PBS began its TCA winter tour Masterpiece presentation by announcing that 3.2 million viewers tuned in to the previous night’s season 3 premiere of Sherlock—up 28% from the season 2 premiere, which drew 2.5 million. Downton Abbey drew 8.4 million viewers for the third episode of its fourth and current season, up 6% from the previous week’s 7.9 million.
Highlights from panels for Masterpiece series Sherlock and Mr. Selfridge included:
On kissing Andrew Scott (Moriarty in Sherlock):
Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock Holmes): “It was like fist-bumping”
On fans of Sherlock:
Cumberbatch: “It’s kind of extraordinary and a little bit unnerving. I feel an overt sense of responsibility, and I know that that has to be acknowledged, and I know that that feeds the thing itself, but at the same time I’m a human being. As much as I pay for it a lot, I want to acknowledge with gratitude the fact that they are so supportive, loyal, and by and large intelligent and normal.”
On Jonny Lee Miller playing Holmes on Elementary:
Cumberbatch: Johnny is incredibly busy with it. I’ve seen him [once] just by happenstance, since we both started on our separate journeys with it, so we haven’t had one sit down about it really. I see as much of his as I can, and I think he’s seen our three. We’re all fans of one another. We support each other, no matter what bullshit the press has tried to whip up in the past.
On the set for Mr. Selfridge:
Jeremy Piven (Harry Selfridge): "If you saw where we shot it, you wouldn’t believe it. It’s like shooting in a cave in Kabul. … It is a converted carpet factory. It’s a tribute to everyone involved that they transform the space."
On the difference between Harry Selfridge and Ari Gold of Entourage
Piven: Ari has an anger disorder and works on his lowest level as a human being in the way that he’s constantly reactive and overly emotionally invested. And Harry, his first instinct is to always take the high road and to embrace the light and to lead by example. Ari Gold to play was incredibly taxing, because if you’re screaming 12 to14 hours a day and breaking computers, you’re body thinks it’s real. It’s been really great to play Harry, because he’s got the great heart.
On performing in both Mr. Selfridge and Sherlock:
Amanda Abbington (cast member on both shows): “Personally it was just wonderful to be on Mr. Selfridge and play this wonderful character, then get out of a corset and jump on the back of a motorcycle with Benedict Cumberbatch.”