"Sherlock" returning with new special for season 4

"Sherlock" stars Martin Freeman and Benedict Cumberbatch. BBC One

"Sherlock" is on the case once again.

The hit British series -- which airs on BBC One in the U.K. and PBS in the U.S. -- is returning for a fourth season, it was announced Wednesday, and this time there will be more of Sherlock Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch) and John Watson (Martin Freeman) to go around.

A special episode will kick off the new installments, then followed by the three episodes for season 4.

Series co-creator, writer and executive producer Steven Moffat said of the return, "A special, plus a new series of three episodes -- it's a record-breaking run! 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..."

Filming on the "Sherlock" special will begin in January 2015, while shooting on season 4 will happen later that year.

The return was teased on a day earlier on Twitter with a cryptic message referencing Sherlock's nemesis, Jim Moriarty (played on the series by Andrew Scott):

More tweets relayed the official announcement on Wednesday:

"It's taken a little while to get the dates sorted as none of the boys are exactly sitting back twiddling their thumbs," said Sue Vertue, executive producer at Hartswood Films, "but there was unanimous goodwill to make this work so we're thrilled that 221b is going to be inhabited again."

Tell us: Are you excited for a new season of "Sherlock"?

  • Jessica Derschowitz

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