The new year came in with a bang for fans of Sherlock with the long-awaited holiday special The Abonimable Bride, the first episode to air in two years. The show will return with Season 4 later this year, and while a premiere date hasn't been given yet, it may be announced during their annual Comic-Con panel, which will be held on Sunday, July 24. Today we have the first photo featuring Sherlock Holmes' (Benedict Cumberbatch) new canine sidekick, along with more details about the show's future from writer and executive producer Steven Moffat.

While Steven Moffat wouldn't shed any light on Benedict Cumberbatch's new animal friend, he did hint that Sherlock Season 4 may be its last. While nothing has been confirmed yet, the writer-producer told The Guardian that he isn't sure how long they can keep going, because series stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman are so in demand. Here's what Steven Moffat had to say below.

"I don't know how long we can keep it going. I'm personally willing but I'm hardly the main draw. I would be moderately surprised if this was the last time we ever made this show. But it absolutely could be. We do have two film stars in the programme. They haven't needed to do these jobs for a very long time. They're coming back because they want to."

When Sherlock debuted in 2010, both Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman weren't nearly as popular as they are now, thanks to hit movies like The Imitation Game, The Hobbit trilogy and many more. Nothing is set in stone as to the future of Sherlock, but Steven Moffat revealed that he's still surprised that his stars are willing to come back. Here's what he had to say below, hinting that the show could continue with an off-and-on approach.

Related: Sherlock Season 4 Gets an Early 2017 Release Date

"I'm amazed that we've got this far. I thought that once they had become extremely successful, we would only get to do one more series. There's never going to come a time when we do a longer run, because this is what the series has become. It's an occasional treat where you get three movies. It's how it works. That's why I think it's unlikely that we've completely finished it. There would be nothing strange in stopping for a while. It could go on forever, coming back now and again."

As for Sherlock Season 4, the first of the three feature-length episodes will be directed by Rachel Talalay, who has worked as a director, producer, and professor in film and television for more than 25 years, having previously directed Doctor Who, The Flash and The Wind in the Willows. Sherlock is written and created by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, and inspired by the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Take a look at the new Sherlock Season 4 photo below, and stay tuned for more on this highly-anticipated season.

<strong><em>Sherlock</em></strong> Season 4