Why the TV show Sherlock has short seasons

  • 1 The lead actors have busy schedules

    Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman became widely popular after Sherlock and now they are involved in several other works. Thus, it would be hard to have them do more than 3 long episodes per season. 

  • 2 The co-creators are busy

    Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, the co-creators of Sherlock, have an incredibly tight schedule since they work on several other shows at the same time such as Doctor Who. Therefore, 3 episodes per season is all they can do given their busy life. 

  • 3 They're more like films

    Sherlock co-creator, Steven Moffat, said the creators intend for the episodes to be more like films since they are 90 minutes long. 

  • 4 British series are usually short

    It is normal for British series to have very few episodes per season, as opposed to American series that could have 22 episodes or more.

  • 5 It would be over soon

    Steven Moffat said that if they had been making 6 or 12 episodes per season, the show would've been over by now because the lead actors wouldn't have been able to find the time for it. 

  • 6 So people don't get bored of it

    Steven Moffat also said that having loads of episodes per season would bore the audience and make them sick of it. The people making it would also grow tired of the show if it had many episodes. 

  • 7 Extra episodes are considered fillers

    Steven Moffat believes that having long seasons means there are a lot of episode that are there just to fill time and make it a long season with no real purpose. 

  • 8 It's more suspenseful

    Having short seasons that come out every year or year and a half means the audience will be longing for it to come out, thus adding more suspense and maintaining the show's fan base. 

  • 9 It takes time to produce high quality shows

    The fact that the season is short but has very high quality episodes means the creators need to spend sufficient time preparing for the episodes which are 90 minutes long.