Well, it's official — 'Sherlock' is back and better than ever...at least, according to the ratings. The highly anticipated third installment of the crime-solving drama returned to the small screen last night (at least for those lucky folks across the pond) and earned the biggest ratings spike the series has ever seen in the U.K.
Overnight ratings show that the 90-minute episode was viewed by an impressive 9.2 million people, all desperate to learn just how their favorite high-functioning sociopath, Sherlock Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch), survived "The Reichenbach Fall" and witness him finally reunite with his dear comrade, Dr. John Watson (Martin Freeman).
Deadline reports that "The Empty Hearse" drew a 33.8% share to be yesterday’s most-watched program — utlimately peaking at 9.7 million viewers — while provisional figures also make it the most-watched drama of the whole holiday season in Britain. But given that fans have waited nearly two years for the series' epic return, its popularity wouldn't be all that hard to deduce — even without Sherlock's assistance.
Unfortunately, U.S. watchers are still in for a rough few weeks of torture before their 'Sherlock' addiction can be quenched come Jan. 19. (*insert impatient temper tantrum here*) So, in the meantime, be sure to check out the show's mini-episode titled "Many Happy Returns," which BBC kindly released online on Christmas Eve.
There's also plenty of photos to gawk over as well as a teaser trailer or two. But whatever you do — just make sure to avoid spoilers at all costs!
'Sherlock' kicks off Season 3 in the U.S. on Sunday, Jan. 19 on PBS. Don't miss it!