The Fox network’s sci-fi drama, Sleepy Hollow, is coming back for a third go-round, despite rumors that the ratings decline of the past season, its second, would end its run. Fox announced on Wednesday that the supernatural time-travel show, which premiered on Sept. 16, 2013, will come back for a third year, but made it clear that the series will have a different feel.
The good news came with a caveat, however. Fox has made it very clear that the third season of the show will be very different than the first two in both look and tone, due in part to the show’s new executive producer, Clifton Campbell. Campbell was formerly the executive producer of the USA Network’s White Collar and A&E’s The Glades, which he also created. He replaces Mark Goffman, who announced previously that he would be leaving Sleepy Hollow.
The series is widely considered to be a present-day adaptation of the Washington Irving short story for Halloween, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, which was published in 1820. The series also draws on another Irving creation, Rip Van Winkle. Although the entire first season, save the pilot, and the second season were filmed in Wilmington, Sleepy Hollow will set up production in Atlanta for its third season. Aerial footage used in the show is filmed over the actual Village of Sleepy Hollow and its surrounding region in New York.
Warning: Spoilers ahead. The network also said that the new season of the show, which will consist of 18 episodes, will concentrate more on the character of Ichabod Crane, who is played by Tom Mison, and who comes to Sleepy Hollow by way of the Revolutionary War era, and his relationship with character Abbie Mills. Portrayed by Nicole Beharie, the character of Mills is a detective from present times.
The path to the new focus for this third go-round was made possible by events which occurred during the close of Sleepy Hollow’s second season, when Ichabod, in an attempt to claim victory over the sinister forces of evil, was forced to kill Katrina, his wife from the past, played by Katia Winter. Although the show will have a greater focus on the relationship between Abbie and Ichabod due to the death of Katrina, network executives warn that the mysterious evil forces may not be altogether banished and advise fans that the feel of the show will be different.
Sleepy Hollow debuted in the 2012 – 2013 season and was a hit for the Fox Network, but during its second season, its ratings began to decline. Sleepy Hollow lost over 40 percent of its audience from the first season to the second. Despite the loss of a large portion of its audience going into the second season, Rotten Tomatoes rated the sophomore season at 100 percent. Addressing the decline in ratings, executives with Fox admitted in January, while speaking before TV critics, that the show needed some reworking.
Fox CEO and co-chairman, Dana Walden, says that the network’s goal is to bring the show back for its third go-round with a different, more “episodic” feel “that has closure, and doesn’t feel quite so serialized.” Walden added that Sleepy Hollow is a beloved show on Fox and that Mison and Beharie “have fantastic chemistry.” He added that executives feel that the show is “a really unique series.”
By Jennifer Pfalz
Image by cgc76 – Flickr License