Two of the busiest writers in Hollywood at the moment, Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, are attached to yet another project attracting immediate studio attention. Just days after announcing their proposed Sleepy Hollow television series would be paying a visit to the various broadcast networks in search of a suitor, it looks like FOX has jumped at the chance to bring another program from the creators of Fringe to its schedule.
Orci and Kurtzman’s vision for the series sees the familiar Ichabod Crane living in a modern-day Sleepy Hollow, where he teams up with a female sheriff to not only solve the strange and supernatural happenings taking place in town, but also to unravel each mystery’s connection to the larger battle between good and evil.
According to recent reports, FOX jumped at the idea by giving Sleepy Hollow a put pilot commitment – in other words, an agreement that would see the network pay out substantial fees should the pilot fail to see the light of day. Put pilots are typically a good indicator that an order to series is imminent.
So what has FOX so eager to get Orci and Kurtzman’s Sleepy Hollow vision (revision?) up and running? For starters, the project happens to be one of two similarly detailed Sleepy Hollow series in the works – the other being shopped around at The CW by Patrick Macmanus and Grant Scharbo, creators of ABC’s Ashley Judd vehicle, Missing. In their slightly more Twin Peaks-inspired version, Crane is an FBI agent who arrives in Sleepy Hollow to investigate a brutal beheading and uncovering all sorts of creepiness in the process. With that project on the table, FOX was likely keen to avoid taking part in a situation similar to the one between ABC and The CW over the dueling Beauty and the Beast projects from last year’s pilot season.
In addition to good, old-fashioned network competition, it probably didn’t hurt that FOX was taking on a project from well-known writers with a television track record that includes Fringe and Hawaii Five-0, as well as J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek reboot and the upcoming sequel to this summer’s wall-crawling extravaganza, The Amazing Spider-Man.
While Sleepy Hollow would tap into the same modern-day-meets-fantasy storyline as Grimm or Once Upon a Time, it would also help fill the woefully underrepresented police procedural niche on broadcast television. (So if you were looking for another reason to champion this series, there it is.)
Forgoing the period setting of the original story and the 1999 Johnny Depp film might be a bit of a gamble – and will certainly cut down on the show’s ability to develop a signature style – but considering the period procedurals Poe and Among the Spirits failed to go anywhere, perhaps the days of networks searching for such distinctive flare is just a thing of the past.
Screen Rant will keep you updated on the progress of Sleepy Hollow as news is made available.