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‘Sleepy Hollow’ Season Three on Hold; Production Moving to Atlanta

Sleepy-Banner3_128To say fans have been on the edge of their seats awaiting news of a season three for Sleepy Hollow is an understatement! Fox’s breakout hit of the 2013-2014 season has had its issues in season two; even devoted fans balked, making their voices heard loud and clear in hopes producers would return the show to its season one roots. Will the network take another chance on the supernatural thriller and dive into a third season? The answer…the waiting continues!

This morning Fox announced at the Television Critics Association winter meetings that a season three is on hold until “creative changes” can be made. Fox Television Group Chairman and CEO Dana Walden revealed that Sleepy Hollow is being recalibrated to reduce its trend toward serialization and “try to return the fun to it a little bit.” What does this mean?

It’s no secret that this season has been going through major growing pains. Not only did Walden cite creative issues as the reason for the hold, but according to Star News, she also announced that the series will move production to Atlanta should season three be picked up.  This comes after North Carolina completely demolished tax cuts for production companies who film in the state.

To fans, serialization is not really the problem,and it’s abundantly clear that some fans have stopped watching the show. The problem lies in lack of focus on the series’ original overall theme, especially, and some fans have felt that Nicole Beharie, Lyndie Greenwood and Orlando Jones seem to have been sidelined this season. (And some attribute the sidelining to racial issues, although the producers insist decisions are completely storyline-related.) In my opinion, the lack of story for Jenny and Irving has been due to the introduction of Hawley (Matt Barr), and the fact that writers haven’t been sure what to do with Irving.

Fox also cited ratings as another reason the network has opted to wait to renew the series. Although the season two premiere started season two with a 1.9 share, the ratings have continued to drop during the first half of its sophomore season, to an all-time low of 1.4. However, things seem to be back on the right track since the the second half of the season began. The ratings rose two points in the all-important 18-49 demographic. The 30-day video-on-demand viewing is up 68%, which clearly suggests that there is an audience still interested in the apocalyptic thriller.

It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what separates season one from season two or how producers lost sight of the big picture. My personal devotion to the show comes from not only its interesting story packed with action and intrigue, but also from the historical references and characters.  Last season, the show had a certain feel to it, a steady rhythm as the mythology unfolded and we met Ichabod Crane and Abbie Mills, the two characters that would carry the show. The series was rooted in the Mills family history, Captain Frank Irving’s daughter and ex-wife, and Ichabod’s wife and son.

With only 13 episodes to tell the first season tale, the entire cast and crew worked feverishly to ensure the audience would feel the slow climb to the top of the hill until the big reveal, when the roller-coaster was finally let loose! The thrilling conclusion of the first season rippled throughout the net as fans uploaded their reactions on YouTube. Few could have predicted season’s final plot twist, not even me, someone who had watched each episode multiple times!

Of course, I went back after the reveal, and could see the subtleties in John Noble’s genius playing Ichabod and Katrinas son–the Second Horseman of the Apocalypse. There they were, all the clues that no “Sleepyhead” caught!

In an interview with me just after the finale, Noble said they were meticulous about making sure the audience wouldn’t catch on to what was really happening until the big moment. Mission accomplished! Fans were in a frenzy after the big season finale. Fans couldn’t wait for season two to begin. All I can say is that it was a very long summer!

Season two started with a bang, but the momentum quickly faded as two new characters were introduced, and fan favorites SH-Addicts-Website-Banner_128Lyndie Greenwood and Orlando Jones virtually ignored. The debate continues to rage as fans also also believe that Abbie has been sidelined in favor of “Crane Family Drama.” I’d say most within the Sleepyhead fandom are fed up with Crane’s lying wife Katrina (Katia Winter), who continues to champion her ex-fiance Abraham Van Brundt (aka Headless Horseman) and plans to restore his humanity.

I agree that the constant damsel-in-distress storyline has been a major thorn in every Sleepyhead’s side. For me, I feel that the character of Katrina has been written as weak; on the other hand, she’s supposed to be a very powerful witch! Although we have seen some of Katrina’s magic, she comes off as a needy, self-serving character in a show that depicts two very strong female leads, Abbie and Jenny (Lyndie Greenwood). She hasn’t done much for the series besides interrupt the dynamic of Ichabbie (Team Ichabod-Abbie), as Ichabod’s focus has been split between his personal family drama and duties as a Witness. This has affected the show greatly.

In season one, Sleepy Hollow was all about Ichabod and Abbie and their quest to stop the apocalypse; they are the Witnesses, tasked to stop the End of Days. We learned that Abbie’s mentor, Sheriff Corbin (Clancy Brown), had been following supernatural cases up and down the coast, anticipating and uncovering what was to come. After his death, Abbie finds his old case files, learning that her mentor had known all along that she was a Witness. I assumed that Ichabbie would pick up where he left off and investigate, leading them to the discovery of many factions planning to bring out the apocalypse; however they have yet to do so. So, what happened to those cases? Have they simply been forgotten?

This season we were introduced to Sheriff Corbin’s son Joe (Zach Appleman), who’s inherited all of his father’s old case documents. Wouldn’t he be part of Team Witness along with Abbie and Ichabod? After all, he’s SH-Gazes-Banner2_128from Sleepy Hollow, is Corbin’s son, and has ties to Abbie and Jenny. It’s a huge mistake not to utilize this core character better.

What about the dark Coven Corbin finds? The witches had all filtered into the woodwork of society after the Salem witch trials, but Corbin had begun to uncover their whereabouts. What is their part in bringing about the End of Days? We have only seen a couple of references to this evil Coven, why not explore it more? Bring more supernatural magic to Sleepy Hollow? There are a ton of story threads the series’ creators can carry over from season one to bring back the core and feel of the show we all fell in love with.

The second half of season two begins with “Paradise Lost” (it aired January 5), and Sleepy Hollow seemed to sort of hit the reset button by introducing angels into the mix. Some fans feel the episode is a start in the right direction as it focused on biblical lore bringing in Rebel Angel Orion and looks like Team Witness will continue its fight against the demons (like Orion) who escaped from Purgatory. Orlando Jones’s Irving is finally back (and fans uttered a great sigh of relief), but is he now considered a demon? Does he still have his soul or does Second Horseman Henry still have it? It all remains to be seen.

Producers and writers have reached out to the Sleepyhead fandom promising bring the story back to basics. I believe they already have started as Hawley’s (Matt Barr) no longer moony-eyed Abbie (thank God), and he wants to get back together with Jenny.

Although the Cranes continue to be at odds with each other, attempting to figure out their mess of marriage, the “Crane Family Drama” will be coming to end. Trust me.

So what about Second Horseman Henry? Where is he and the Sword of Methuselah? My guess is he’ll be the new baddie in charge, after killing Moloch and not his mommy. Though Mom Katrina believes he’d done it for her (delusional much?), let’s face it, Molach’s end comes in the fit of a temper tantrum because Henry is mad at “daddy” Ichabod so in a temper tantrum. His decision has nothing to do with saving his parents whom he despises. Question is, can he be redeemed? Or should he be redeemed? And then there’s the question of whether his soul had been immediately absorbed by the sword when he’d used it? I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

Now that Irving has returned, he is going to have a tough time readjusting to life on planet Earth. Although he’s returned to the living, why and exactly how is he back? Is he a good guy or a bad guy? Surprisingly, it looks like he goes to Katrina for answers, so I wonder if she casts a spell on him while trying to “save him” on the battlefield? I think so but we’ll have to tune in to see where all this leads.

Previewing the Next Episode

So what’s in store for Monday night’s episode “Pittura Infamante”? Michelle Trachtenberg (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) guest stars as Abigail Adams, wife to President John Adams, a friend of the Cranes. Ichabod and Katrina go on a “date” and find a mystery instead when the art restorer at a Historical Society Soiree is found murdered! Meanwhile, a very confused Irving shows up at the precinct and is re-arrested!

Tom4Fox has released photos for the highly anticipated Karaoke episode, “Kali Yuma” (02×14) and fans were excited to see there will be an Ichabbie duet! Looks like the gang is taking a little breather from all the demon fighting at the bar on Karaoke night. Ichabod and Abbie each sing a solo song, then a duet. It’s going to be an epic moment in Sleepy Hollow history for sure! During an interview, Nichole Beharie teased that we will see a little bit of ad libbing and a peek at the personal ritual Tom Mison and she do before filming each episode, something they added in.

Sleepy-Karoke-Banner_128The episode is Hawley-centric and revolves  around a woman, Camilia Pines (Jamie Murray), who shows up wanting to collect a debt from him. While Team Witness is grappling with Hawley’s mess, Irving learns that all murder charges have been mysteriously dropped! He’s sent home, though has a tough time readjusting to life and wonders what happened to his soul? He seeks out Katrina for answers.  I’m telling you, my prediction is he’s her minion now!

I have confidence that the rest of Sleepy Hollow‘s season two will continue to move in the right direction. The showrunners will figure out how to fix the show and green-light a season three that will once again have fans cheering for Team Witness. Hang in there Sleepyheads–Sleepyheads Represent!

*Watch an all new episode of Sleepy Hollow Monday, January 19 at 9:00 p.m. on Fox! Need to catch up? Watch on FOX, via FOX Now app, or on HuluPlus.

*Be sure to tune in to the “Official” Sleepy cast podcast on Nerdist Network, hosted by Clarke Wolfe as she interviews cast and crew!

*Don’t miss my Sleepy Hollow Addicts radio show with my special guest Kevin Bachelder, as we chat about “Pittura Infamante” and all things Sleepy Hollow!

*Be sure to follow this blog for all the latest Sleepy Hollow news and interviews.

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About Chrissy Piccolo

Chrissy Piccolo the founder of RHeart Network, the Fan's Voice, the #1 Fan Connection Destination, supporting daytime, prime-time and online scripted digital content. Currently the host of RHeart Radio, the Fan's Voice, as well as Storytellers On The Net, and Sleepy Hollow Addicts on Blogtalk radio. In addition to writing for Blogcritics, she is also an author on Examiner.com. Web Series Today and currently co-hosts with Barbara Barnett and Jerome Wetzel on 'Let's Talk TV' on Blogtalk. She is also working on adapting her her first novel in The Kirsten Kelly Chronicles series into a webseries. Passionate about keeping scripted content alive, she continues to be an advocate for all forms. When she’s not working managing several websites or writing, one of her hobbies is investigating the paranormal with other enthusiasts and searching out possible cases through historic sites in the Northwest. Chrissy believes in being a positive influence in such a vast medium as the Internet.

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