Sunday, January 26, 2014

Super Bowl Sherlock 2: The Sequel

Ah, that PBS may be much more devious than any of us ever suspected.

The eighteen day delay that network gave American viewers between the British premiere of the new Sherlock and the U.S. debut was much shorter than the months-long wait of previous seasons, but it was still eighteen days . . . a curious little period of time. Curious, that is, until one realizes what happens next Sunday, February 2.

The final episode of Sherlock season three, "His Last Vow," and . . . the Super Bowl.

The Super Bowl kicks off at 6:25 Eastern Standard Time, and Sherlock comes on at 9:58 E.S.T. Anything about that sound a little bit familiar?

Last year, CBS picked Elementary as it's post-Super Bowl show to push and scheduled it in the time slot immediately after the game, and weird in-game blackouts delayed the episode until sometime in the hour of 11:00 E.S.T. -- about as late as one will have to stay up to watch the longer, later Sherlock finale this year.

Expectations will surely be different: Huffington Post declared Elementary a "ratings flop" in that time slot when it only held on to 20.8 million of the Super Bowl's 108.4 million viewers.  And in England alone, the episode of Sherlock we're going to be seeing after the Super Bowl pulled in 8.8 million viewers without the Super Bowl bump. I don't expect it to do better than that here, as the U.S. audience for this season's premiere was a just over a third of the British audience (4 million, U.S., 11.8 million Britain).

With the Super Bowl on Fox, and Sherlock on PBS -- two networks without a lot of viewer overlap, I'd guess -- we won't be seeing any kind of Super Bowl bump this time out, and it may ever detract a bit, with the parties and all. Who knows?

But it's still damned curious how we find ourselves in a Super Bowl/Sherlock Holmes situation again this year. 


  1. Again, I'll be at work - again, I'll not watch the Superbowl (never do, even when we're in it). For all of that - I'll watch Sherlock on Monday or Tuesday, maybe Wednesday? As to Elementary being called a 'ratings flop'? I 'd say he got it half right!

  2. The series premiere on Masterpiece overlapped with the NFC playoff games, and PBS did just fine with viewership, seeing a 25% spike from last season's opener. I think they'll do just fine with the Big Game.