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The End May Be Near for BBC's Wildly Successful 'Sherlock' Daily Express

In a way, “Sherlock” may become a victim of its own success. The thriving BBC show may wind down after the upcoming third season, the U.K.’s Daily Express reports -- at least in part a victim of the thriving careers of two of its stars.

Benedict Cumberbatch, who plays Sherlock Holmes in the series, and Martin Freeman, who appears as Watson, are both enjoying a career resurgence, no doubt in part because of their high-profile work in “Sherlock.” But their busy careers -- including a number of feature film projects -- may mean they won’t be back for a fourth season, the report says.

The third season is set to start filming in early 2013. At this time, nothing is planned beyond season three, the story notes, adding that insiders say the third season is likely to be the last for Cumberbatch and Freeman.

“Benedict and Martin love Sherlock. It’s been fabulous for both of them but it’s a question of schedules,” a source told the publication. “They will no doubt be signing off in style.”

Both actors have been working in New Zealand on an upcoming Hobbit trilogy, the report notes, with Freeman in the lead role of Bilbo Baggins and Cumberbatch playing the dragon Smaug.

“Currently starring in the BBC drama ‘Parade’s End,’ Cumberbatch will also portray the as yet unnamed villain in the forthcoming ‘Star Trek’ movie,” the piece adds.