More U.S. viewers are watching Sherlock on PBS, but the show so far isn't experiencing an Abbey-like surge. Sunday's season-three premiere was seen by around 4 million viewers, PBS chief Paula Karger told critics this afternoon at the network's TV Critics Association press tour presentation. That's up nearly 25 percent from season two's premiere back in May 2012 (which brought in 3.2 million viewers), and well above the PBS prime-time average. Airing behind Downton certainly helped, though not as much as PBS might have hoped. Sunday's Downton averaged 8.4 million viewers — down from the 10.2 million who watched the premiere, but up from last week's 7.9 million opposite the Golden Globes. That means Sherlock lost more than half of its Downton lead-in. What's more, despite online buzz and critical raves, Sherlock doesn't seem to be gaining momentum the way Downton did. The latter series saw its audience leap nearly 100 percent between its second and third season; it then jumped up another 22 percent with this month's season four return. All that said, 4 million viewers is still a bigger audience than most HBO or Showtime series pull in with their initial telecasts, and bigger than most NBC comedies. PBS suits have little reason to be sad, even if Sherlock is no Downton dynamo.
Trending Video on Vulture
Most Watched on Vulture
Most Viewed Stories
Will & Grace, and Jack & Karen, Are Back With a New Scene About the 2016 Election
This Is Us Recap: Let’s Twist Again
Donald Glover’s Artistic Journey Has Been Building to Atlanta’s ‘Black Justin Bieber’ Episode
Seth Meyers Breaks Down How Trump Supporters Think He Performed in the Debate
Vulture Asks: Which TV Couple Do You Anti-Ship?
Bruce Springsteen’s Memoir Beautifully Dissects His Own Masculinity
Stephen Colbert Regrets That Polite Trump Interview He Did on The Late Show
Atlanta Recap: Black Bieber
The Best TV Couple of the Past 30 Years, Round One: Homer and Marge vs. Don and Betty
Crisis in Six Scenes Is Woody Allen’s Mad Men, Except Completely Tone-deaf
Latest News from VultureThroughout John Krasinski’s 75 Viewings of The Devil Wears Prada, He Developed Some Very Specific Opinions About It
"He's kind of stalkery like that."Felicity Huffman Is Starring in a Comedy by the Black-ish Team About a Politically Divided Family
The show has landed at ABC.Jimmy Fallon Has His First Textual Experience With Sting
A millennial love song for the ages.Black-ish Recap: The God Squad
Welcome to the Johnson family, Daveed Diggs!Always Sunny Is Planning a Full Musical Episode; Let’s Speculate About All the Ways the Gang Can Pull This Off
There could be a musical episode about Frank's toe knife alone.Benedict Cumberbatch and Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour Perform ‘Comfortably Numb,’ and, Minus the Whole Comfortable Bit, That About Sums It Up
Just a verse, just a taste.Empire Recap: Post Traumatic Lyon Disorder
I love you, Empire, but I don't know if you're the right show to take on police brutality.DJ Khaled Fails Upward As Locksmith With New Book Unavoidably Called The Keys
Featuring "mogul talk" from Jay Z, Rick Ross, Puff Daddy, and others.Speechless Recap: We're Not Jerks
If you like heartfelt sitcoms, do not miss Speechless.Brad Pitt Reportedly Takes Voluntary Drug Test, Is 'Cooperating Fully' With DCFS Investigation
After reportedly being accused of child abuse.
Someone has clearly never been through a breakup.You're the Worst Recap: Trouble in Mind
In this tremendous episode, Edgar finally attains protagonist status.Queen Sugar Recap: It’s Complicated
"By Any Chance" is the best episode of Queen Sugar so far.Desmin Borges on Edgar’s Harrowing Episode of You’re the Worst: ‘He Wants Someone to Beat the Hurt Out of Him’
“We’re seeing him freefall forward, and we're going to have to watch him dig, claw, and fight his way back up to a more positive state.”All My Children and One Life to Live Creator Agnes Nixon Dead at 93
Nixon was lauded for bringing socially progressive story lines to soaps.The Walking Dead Creator Frank Darabont Says AMC Owes Him $280 Million
He's also arguing he hasn't been paid for the entire second season.Theater Review: Judith Light, Neil LaBute, and All the Ways to Say I Love You
Neil LaBute tries to write for a grown-up woman.An Italian Job TV Series Is in the Works at NBC, Will Hopefully Still Star Wahlberg and Bad Goatees
Inspired by the 1969 film and its 2003 remake.
It'll be the first authorized film about his life.Is Wonder Woman Queer? ‘The Answer Is Obviously Yes,’ Says Her Writer
But Greg Rucka says she's not "gay," per se.