'Sherlock' season 4 release date in 2015, sooner than 2016?

Fans of "Sherlock" are ecstatic to hear that the show was picked up for a season 4 by BBC. In fact, there's a rumor that the show has been picked up for a season 5 too. But the burning question right now is, when will season 4 air?

The release date for "Sherlock" season 4 is still unconfirmed. Rumors say that it won't be airing until 2016. But according to Mirror Online, BBC has denied this. A spokesperson from the show told Mirror Online that "Conversations are still ongoing regarding Sherlock's return. Steven Moffat has already said that he has mapped out a fourth series, but it is always depending on cast availability."

The thing is, Benedict Cumbercatch and Martin Freeman, the two lead actors of the show, have hectic schedules. Both are part of the movie "Hobbit" and they are also filming the last installment as well.

Moffat also told E! Online: "Sue's working on the schedules right now. I just started with Capaldi on the new series of Doctor Who. You know, we'll do what we can, but with no sacrifice in quality -- that's the thing. If people have to wait two years, they'll have to wait two years. When's the next James Bond film? You know, it's not that kind of show that turns up all the time. It's just not. But the good news is, that probably means it will turn up sporadically for a very, very long while."

A two-year gap in between seasons is really nothing new to "Sherlock." Season 1 debuted in 2010, the next season in 2012 and the third season in 2014. So, it's really not unusual if Season 4 airs on 2016. But BBC is denying this and hints that season 4 may air sooner than everyone thinks.

According to a source for RadioTimes, season 5 may premiere earlier than 2016. "It will not be this year – but 2015 is very much the hope and expectation," said the source.

For fans of "Sherlock" who are avidly awaiting the confirmation of the release date, do not worry. There is news that there will be one special episode before season 4 starts. Freeman confirmed this when he guested on Alan Carr's talk show.