For the first two seasons of Sherlock, PBS ran a somewhat-abbreviated 82-minute version of each episode in a 90-minute time slot starting at 9:00 pm (Eastern Time). The other 8 minutes were taken up by their Masterpiece opening credits, an introduction by their host, advertisements for the DVDs, several non-commercials for their "corporate supporters," and their own closing credits.
This time around, they're running the show in a two-hour slot, starting an hour later. Has anyone heard whether they plan to run the complete 90-minute episodes? And/or what else they plan to do with the extra half hour? (I certainly hope we're not getting three rounds of "pledge week"!) So here's the schedule (note -- the PBS website gives the starting time as 10 pm Eastern Time, but our local station's site says 9:58 pm, so you might want to tune in a few minutes early):
"The Empty Hearse," Sunday, January 19th, 10 pm - midnight (Eastern Time)
"The Sign of Three," Sunday, January 26th, same times
"His Last Vow," Sunday, February 2nd, same times
They're running Downton Abbey as a lead-in to Sherlock, which may explain the later start. I assume another reason may be to avoid competing with the NFC championship game on the 19th and the Superbowl on the 2nd. Both games are scheduled to start at 6:30 pm (Eastern Time), nominally ending by 10 pm. (Of course, that doesn't take possible overtimes into account.)