Sue Vertue, Sherlock's executive producer, has dismissed what appeared to be suggestions made by her husband Steven Moffat that the hit drama will return later this year.
An interview with the showrunner in The Guardian last Friday (January 20) raised hopes that a third series would be on the way sooner rather than later.
"We've worked out how Sherlock survives," Moffat revealed. "And actually shot part of what really happened. It all makes sense."
He also joked that he and co-creator Mark Gatiss have devised a better ending than author Arthur Conan Doyle.
As regards the plot of Doyle's Final Problem, Moffat commented: "He cheated outrageously. He has Watson deduce that Holmes fell off a waterfall. But there was no body. And it only means one thing in a detective show when there's no body.
"We had to have Holmes dying in Watson's arms - and get away with that, which we have."
But in response to these comments, Vertue has used Twitter to clarify that a 2012 Sherlock return is "sadly unlikely".
"Sorry to be a killjoy but @steven_moffat didn't actually mean S3 of #sherlock would tx before end of year," she wrote. "I think that is sadly unlikely."
Star Benedict Cumberbatch is currently filming the sequel to 2009's Star Trek while Martin Freeman will soon be seen as Bilbo Baggins in Peter Jackson's big-screen version of The Hobbit.