Sleepy Hollow only recently returned to the schedule for a fourth season on Fox, but it wasn't so long ago that the series wasn't a shoe-in for a renewal. In fact, in the wake of a move to Friday nights and the loss of one of the show's two major leads, it seemed more likely that Hollow would get the axe than move forward. Instead, Fox has given the show another round. This doesn't mean the network expects Sleepy Hollow to reach such great heights in Season 4, though. In fact, per what Gary Newman stated at TCA this week, the network kind-of has the opposite expectations. Here's what Fox thinks about the numbers related to the new season.
We lost one of the core characters this year which required a real reset and it isn't unexpected that some of the audience would have peeled off. But our hope is that with a really compelling storyline that they pitched to us that may bring people back to it. With a Friday night show, we expect a greater amount of delayed viewing than what you get on other nights of the week, and we thought there was an opportunity for word of mouth to build that show and over the course of the season to see delayed viewing bring that number up.
Basically, Fox knows that a lot of the show's fans were probably pissed when Nicole Beharie left. The network also knows that the main demographic the show is hoping to cater to---namely the 18-49 demographic---is probably not staying home on Friday nights just to catch Ichabod Crane fighting demons. Fox expects the ratings for Sleepy Hollow to suck, which may actually end up being good news for the hardcore fans of the show.
Obviously, what we can take away from what Newman stated (via Deadline), ratings for any series are important, but some allowances can be made for shows that air in bad timeslots---like Friday nights or on Saturdays or whatever. Since Sleepy Hollow is resetting, the network is really hoping that the show will build on its ratings during Season 4. There's no answer for whether or not that will be the case at this point, however.
Honestly, I'm still really shocked that Hollow is where it is, right now. This isn't the first time Sleepy Hollow has rebooted. The show made some major changes after John Noble and Katia Winter left the show, introducing Betsy Ross and more. It was exactly that reboot that forced Fox to move the show to Friday nights in the first place, where I was again surprised that the show was renewed and would be rebooting for the 2017-2018 TV season. The new setting and characters are a nice change of pace and Ichabod Crane is one of the best characters on television, but the writing on this series has been haphazard, at best. Maybe this will be the reboot that sticks and that will allow Sleepy Hollow to move forward as the big supernatural series airing on Fridays next season. After all, it won't have to compete with either Grimm and The Vampire Diaries on Friday nights this time next year.
If you'd like to take a look at the new version of Sleepy Hollow, catch new episodes on Fox at 9 p.m. ET, on Fridays of course. To find out when other shows are coming back, you can peruse our midseason premiere schedule.