, who is responsible for writing episodes The Great Game and The Hounds Of Baskerville—so naturally expectations are high. The Empty Hearse will have to explain Sherlock's reappearance after his rooftop struggle with Moriarty at the end of the second season.
Two other episodes will follow: The Sign of Three (based on Conan Doyle's The Sign Of The Four) and His Last Vow (a nod to His Last Bow, which recounts Sherlock's retirement from detective work).
The show will return to PBS Masterpiece and will air at 10pm, meaning that it will be shown back-to-back with Downton Abbey, which returns January 5, Entertainment Weekly reports. It's the first time that the show's US premiere has been announced before the BBC reveals its UK date, but given that the BBC has rights to first airing, at least UK fans can take comfort in the knowledge that it'll be hitting their screens very soon indeed.