Sherlock Holmes and Doctor John Watson will be back and you're going to see more of them than usual. The BBC's hit series "Sherlock," which airs in the United States on PBS' "Masterpiece Theater," is returning in 2015, but they're changing things up a bit.

First, fans will get the first ever "Sherlock" special. As in, a special episode that airs outside the usual season. For us Yanks: British shows often film and air "specials" that bridge the gap between one season and the next, though most often they seem to be Christmas-themed. That won't be the case here, since the special doesn't begin filming until January 2015. Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman are confirmed to be returning to their highly popular roles.

Also in 2015, BBC will begin filming the hotly-anticipated fourth season of the show, to air sometime later in the year. Showrunner Steven Moffat is of course keeping mum on what to expect from the special or Season Four, but he couldn't help himself from offering the following:

"Of course, it's far too early to say what's coming, but we're reasonably confident that the very next thing to happen to Sherlock and John is the very last thing you'd expect," he said in a press release. Moffat also cheekily referred to the three-episode season plus the special as "a record-breaking run."

"It's always special to return to Sherlock but this time it's even more special as we're doing... a Special! Not only THAT, we'll then be shooting three more episodes which will take Sherlock and John Watson into deeper and darker water than ever before. The whole Sherlock team are terrifically excited to return for four new adventures. The Game is on - again!" said Moffat's partner in running, Mark Gatiss.

The hit drama "Sherlock" follows an unusual format for a series. Instead of 10 or 13 hour-long episodes, like most British shows, a season of "Sherlock" is just three episodes long -- but those episodes are two hours each. So essentially each season consists of three movies, each inspired by one of the legendary tales of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, but smartly brought forward in time to the present day, where the show is set.

The new season and special were announced on Twitter and confirmed by a BBC press release following a not-so-subtle tease by Martin Freeman in an interview with The Telegraph.

"I'm speaking off-message here. If this was [the] New Labour [Party] I'd get fired," said Freeman, hinting that the special might be a Christmas special. That last bit appears to have been proven false by the BBC's official announcement.

Freeman also reported that Amanda Abbington would return for the special in her role as Watson's wife. It's not exactly a stretch for the actress because Abbington is Freeman's wife in real life.

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