As Americans increasingly watch more U.K. television shows, they grow ever more frustrated by the wait between those shows airing in the U.K. and in the U.S.
Sherlock and Doctor Who showrunner Stephen Moffat agrees and thinks that it doesn't really make sense that there's such a long wait between Sherlock episodes airing in the U.K. and in the U.S.
In a recent interview, Moffat addressed the problem, stating his own frustrations with it.
"I really, really do think it should," he says. "I think it's absolute bloody nonsense. The audience is not prepared to wait. [Somebody] recently said, 'If I want something and it's not available, I think it's the vendor's fault.' With Doctor Who we pretty much have that - certainly with Britain and America, it comes out the same day. Doing that ended an awful lot of the piracy. Yes, it should be. But that's a question for PBS Masterpiece."
The Doctor Who example is a good one because that series saw an increase in ratings on BBC America (as well as less piracy) when it started airing the same day in both the U.S. and U.K. Of course, the series stayed with the BBC in both countries, while Sherlock's distribution agreement is with PBS Masterpiece.
However, PBS did reduce the delay for the third season of Sherlock from previous seasons. Many fans of the series had already seen it by then, most either using DNS services that bypass geoblocking on the BBC's iPlayer or downloading it via torrent sites.
The problem, though, could be the agreement that PBS has with the BBC. The BBC claims first airing rights on the episode, which means that its contract makes PBS wait. Of course, the BBC would still retain those first airing rights in the U.K. even if they aired new Sherlock episodes on the same day because of the time difference between the two countries.
The first new Sherlock episode airs later this year, and although production is well under way for series stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, most of the new season's plot has been kept under wraps.
But we do know that the 90-minute Christmas special episode occurs in Victorian London, placing it in the original setting written by Sherlock Holmes creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
"The special is its own thing," says Moffat. "We wouldn't have done the story we're doing, and the way we're doing it, if we didn't have this special. It's not part of the run of three episodes. So we had this to do it - as we could hardly conceal - it's Victorian. [Co-creator Mark Gatiss] and me, we wanted to do this, but it had to be a special, it had to be separate entity on its own. It's kind of in its own little bubble."
[Photo Credit: BBC]