FOX cancels Sleepy Hollow after four seasons. Starring Tom Mison as Ichabod Crane, the modern twist on the classic tale was once a ratings juggernaut for FOX. However, ratings steadily declined ever since season 2. The show made a series of missteps that led to fan disillusionment, culminating in co-star Nicole Beharie’s controversial exit from the show in the season 3 finale. Sleepy Hollow season 4 was met with poor ratings which spelled it’s doom.
It’s been a rough day for fans of FOX. First, the network axed sophomore drama Rosewood, with this news arriving on the heels of the cancellation of Pitch last week. Now, the once smash hit Sleepy Hollow has been cancelled following the show’s fourth season.
TVLine is reporting the cancellation, with Sleepy Hollow season 4 having wrapped up earlier this year on the network. Unfortunately, this news is to be expected. Season 4, despite bringing in new characters and a change of location, generated minimal buzz.
Additionally, it’s likely this was a product of Beharie’s absence. Her mistreatment by the show’s producers is well documented, even by the actress herself. One Instagram post joked that she was not invited to do commentary for the show’s second season. Beharie ultimately chose to exit the series, something she had been trying to do for quite some time if rumors are to be believed. However, FOX thought the show would be able to live on without her, despite many attributing the success of season 1 to the chemistry between her and Mison. FOX executives, at the time, assured viewers that Mison could carry the show and that season 4 would not be the show’s swan song.
Sleepy Hollow was moved to a Friday night death slot during the third season’s midseason break. Ratings remained low and continued falling for season 4, which debuted to a significantly smaller audience than season 3. It is a shame, since the first season of the show promised an exciting supernatural romp with fun characters and compelling chemistry between the leads. Unfortunately, the show could not live up to that promise. It became a series of lessons about how not to properly run a series, with controversial decision after decision alienating fans, culminating in Beharie’s exit.
There is no word yet on Mison’s next role, and FOX executives have not commented on the cancellation. However, while low-rated but popular shows such as Rosewood and Pitch might generate fan campaigns, don’t expect many fans to be clamoring to #SaveSleepyHollow. Unlike its protagonist, this is one show that’s perhaps better off left asleep.
Screen Rant will keep you posted on all renewals and cancellations this season.