10 British TV Shows That Crossed the Pond

Benedict Cumberbatch filming "Sherlock" in London in 2013. Harlem Mepham/FilmMagic/Getty Images

What do American audiences think of the BBC One series "Sherlock"? It's elementary: They're mad about it. In 2014, the third season's ratings on PBS averaged 6.6 million, an increase of more than 2 million from the prior year [source: PBS Sundays]. This updated version of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's legendary detective stars Benedict Cumberbatch ("Star Trek Into Darkness," "The Imitation Game") as the title character, with Martin Freeman ("The Office," "The Hobbit") as the long-suffering war veteran and trusted companion Dr. John Watson.

Some episodes' plots are similar to the original stories, but the entire series updates Holmes' adventures. The Baker Street Irregulars include homeless Londoners and a graffiti artist. Instead of writing down Holmes' cases, Watson blogs about them. Also, Holmes' sometimes-adversarial relationship with authority takes a 21st-century spin -- he sends taunting texts to the press [source: Sherlockology].