The list of canceled TV shows in 2015 could soon include Sleepy Hollow, the Fox show that has been falling steadily since its strong freshman season.
Now in its third year, Sleepy Hollow has hit a ratings valley, falling below a 1.0 rating for adults 18 to 49 for Thursday’s episode. The show is on order for a full third season, but the shaky numbers could mean trouble ahead.
There could be some extenuating circumstances for this week, the Zap2It blog TV by the Numbers noted. Thursday night was also the deciding game of the National League Championship Series between the New York Mets and Los Angeles Dodgers, and the game appeared to pull viewers away from all network shows.
“‘Bones’ (1.1, -0.1) was also down, as were all three NBC shows and ABC’s ‘Scandal’ (which took the biggest hit of the night, falling 0.3 from last week’s fast nationals to 2.3) and ‘How to Get Away with Murder’ (2.0, -0.1).
“The night’s bright sides came from ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ and ‘The Originals,’ each of which grew by 0.1 week to week. ‘The Vampire Diaries’ held steady in its second episode at 0.6. CBS’ ‘Thursday Night Football’ telecast was in line with last week, scoring a 3.5 in the fast nationals vs. 3.4 a week ago.”
If Sleepy Hollow does end up among the canceled shows in 2015, it would mark a quick decline for the show. At the end of the last season, Fox gave a vote of confidence to Sleepy Hollow by ordering an 18-episode third season. There were also some changes at the time, including Clifton Campbell (creator of The Glades) taking over for showrunner Mark Goffman in an effort to turn around the ratings slide that started during the second season.
But despite the dips in ratings from its first season, Fox execs seemed confident in Sleepy Hollow.
“‘Sleepy Hollow’ is truly inventive television,” said David Madden, Fox entertainment president, in a statement to Variety when the network announced the third season. “The talented producers – led by Alex, Bob, Len and Heather – along with the brilliant cast, anchored by Nicole and Tom, have created a fantastic world that brings ‘history’ to life with compelling and vibrant storytelling.”
Madden was also confident in Campbell, calling him an “excellent producer” and saying the network was looking forward to the work he would do in the third season.
Campbell has tried to bring a new perspective to the show, including a time jump and more focus on the lives of Abbie Mills (Nicole Beharie) and Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison).
Campbell said this season would include a major arc about Crane finding himself in the modern world and traveling to England and Scotland to visit his family’s tomb. That was meant to add a bit more background for viewers, he added.
Instead, Campbell has failed to inject a spark this season, and Sleepy Hollow now appears to be a strong possibility to join the lists of canceled TV shows in 2015. While there is no official word yet from Fox on its future, many see the ratings slide as a major red flag.
The decline is not new, either. In its debut season, Sleepy Hollow drew 11.1 million overall viewers, but in the second season that fell down to 7.1 million, even with the strong lead-in of Gotham.
Sleepy Hollow could not be alone among fright-filled Fox shows joining the list of canceled TV shows for 2015. There are also rumors that Scream Queens could be in trouble due to early ratings faltering. Though the show has considerable hype from Fox and the benefit of some big-name guest stars (including Ariana Grande), it has failed to deliver in the ratings and is seen as on the bubble for renewal.
[Image via Fox]