One of the biggest “bubble shows” of this season has been Fox’s Sleepy Hollow, which came out of the 2013 pilot season with solid legs, earning a strong and loyal cult fanbase, and impressive overall ratings for such a niche genre show. However, even the most hardcore “Sleepy Heads” struggled to stay loyal during the show’s bumpy sophomore season.
Sleepy Hollow season 2 ditched a more episodic “creature of the week” format in favor of a more serialized storyline about Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison) and Lt. Abbie Mills (Nicole Beharie) fighting Ichabod’s evil estranged son, Henry (John Nobel). But the real wedge in the season 2 storyline was no doubt Ichabod’s witch wife, Katrina (Katia Winter), who was freed from purgatory only to become just as stranded in an awkward third-wheel slot.
By the time that Katrina was taking a jarring eleventh-hour turn towards evil (and time travel) in the season 2 finale, the last of the show’s fans were largely losing faith that Sleepy Hollow would find its way again – or that the network would even give it a chance. From Fox’s perspective it seemed all too apparent that the viewership would never bounce back from big losses in the key 18-49 demographic. And yet, against all odds, Fox has renewed Sleepy Hollow for season 3.
Here’s the official announcement via the Fox press release:
FOX has renewed mystery-adventure seriesfor a third season, it was announced today by David Madden, President, Entertainment, Fox Broadcasting Company. Television producer Clifton Campbell has signed on as executive producer and showrunner.
“is truly inventive television. 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,” said Madden. “I had the pleasure of working with Clifton on both ‘ ’ and ‘ .’ He is an excellent producer, and we can’t wait to see what this team has in store for Season Three.”
Campbell joins the series after serving as creator and executive producer of “” and co-executive producer on “ .”
While some people may look at the situation and wonder why Sleepy Hollow gets a stay of execution over so many other shows deemed “worthier,” there are other factors to keep in mind. At its best, Sleepy Hollow had 8-10 million viewers with an impressive 3.5 (if not higher) in the key 18 – 49 demographic. Beyond that key demo resonance, the show had a solid cult following through things like social media, even earning a nickname for its fanbase, “Sleepy Heads.”
The combination of historical revision mythos and anachronistic humor also turned leads Abbie and Ichabod into a odd-pair brand all their own, with actors Nicole Beharie, Tom Mison – and even supporting cast like Orlando Jones – all generating their own fan-followers.
That’s all to say: as a brand, Sleepy Hollow has much the same potential as a similar “Little show that could,” Supernatural.
Beyond a long run of seasons (and subsequent syndication hopes), Sleepy Hollow‘s ‘history meets mythology’ approach has potential to also expand into other media (comic books, novels) or even spinoff shows. It’s a solid brand for the era of ‘geek genre,’ which is likely why Fox hopes to better sell it in season 3 with some noted creative changes.
It’s official now: Sleepy Hollow will return for season 3 – presumably in fall 2015 on Fox.