Fox has ordered a third season of Sleepy Hollow, the supernatural police procedural - as well as a contemporary update of the classic Headless Horseman myth - that has settled into being a sleeper hit. Despite diminished ratings during its second season, the program remans one of the crown jewels in the network's original programming block.
However, it turns out Sleepy Hollow will be without some of its most famous characters when it returns in Fall 2015. That's in addition to the creative changes that've happened behind the camera on the series, now that Clifton Campbell (creator of the crime drama The Glades) is taking over as head executive producer and showrunner.
TV Guide has confirmed that Sleepy Hollow season three will be missing several key players on the show thus far - including, the Headless Horseman himself. As Campbell explained:
“There won't be any Headless this year. But we have a new framework and a new set of rules for the mythology. And it all starts with the introduction of our new big bad and will take us into a very interesting device which will allow us to see a somewhat more compelling, but more personal threat to both Abbie (Nicole Beharie) and Crane (Tom Mison).”
Sleepy Hollow season three will also see the departures of recurring cast members Orlando Jones (Irving), Katia Winter (Katrina), John Noble (Henry) and Matt Barr (Hawley). That major gap in the core ensemble will be plugged by some returning fan-favourites, with Joe Corbin (Zach Appelman) rejoining the team after being cured of being a Wendigo in a second season (something which usually precludes you from joining the police department).
Other new cast members include Shannyn Sossamon (most recently seen in Wayward Pines), as Greek mythological figure Pandora, of box infamy. Meanwhile, Nikki Reed will appear as real-life historical figure Betty Ross.
Campbell spoke with TV Guide briefly about Joe's importance for Sleepy Hollow season three, in particular where it concerns helping Jenny (Lyndie Greenwood):
"Jenny and Joe are going to track down a lot of things that are going to help Abbie and Crane, and in doing so really do a deep dive on their past and their connections to each other. It allows Jenny and Joe to be more operative and on their feet in their support and help of Abbie and Crane and fills out the gang in a much more interesting, emotional way."
Sleepy Hollow has seen some major changes between series, with the shift in cast being just the tip of the iceberg. Campbell is taking over from original showrunner Mark Goffman, who apparently stepped down following audience criticism of the direction that he took the series in during season two. Campbell has already confirmed some major changes to course-correct the show (which include the cast roster change-ups).
One of the stranger announcements for Sleepy Hollow's third season is that a crossover with Fox's other big police procedural, Bones, will be airing this fall. Episodes will air back-to-back and possibly struggle squaring the mostly-realistic cop drama starring David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel with the more fantastical elements of Mills and Crane's investigations. Whether or not the crossover will help re-invigorate interest in either show, that remains to be seen.
Sleepy Hollow season three debuts on Fox on October 1st, 2015.
Source: TV Guide