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'Sherlock' Showrunner Prepping Season 4

Sherlock Season 3 Art - H 2013
Robert Viglasky/Hartswood Films for MASTERPIECE.
"Sherlock"

Steven Moffat said planning is under way on the fourth season of the BBC hit show as the third outing plays out on TV and conjures debate in the U.K. media.

LONDON – BBC hit show Sherlock will be back for a fourth season on the U.K. public broadcaster, according to showrunner and exec producer Steven Moffat.

Moffat said his show would be back at a preview of the third episode, The Last Vow, in the current season three, according to The Guardian. The final episode of the third season is scheduled to be broadcast on Jan. 12 and centers around a blackmail.

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The drama, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, is set to air on PBS in the U.S. starting Jan. 19.

Moffat said he saw no point in making a Sherlock movie when he could create three feature-length new episodes, which can be shown in the cinema on release.

The scripts for season four are already being planned, Moffat said. The show set a U.K. record for the drama to date when it returned to British screens on Jan. 1.

Since its return with the storyline of how famous detective Sherlock Holmes may have survived the drop from a roof that seemed to have killed him at the end of season two, the show has occupied headlines and the social media sphere with theories, debates and clashes of opinion.

Some commentators have criticized the show for not picking a clear line in what happened, while others have marveled at the show's intellectual chutzpah.

All the attention creates more buzz than ever for the BBC show.