Sleepy Hollow started out as a critical darling on Fox, a supernatural series with a great fish out of water story that endeared itself to a moderately-sized but avid audience. Over time, though, the show lost showrunners and the storyline suffered. Eventually, enough fans left that Fox made the decision to ship the Season 3 drama off to Friday nights. Now, we have some even worse news for Sleepy Hollow fans. This weekend, the show dropped down another notch in the ratings, tying its series low. The future of Sleepy Hollow is not looking as bright as it used to.
Friday’s episode of Sleepy Hollow saw around 3 million total viewers tune in, which isn’t a disaster for Friday nights. However, Sleepy Hollow only nabbed a .7 rating in the 18-49 demographic. As noted by TV Line, that's tying its series lows. Only the CW saw worse numbers in the demo, with The Vampire Diaries and The Originals both pulling in a .4 rating, albeit with far fewer viewers.
Part of the problem is that Sleepy Hollow hasn’t done well all season thanks to rough timeslots. Fox first had the drama on Thursday nights, pairing it up with the long-in-the-tooth Bones. (This even led to the oddly conceived crossover episode.) Obviously, Thursday is one of the biggest nights for TV and it was tough for two shows with avid but not large audiences to compete. Fox ultimately decided to quietly move the show to Friday nights, which is a tough night to get younger viewers to watch TV.
The other issue is that Sleepy Hollow has been paired with Second Chancein recent weeks. The freshman drama hasn’t been well reviewed and has had a rough time finding an audience; it was then moved to Fridays after only two episodes, where it will likely continue to shed audiences before it is ultimately cancelled this spring. It's hard to get extra eyeballs when your show is carrying an even worse series.
Hollow’s other big problem is that Friday was already a night for supernatural fodder long before the Fox series moved to its new timeslot. NBC’s Grimm is the reigning supernatural champion on Friday nights. At midseason, both Fox and the CW had the idea to ship supernatural shows to Fridays, making the Friday night schedule pretty crowded when it comes to beings from lore. Now Sleepy Hollow is competing in a direct timeslot with The Vampire Diaries while also having to deal with the fact that Grimm is the preferred Friday night show in the supernatural realm.
Sure, DVR numbers are always helpful to give network TV shows a boost. And sure, there are still plenty of Sleepy Hollow fans who have stuck around despite the timeslot jumps, but honestly, the numbers aren’t looking great. The only saving grace that Sleepy Hollow might have is that Fox has shows that are actually doing worse than Sleepy Hollow, like the aforementioned Second Chance. That might be enough to get Sleepy Hollow a renewal beyond the current third season, but we’re not holding our breath.
If you would like to catch new episodes of Sleepy Hollow, you can do so on Friday nights at 8 p.m. ET.