The BBC has let loose an interactive trailer for the upcoming 3rd series of Sherlock. It includes goodies in the form of onscreen messages – reminiscent of the series’ use of flashing texts – that when clicked upon, delve deeper into what’s in store. This is the most revealing look so far at the upcoming season of the detecitve series that stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman. The new installments begin airing in the UK on BBC One on January 1st and follow in the U.S. on PBS on January 19th. Have fun below with the new clues:
Listen to (and share) episode 16 of Deadline’s audio podcast Global Showbiz Watch, With Nancy Tartaglione. Deadline’s international editor talks from London with host David Bloom about a series of UK-based stories the past several days, including the very big audiences that turned out for Doctor Who’s 50th anniversary celebration on the BBC, BBC America and in dozens of other countries; what the BBC has planned at Christmas time for the newest doctor in Doctor Who, and the much-awaited third season of Sherlock; Oscar winner Emma Thompson’s long look back with BAFTA at her career so far, even as her latest film, Saving Mr. Banks, builds its own awards buzz; and Pinewood Shepperton, busy counting its cash after a strong quarter, presses for approval of a major expansion of its London facilities amid a serious studio capacity crunch that’s turning away work in the city.
The BBC has outlined its holiday programming with yet more clues about Matt Smith’s last outing as Doctor Who. The series’ Christmas episode has been titled The Time Of The Doctor, following the Season 7 finale, The Name Of The Doctor, and last weekend’s The Day Of The Doctor (along with online mini-ep, The Night Of The Doctor). The episode will air December 25th and mark Smith’s departure as it introduces Peter Capaldi as the 12th Time Lord. It will also feature Fringe‘s Orla Brady in a new role. The BBC synopsis goes like this: “Orbiting a quiet backwater planet, the massed forces of the universe’s deadliest species gather, drawn to a mysterious message that echoes out to the stars… Rescuing Clara from a family Christmas dinner, the Time Lord and his best friend must learn what this enigmatic signal means for his own fate and that of the universe.” The Day Of The Doctor smashed records on Saturday for BBC America which traditionally airs the Christmas special in step with the UK.
Showrunner Steven Moffat’s other series, Sherlock, also returns to the BBC over the holidays. (It starts on PBS on January 19th). The first episode of the new three-part series, titled “The Empty Hearse”, will pick up two years after the titular high-functioning sociopath jumped from a building in “The Reichenbach Fall”. With London under the threat of a huge terrorist attack, Holmes will make his return from the dead.
Related: Hot TV Teaser: ‘Sherlock’ Season 3
BBC‘s Sherlock returns for its 3rd season on January 19 on PBS in the U.S., picking up after Season 2′s “Reichenbach Fall” finale. Here’s Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman in the 30-second teaser for Sherlock‘s return that was unveiled during today’s 50th Anniversary Doctor Who special:
But wait, there’s more! BBC also dropped a new teaser for its Doctor Who 2013 Christmas Special:
UPDATED, 9:30 AM: Benedict Cumberbatch, fresh off his feature film flop The Fifth Estate, will return in the better-reviewed Sherlock starting January 19 in the 10 PM time slot following Downton Abbey, PBS announced this morning. In the UK, BBC has not yet announced Sherlock’s return date, but promises the three episodes will launch there before the PBS debut. PBS also confirmed Downton Abbey’s January 5 return. Scheduling Sherlock’s three 90-minute episodes to follow Downton, PBS said in its first-quarter scheduling news, “reinforces PBS’ move into 10 PM programming on several key nights.”
In this morning’s flurry of PBS announcements, the network made a special fuss over “Cumberbatch (The Fifth Estate, Star Trek Into Darkness) and Martin Freeman (The Hobbit, The Office UK) returning as Sherlock Holmes and John Watson in the contemporary reinvention of the Arthur Conan Doyle classic, created by Steven Moffat (Doctor Who) and Mark Gatiss. In a separate announcement, Masterpiece exec producer Rebecca Eaton cooed, “The genius Sherlock team has done it again,” adding, “These people are GOOD!” The Fifth Estate, in which Cumberbatch received good reviews playing WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange, has nonetheless gone into the books as having the worst opening weekend this year to date.
PBS also said it was announcing a number of new programs, though we’ve known for ages that American Masters had gotten its hands on the much-ballyhooed biopic Salinger. Anyway, in this morning’s announcement, PBS also says per Nielsen that its 2012-13 primetime programming saw an overall average ratings increase of 7% over the previous season and that PBS now ranks eighth among all broadcast and cable networks “in overall general audience content.” We’ll get back to when we figure out what PBS is talking about, and we advise you not to hold your breath while you wait for numbers. PBS also claimed this morning it is now surpassed, in this PBS metric, by only the four major broadcast networks, USA, Univision, and Disney — overtaking ESPN, History and TNT in the ratings. Previously, PBS says, it ranked No. 11.
PBS’s upcoming primetime schedule is, per usual, thick with Brit on Sundays, science and nature shows on Wednesday, and arts and performance programming on Fridays:
TCA: PBS Chief Paula Kerger Credits ‘Downton Abbey’ In Part For Ratings Spike; Series To Return January 5
Add PBS CEO Paula Kerger to the list of network chiefs not buying what NBC Entertainment chief Bob Greenblatt was selling at Summer TV Press Tour about Flat being the new Up, ratings-wise. PBS is up 5% in primetime this year versus last, Kerger noted this morning at the tour. A chunk of that increase comes from the whopping 26% ratings spike PBS is enjoying on Sundays, thanks largely to Downton Abbey – which, irony of ironies, is a property of NBCUniversal International. Downton, Kerger noted, clocked around 8 million viewers in its most recent run, which makes it PBS’ most watched scripted series ever and the second most watched program of any genre, behind only Ken Burns’ docu The Civil War. “We are living in a golden era of drama in television…Sunday night on public television has become a great night for drama,” Kerger gloated.
She thanked cable networks that once gave PBS stiff content competition for “pivoting” in their programming strategy which “left a big opening” for public broadcasting.
Stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman were never scheduled to appear in person at Sherlock’s debut Comic-Con panel but they showed up anyway – via video. Both actors filmed short shout-outs to the very loud jam packed Ballroom 20 of the San Diego Convention Center. “Make sure you really scream and shout and ask them lots of belligerent questions,” quipped Freeman to the fans about the in-person panel of co-creators/EPs Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss and producer Sue Vertue. Working on a Peter Jackson’s still filming sequel, Freeman was in full Hobbit makeup and shades in his clip. The just Emmy-nominated Cumberbatch on the other hand was more casually dressed in his pre-taped appearance. After joking that he was doing a junket for Star Trek Into Darkness and other projects before talking about Sherlock, the vacationing actor launched into a long edited mimed play on how the character survived the fall he took in the Season 2 ender and what it’s like to play a modern version of Holmes. “It’s more fun making than watching,” Cumberbatch also told the crowd as he thanked the fans for watching and showing up. The BBC show, seen here on PBS, has currently finished two episodes of its upcoming Season 3 and about to start on a third.
Global Showbiz Briefs: Murderous Coloring Book Yanked; China’s Pop Culture Snobs; Canal Plus Series Lineup Set; More
Coloring Book Based On Horror Movies Yanked In UK After Marketing Gaffe
UK retailer Tesco has pulled a horror-movie-themed coloring book from its website after it was mistakenly marketed to children ages 5 to 8. The book, Colour Me Good Arrggghhhh!! includes images from Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho, Clive Barker’s Hellraiser, Steven Spielberg’s Jaws and Adrian Lyne’s Fatal Attraction. According to the BBC, Tesco said the book had been placed in the wrong category when listed on its website by a third-party seller. Author, artist and publisher Mel Elliott said the book is indeed meant for an adult audience of “playful grown-ups.”
Brit TV Dramas Drive ‘Snobbish Pop-Cultural Hierarchy’ In China
British dramas such as Downton Abbey and Sherlock are big hits at home and abroad, but in China they’re also part of what the Wall Street Journal calls “an increasingly snobbish pop-cultural hierarchy.” Described by local media as a “disdain chain,” it works like this: British drama fans look down on folks who prefer U.S. shows, and they in turn look down on Korean soap fans. The lowest of the low in the disdain chain are fans of domestic dramas. The taste for high-end British fare like Downton and Sherlock is a growing phenomenon. Entgroup compiled levels of discussion on different social media sites to find that British dramas are catching on with the wealthy youth and account for upwards of 9% of foreign TV discussion. Also notable, more than half of those who follow British dramas on social media sites have at least a bachelor’s degree, Entgroup found. Hit Brit shows like Downton are expected to have 160M online followers in the next two to three years. Sohu.com, Youku Tudou and Tencent all have dedicated online channels for British dramas and the Journal says the latter two are competing to sign exclusive deals with distributors like BBC Worldwide and Fremantle Media to stream the shows.
The fact that Sherlock is back in production and filming around the UK has drummed up a fan frenzy. Stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman recently shot in Bristol and Cheltenham with photos popping up across the Internet, leading to potential spoilers. Now, as the show heads to London, producer Sue Vertue has sent a plea to Sherlock lovers to let the team get on with its “punishing” schedule and ask that people avoid posting spoilers or daily locations. On the other hand, Sherlock network the BBC yesterday released official videos of the Doctor Who 50th anniversary special shooting in Trafalgar Square. I hear the reasoning for getting in front of Doctor Who was because the shoot was “bang in the center of London” so already very public. But even a well-placed BBC insider says the Sherlock locations are something of a mystery. Click over for Vertue’s note:
Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman have signed on for a fourth season of the BBC1/PBS Masterpiece drama Sherlock, which started its Season 3 table read yesterday ahead of shooting next week. Cumberbatch, who earned Emmy and …
It’s been quite awhile since viewers saw Benedict Cumberbatch‘s high-functioning sociopath, Sherlock Holmes, step off the side of a building in Sherlock‘s Season 2 finale, The Reichenbach Fall. But today, BBC One’s hit drama had its first Season 3 read-through with shooting to start next Monday. Emmy-nominated director Paul McGuigan, who helmed four of the first six 90-minute episodes, has confirmed he will not be aboard for this season, however. Over the weekend, he tweeted: “#sherlock has been one of the most fulfilling experiences of my working life as a director but now I have a movie to make…so stay tuned x“. He’s lined up to direct Frankenstein, 20th Century Fox’s revamp of the Mary Shelley classic novel that has Daniel Radcliffe in talks, and is also working with Cumberbatch on The Man Who, about the life of Beatles manager Brian Epstein.
Popular British shows like Downton Abbey and Sherlock are closer to getting new tax breaks for shooting at home. The Treasury today published draft legislation outlining a 25% tax credit for qualifying “high-end” TV productions, animated programs and video games. It has also expanded the scheme to cover TV documentaries and responded to certain industry concerns over terminology and eligibility. Largely based on the Film Tax Relief scheme which has provided about £800M in rebates to 825 movies since 2007, the new law will be based on meeting a British cultural test. Co-productions made under an internationally recognized treaty may also be eligible. The UK hopes the incentives will stem runaway production and entice players like Disney and HBO to make more of their premium shows in Britain.
The draft published today (read it here) says the animation rebate will be available to projects where animation makes up 51% or more (down from the originally proposed 75%) of total production cost. It also defines “high-end” productions as programs that cost £1M or more per “programme hour.” But, the term “programme hour” proved ornery and so the government has clarified its position that an “hour” is based on slot time as opposed to actual running time. The law will also exclude certain genres like advertising, discussion programs and news or
Doctor Who fans on both sides of the Atlantic will get their time travel fix when the new season debuts on Sept 1. But fans of Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat’s other show, Sherlock, will have to wait …