On Wednesday, David Madden, president of entertainment for Fox Broadcasting Company, announced Sleepy Hollow had been renewed for a third season. Although the supernatural police drama performed well during its first season, it struggled to maintain its ratings during the second season.
During the second season, the show changed to a more serialized format, just one of the problems cited as a cause of the show’s lower ratings since it first aired. Creative issues arose as the show because more serialized, and because many new characters were added, it further complicated the plot line, confusing viewers.
Fox TV group chairman Dana Walden, among others, recognized the need to make creative changes to the show to get it back on track. As reported in Deadline, Walden stated the show needed to return to the old format before being renewed for a third season.
“We want to get back to something that feels a little bit more episodic in nature, it has become overly serialized. We are trying to return the fun to it a little bit.”
The series also suffered a setback when Mark Goffman, the series’ showrunner, left after two seasons and putting the series in jeopardy of being renewed for a third season. Madden replaced Goffman with television producer Clifton Campbell, who created and ran White Collar.
Further compounding the problem with Sleepy Hollow being renewed for a third season was also the location. Currently, the show is being filmed in Wilmington, North Carolina. As reported by WBTV, because of possible changes to tax credits by the North Carolina legislature, Warren said Fox was considering moving the show to Atlanta. Wilmington mayor Bill Saffo met with the state legislature in hopes of keeping the tax credits in place. Two bills were introduced in the state legislature in order to raise the funding to $50 million.
“We’re crossing our fingers and hoping they wait to see what the legislature does.”
In spite of all the obstacles Sleepy Hollow faced, Fox Broadcasting chose to renew it for a third season, adding it to a lineup that includes new dramas Empire and Gotham.
Sleepy Hollow is based on the Ichabod Crane character from the 18th century story written by Washington Irving. Crane, resurrected into the 21st century and working with police Lieutenant Abbey Mills, are called “witnesses,” whose job is to protect the world from evil in the form of the Four Horsemen, which includes the Headless Horseman from the Washington Irving story. The show is a signature drama for Fox and according to Madden, “truly inventive television.”
Do you think the change to a more episodic format will improve the show? Are you glad the show was renewed for a third season?
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