Why Orlando Jones Actually Left Sleepy Hollow

After a strong first season, Sleepy Hollow really struggled during Season 2. Because of this, some characters on the series were killed off or written off in order to revamp the show for its third season. One of these characters was Captain Frank Irving, played by Orlando Jones. This week, the actor spoke out about why he left the supernatural Fox drama. Apparently, it wasn’t exactly his choice. Here’s what the actor had to say about leaving the gig:

Chances are I won’t come back because they kinda asked me to leave, so….I don’t know why they’re acting like I ran off and left. They can always ask me to come back but generally when they ask you to leave it’s because they don’t want you to come back.

When we first found out that Orlando Jones was leaving Sleepy Hollow, it generally seemed like the decision was made by the actor. Now, his statement during this fan Q&A seems to indicate otherwise. Although it looks as if Jones was asked to leave Sleepy Hollow, he seems to understand that the show went in a different direction and no longer had a ton of room for the character.

What led to me leaving was that they changed the show. It’s a different show. There is no Headless Horseman. When we started on Sleepy Hollow, there was a Headless Horseman and he had a shotgun. You know how awesome that was? He was shooting at people, chopping heads off and Moloch was this big, slow-moving scary white monster dude. I mean it was incredible. So I dunno who Frank Irving would be fighting against. Anyway, it’s a very different show. And I think the creators are awesome guys and you know, I just think they didn’t really see a place for Frank Irving in that world. And I get that, you know?

It wasn’t just Jones who left Sleepy Hollow. As the actor has noted, the Headless Horseman was also kicked off the show. In order to really go in a new direction, the story of Ichabod Crane’s family, including his wife Katrina and his son Henry/Jeremy (played by Katia Winter and John Noble), also had their storylines wrapped up in a way that would not require their involvement during the 18-episode third season. If you’ve been keeping tabs on Sleepy Hollow at all this year, you should know the series has pivoted in a new direction. The new big baddie is Pandora, played by Shannyn Sossamon and Crane’s Old World flirtations now revolve around none other than Betsy Ross (Nikki Reed).

While the simpler plotline has mostly worked in Season 3, I think most of us really miss Captain Frank Irving and his relationship with Jenny on the show. Still, Irving was cut out of parts of Season 2 and it became hard to work him back in to the team dynamics once he became important again on the series. While Orlando Jones hasn’t spoken out about his departure on the show before this, I think fans who have been keeping tabs on the series haven’t really expected Captain Irving to ever reappear. Now, it definitely doesn’t look as if it will be happening.

Sleepy Hollow has struggled in the ratings this season, and just a few weeks ago, Fox announced the Season 3 drama is going to move to Friday nights after winter hiatus. Hopefully the series will be able to find a niche in the schedule, then.

You can find out when the rest of your favorite shows are returning, here.

Jessica Rawden
Managing Editor

Reality TV fan with a pinch of Disney fairy dust thrown in. Theme park junkie. If you’ve created a rom-com I’ve probably watched it.