When it was first announced, the idea of a modern-day take on the Headless Horseman could have been seen as a smart new spin on a classic story or a reimagining designed only to cash in on brand recognition. In either case, Fox's Sleepy Hollow debuted to strong ratings and positive reviews, ultimately leading the network to greenlight season 2 only a few episodes into its run.
Instead of producing 20+ episodes a season, the show has thus far restricted itself to just 13 episodes for season 1 and 18 for season 2. The implication here was that the creative team behind Sleepy Hollow aimed to keep the show's narrative relatively focused on the impending apocalypse, rather than relying on "filler" episodes to meet a higher quota of episodes per season. The show has yet to be officially renewed for season 3, but when it does return, it sounds like the storytelling could be very different.
Fox TV chairmen Dana Walden and Gary Newman (via Deadline) recently discussed a number of the network's shows at a Television Critics Association event, and the topic of Sleepy Hollow naturally came up. Here's what Walden had to say about their approach to the show going forward:
"On 'Sleepy Hollow,' we are going to wait a little bit longer. We are excited about some creative changes on the show. We want to get back to something that feels a little bit more episodic in nature, it has become overly serialized. We are trying to return the fun to it a little bit. This is all about calibrating the show, not making dramatic changes. Hopefully, it will come back as well."
Walden's word echo the fact that the show's not necessarily a lock for another season. Ratings have dropped significantly since its freshman year, and to that end, it makes sense for Fox to do whatever they can to boost viewership. However, season 2 was largely envisioned to feature major developments each episode, essentially putting the serialized storyline front and center.
It's unclear exactly what other "creative changes" Sleepy Hollow is in store for, aside from broadening its scope to include more mystery-of-the-week episodes. While adjusting the show's storytelling approach may make it more accessible to casual viewers, it could potentially alienate devoted fans who are already invested in the show's core narrative focus. After all, it that gets pushed too far to the side, Sleepy Hollow could ultimately become little more than another police procedural, albeit one with a fish-out-of-water element.
Do you think making Sleepy Hollow less serialized is a good move for the show's proposed season 3? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
Sleepy Hollow airs Mondays @9pm on Fox.