Despite the yearly grumping from fans, PBS said at their Television Critics Association press tour panel today that they are pretty set in their ways when it comes to airing Downton Abbey in the U.S. months after the British broadcast. So basically tough luck, American Downton fans. But Sherlock fans? There's hope yet.
Basically, PBS—staying true to their staid reputation—doesn't want to rock the boat too much, at least not with Downton. "We look carefully at the [competition] in the fall schedule with that in mind," PBS President and CEO Paula Kerger told critics, according to The Hollywood Reporter. "We look at how we get promotion and buzz about it -- and that word of mouth has actually benefited us. We don't want to mess with that if it's working so well."
While we don't doubt that fans would tune in to watch Downton over, say, Dads when it comes to fall TV options, PBS doesn't want to mess with its cushy system of airing the show in the TV doldrums of January, a strategy that's done well by them over the past three seasons. But the same doesn't necessarily go for other imports, and that's potentially good news for fans of Sherlock.
"We're looking very carefully," Kerger said of the Benedict Cumberbatch-starring phenomenon. "But that is a subject of great interest, obviously, like Downton, it has a very passionate fan base." So, no decision has been made yet, meaning American Cumberbitches might be in luck. Do note, however, that Entertainment Weekly's James Hibberd reported that the show would air in the U.S. in 2014—behind a U.K. broadcast. For now, content yourselves by watching their season three teaser over and over again. That's more than Downton's got at the moment.