Sleepy Hollow is the little TV series that could. Every year, it just chugs along, bringing in just enough ratings to keep it off of the chopping block. It helps that fans really, really like Tom Mison as Ichabod Crane. It also helps that the TV series makes great use of its supernatural elements. It’s a different twist on the procedural than TV usually attempts and it has worked for the past three seasons. However, although Sleepy Hollow was renewed for a fourth season on Fox, after the death of series lead Abbie Mills (Nicole Beharie), many wondered how the series could really move forward and whether or not Season 4 would be the last. Here’s what’s actually going on with Sleepy Hollow, according to Fox:
We’re not announcing that its the final season. Frankly, we are not sure whether it’s the final season or not. What we know is Tom Mison is a big star and Ichabod Crane character has been so central to the series and the storytelling. He feels like an original, big Fox character. There were a variety of factors that led to the end of the season this year. It was not a decision that we wanted to make initially. We ended up being put in a situation where that’s the decision that needed to be made. But we don’t feel like it has to be the end of the life of the show. While there was backlash, there was a tremendous amount of enthusiasm from fans about the show coming back… It’s a very original premise and we felt that it had greater life in it.
Sleepy Hollow has always been a fish-out-of-water tale that has benefitted from an interesting and adorable partnership between Abbie Mills and Ichabod Crane. Because of this, it was a huge shock when the show killed off the Abbie Mills character at the end of Season 3. Sure, Sleepy Hollow has been fond of killing off its main characters, as we’ve said goodbye to Captain Irving, Katrina Crane, Henry Parrish and many more main names over the years. However, Abbie Mills always seemed like she would be a character that would be untouchable… until she wasn’t.
At the time of Beharie’s departure, rumors were swirling around that the actress was looking for ways to get out of her contract for some time. Initially, the actress’ character was set to be killed off at midseason this year, but the plot was written in such a way that the network was able to keep the actress around for longer—whether or whether not she really wanted it. While Fox’s Dana Walden was speaking in a little bit of code in the quote above, she seems to be confirming that Nicole Beharie wanted out of her contract. While Fox tried to keep her around initially, it became clear that she wanted out and they needed to let her go. With that in mind, the network is looking to test the waters and see if Sleepy Hollow still has a little life in it sans its central partnership.
Sleepy Hollow actually did roughly the same numbers once it moved to Friday nights on Fox's schedule, so it looks like it can be more competitive on Fridays than it was as part of Fox's Thursday night lineup. We'll let you know how the new amalgamation of the show looks when it returns to the schedule this fall.
In the meantime, here's what the networks have coming up this summer.