Bad Day at Black Rock on the Sherlock and Downton Abbey front


This is like asking someone if they would rather have the Cod Liver Oil first with the Alka Seltzer chaser to follow or vice-versa. Trust me, giving either of them a cherry-flavor isn’t going to help in either case, they still tasted bad when you were a kid.

That said, unfortunately, I need to be the bearer of bad news on both the Sherlock and Downton Abbey front but I would rather you hear it here than read about it in the supermarket checkout line next to the latest “I was a Teenage Alien” cover story from the child star of a certain 1970’s sitcom.

  • With regards to Downton Abbey, while American is eagerly awaiting the premiere of series 3 beginning this January, there was worldwide happiness several days ago with the announcement that series 4 had been commissioned by ITV. What wasn’t said at the time, was the Dan Stevens (Matthew Crawley) will, most likely, not be back according to the proverbial ‘well-placed source close to the production’. Stevens is expected to appear in the upcoming 2-hour Christmas special airing on Christmas Day in the UK and will be seen in the first episode of series 4. With Stevens’ character, Matthew Crawley’s relationship with Lady Mary and subsequent marriage having been a major plotline through the three series of Downton Abbey it will be of great interest for DA fans to see just how this is dealt with but, at this point, there’s no hint as to how his departure will be handled within the storyline by creator/writer, Julian Fellowes.

  • On the Sherlock front, fans of the best thing to hit the telly in recent memory are going to have to wait just a bit longer to the answer to just how Sherlock survives the fall from atop St Barts. While we had previously announced that production would begin on series 3 of BBC’s Sherlock in January, word from the producers now is that the start of production on the third series of the detective drama has been moved from January to March 2013. What’s the bad news you say? Well, unfortunately, that will  most likely push back the broadcast transmission date to early 2014 on both BBC and PBS. The BBC is still saying a late Fall 2013 broadcast is possible, but even at this point, that’s pushing it. Understandably, the shift was necessary to accommodate the busy schedules of the show’s stars, Benedict Cumberbatch, who’s in just about every movie known to man at the moment, and Martin Freeman, who has this little time commitment for Peter Jackson’s, The Hobbit.

On the upside, however, it’s shaping up to be a great year for drama on PBS in 2013. Following series 3 of Downton Abbey will be the premiere of the 10-part, Mr. Selfridge, on PBS’ Masterpiece series. The second series of Call the Midwife will premiere in the Spring. Summer will bring the usual ‘mystery’ greatness that has been associated with PBS for over 40 years beginning with the premiere of Endeavour, the hit-prequel series to the long-running Inspector Morse classic. That’s just getting us through the Summer. You’re going to love the Fall….