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Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman appear in an undated 2013 promotional photo for season 3 of Sherlock. - Provided courtesy of Robert Viglasky/Hartswood Films for MASTERPIECE

'Sherlock' season 3 premiere date set for January (Poll)

10/23/2013 by Kristina Lopez

"Sherlock" fans in the United States can breathe a sigh of relief now that an official premiere date for season 3 of the show has been announced.

"Sherlock" will return on Sunday, Jan. 19, at 10 p.m. ET on Masterpiece on PBS, it was announced on Oct. 23. The show will air on PBS after the broadcast of another successful television import from across the pond, "Downton Abbey," which will air at 9 p.m. on Sundays starting on Jan 5.

The BBC, which airs "Sherlock" in the U.K., has not yet announced a premiere date for the show's third season.

"Sherlock" stars "The Fifth Estate" and "Star Trek Into Darkness" actor Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes and "The Hobbit" star Martin Freeman as Dr. John Watson. Like previous seasons of the show, season 3 will air three 90-minute episodes.

The titles of the new episodes also follow the format from previous seasons, which feature a twist on titles from the Sherlock Holmes books by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The season premiere is titled "The Empty Hearse," the second episode set to air on Jan. 26 is called "The Sign of Three" and the finale, which will air on Feb. 2, is titled "His Last Vow."

"We love that 'Sherlock' fans are so passionate and eager to see Season 3," PBS Chief of Programming Executive and General Manager of General Audience Programming Beth Hoppe said in a statement. "The pairing of 'Downton Abbey' and 'Sherlock' in January offers a blockbuster night of British drama only on PBS stations."

What has been your favorite episode of "Sherlock" so far? Vote in our poll below.

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