How do we fix a problem like Sleepy Hollow? After a stellar first season, it's hit a brick wall. Both fans and critics have noticed a creative shift. Something about the latest arc doesn't mesh. Network executives at Fox are looking to do some course-correcting.
Over the weekend, Fox TV chairman and CEO Dana Walden attended the Television Critics Association tour and revealed that changes are coming.
“We are responding to a little bit to — not necessarily the criticisms — but this show has a high level of difficulty,” she said. “It’s a relationship show, a period show, you have iconic characters, you’re trying to tell mysteries and the show got a little overly serialized this past season. It’s very difficult on a show like this to get the exact right balance. Honestly, we felt watching the show, as passionate viewers, the show got too serialized."
They've spent a good amount of time trying to pinpoint this season's issue. "As part of our diagnostic process on any show, we tried to determine what’s working and what’s not working," Walden explained. "We’re trying to return the fun to it a little bit. It’s an epic battle between good and evil, so there’s a tendency to be a little dark. It’s all about calibrating the show, not about making dramatic changes.”
Some think Sleepy Hollow should revamp its cast. It's no secret that Ichabod's (Tom Mison) wife, Katrina (Katia Winter), isn't exactly a fan favorite. But viewers and Walden alike enjoy the two leads. "We love Tom Mison and Nicole Beharie. They have fantastic chemistry." So, they don't plan to alter the cast dynamic just yet. “We don’t have any creative changes [planned],” she said.
“It was more [about] having a show that’s easier to access week to week that you don’t have to feel like if you tune into episode three of our new run, that you have to go back and watch the first two. So some greater procedural stories and maybe toning down a little bit the apocalyptic vision that existed in the initial episodes this season.”
Fox recently gave early renewals to Gotham, Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Empire. Unfortunately, Sleepy Hollow wasn't so lucky. Walden's taking her time with the decision, although she's "hopeful it will come back as well.”
Do you think Sleepy Hollow's in a rut? What needs to change?