The ever-growing popularity of the BBC's Benedict Cumberbatch-Martin Freeman starring 'Sherlock' all but assures that the modernized detective drama will return for a fourth season, its shocking season 3 cliffhanger not withstanding, but the similarly growing popularity of its leads makes scheduling especially difficult. Now, a new report suggests we may see the fourth series trilogy in 2016, with a few well-earned changes to the storytelling.

Via the Hollywood Reporter, creators, showrunners and star Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss recently spoke at a Royal Television Society event to assure that the fourth season of 'Sherlock' would likely be ready for 2016, though the BBC hasn't yet confirmed any specific airdates. We've heard before how the pair had previously mapped out stories for a potential fourth and fifth season, which themselves had always been written to include [SPOILER ALERT] Moriarty's season 3 return.

Along with the surprise resurrection, Moffat also specified that 'Sherlock' season 4 would likely see increased roles for the women of the series, particularly Molly Hooper (Louise Brealey) and Mrs. Hudson (Una Stubbs), potentially adding new female characters into the mix as well, as part of "Sherlock's gradual humanization." Moffat had previously assured in interviews that the fourth season would likely pick up with little to no time lag, wanting to account for everything they’d done from the moment of the big reveal. “There will be nothing left dangling,” said the creator.

Well, what do you think? Is 2016 too long to wait for 'Sherlock' season 4, which similarly teased fans from 2012 to 2014 between its second and third seasons? What would you like to see from the female characters in 'Sherlock''s eventual fourth season?

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