Fox Execs Talk Sleepy Hollow Fixes, Bones' Future, a Jack-Less 24, X-Files Revival, Utopia's Failure and More

Sleepy Hollwo Season 3 Renewal

Sleepy Hollow needs to be roused from a certain Season 2 slumber, Fox Television Group chairmen Dana Walden and Gary Newman acknowledged Saturday at the Television Critics Association winter press tour.

Walden noted that the sophomore drama faces “a very high level of difficulty,” juggling as it does relationships, mystery-telling, iconic historical characters and both period and contemporary settings. With an eye on the season-to-date and its waning ratings, she told TVLine, “The show got a bit overly serialized,” so their wish is to “return the fun” that was a hallmark of Season 1.

Given those concerns, Sleepy was MIA from Saturday’s announced renewals, though Walden and Newman are “hopeful” to grant an eventual pick-up.

Other topics tackled by Fox brass during their TCA Q&A:

* Also absent from Saturday’s renewal announcements was the long-running Bones, though that is due in part to the fact that Fox is still in talks with leads Emily Deschanel and David Boreanaz, whose pacts expire this spring. That said, the execs are “hopeful” the show will see at least one more season.

* On the topic of Utopia‘s spectacular “$50 million” implosion, Newman said, “We’ve always encouraged our team to take big, bold swings” but in this instance, he notes, “There was a lack of urgency [to the show] without any scheduled eliminations or contests. It was an admirable effort and it just didn’t work out.”

* Despite the success of last summer’s 24: Live Another Day event series, Newman said there are “no current plans” for more seasons, though there have been some “discussions” about revisiting the action-drama — “potentially” without Kiefer Sutherland, at least the next time around.

* Is the truth still out there? “It’s been reported, and it’s true, that we’ve had some conversations about [reviving] X-Files,” ideally with David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson, Newman shared. “But I have nothing that we can announce at this time.”

* In response to recent rumblings that Fox might get back in bed with former American Idol and X Factor frontman Simon Cowell, Newman confirmed, “We have been meeting with Simon” and they’d “love to be in business” with him again, but there is “nothing to announce” just yet.

* Fox invited Red Band Society producer ABC Studios to dial down costs a bit and crank out a few more episodes to air this summer, but was rebuffed. In retrospect, Newman said, the hospital drama’s “creative team did a great job, the show felt soulful and truthful and like there was integrity to it. It just didn’t resonate on air with our audience in the way we would have hoped.”


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  1. More X-Files pleeeease. Do a limited run series. I’ve been wanting them to do this for 10 years. Do it now. I beg you Fox. No pun intended. ;)

  2. Eric says:

    Well that pretty much officially kills my hopes of Red Band Society ever seeing more eps. That’s a shame. A lot of the other scoops here are pretty excellent. I love TCA weeks.

  3. Ian says:

    Overly serialized, lol.
    If they get renewed, I bet the writing team isn’t going to break the whole season and basically write the whole thing months in advance. They need to give themselves time to really get the show back to the great thing it was.

    And I was listening to Gillian Anderson on the Nerdist podcast just the other day. An epic limited XFiles series would be pretty perfect and Gillian said herself she’d be onboard. And I think she’s friends enough with David to speak for him when she said they’d do it.

    • Yogi Chelsea says:

      David himself has always confirmed that all he, Gillian, and Chris (Carter) need is someone to pay them.
      If Fox is willing to back up the Brinks truck, everything should be smooth sailing.

      • lechatnoir says:

        That’s because he is no longer enjoying the perks of white male privilege ( regarding his salary ). Jillianne will demand the receipts .

  4. Et al says:

    It’s really annoying to see these execs (and as well as NBC yesterday) blaming serialization on shows’ poor ratings when the fall’s two biggest hits (empire and murder) were serialized out of the gate, as well as continuing hits like Walking Dead (which would be a huge ratings winner even by network standards).

    • Stacey says:

      But with Sleepy it’s probably true. With State of Affairs NBC is masking the truth that it’s really Katherine Heigl who is keeping viewers away from the show and plus the unrealistic nature of the show. With Sleepy. I feel it’s gotten too serialized. Sometimes I like the more one and gone mysteries. To much is tied into having to keep up with the storyline. And plus Katrina is a major minus for many fans…

      • Jared says:

        Katrina killed the show for me this season. I stopped watching a couple episodes into S2.

        • lechatnoir says:

          I too felt like removing Katriona from her limbo world killed the show entirely, the whole thing is as dull as ketchup on pasta . And they decided Abbie’s sister is a regular and they don’t know what to do with her . The inspector is stuck in the psychiatric asylum. This show stopped progressing.

      • kath says:

        With Sleepy Hollow, they need to cut back on Katrina and Henry and the whole Crane Family Drama, go back to more Ichabod dealing with present day scenes with Abby and Mills sisters adventures, and it’s immediately better.

        • herman1959 says:

          Ditto. And may I add that the show is just dealing with too many characters and their various interactions that the actual storylines are getting lost. Put the relationships on the side and get back to fighting the freaks of the week. Plus, remember when Ken Olin used to do the press interviews – he was so balanced and made so much sense. Now that Mark Goffman is doing them he just sounds so out of touch; get Ken back, PLEASE.

        • herman1959 says:

          Sorry Kath, I just realized that I said Ditto and restated everything you’d just said. I’m so annoyed that I’m distracted. I hate it when networks mess with a good show and ruin it.

        • Not everyone cares about the Mills sister drama either.

        • Shelly says:

          Yes, no more Katrina and Henry. Well said!

    • Et al says:

      meant to say “year’s” biggest hits not “fall”.

    • dioxinblues says:

      Agree 100%! It’s not the serialization that’s the problem; Sleepy Hollow was serialized its first season and it was fantastic. Person of Interest, Orphan Black, Game of Thrones, Lost are/were all serialized and they’re awesome. SH has other has 99 problems but serialization ain’t one of ’em.

    • Cory says:

      “Even by network standards”… Walking Dead gets higher ratings than any scripted show on the Big Four. :) So yes their statements are a bit blind.

  5. Cory says:

    Oh damn I really hope Sleepy Hollow gets that renewal.

  6. dioxinblues says:

    Sleepy Hollow needs to get rid of Katrina somehow. No offense to the actress, but the character has completely upended the Crane/Abby chemistry (let alone the blonde guy) and THAT is the show’s #1 selling point.

    • Mo says:

      I’m not sure they need to completely get rid of Katrina. But they have definitely treated her character as a third lead this season & the show, especially the Abby/Crane relationship, has suffered for it. Whether or not you ship it romantically (I don’t) it is the core of the show & needs more focus that has been missing while instead we had to deal with Crane family drama.

      • selinakray says:

        To me, Katrina’s treatment is only one on a long list of problems. For instance:

        1) The Horseman isn’t scary anymore, and there is no real big bad.
        2) Irving’s story is lame and he should have stayed dead.
        3) Hawley loves Abby one week and Jenny the next. Figure him out.
        4) They don’t use Jenny or Henry anywhere near enough, or well.

        The reason everyone loves Ichabod/Abby so much even if you don’t actually ship them is that they are foils. They are both strong characters who fight and disagree even though they support each other 100%. If they built up those kinds of relationships with the other characters and gave them all agency, then the show would be back! Which is what everyone wants. I don’t think anyone wants this show to fail.

      • Deb says:

        I agree they don’t need to get rid of her, but they could just hurry up and repair there marriage and have her helping the witness more in the background not up front with them. Plus she need to stop trying to save people who don’t need saving. Abraham does not need to be saved unless when they release his soul his soul goes to the marker to atone for all he did. Because he chose to be the horseman.

        • kath says:

          I think it’s too late to put her into the background since she was so prominent this season. They need to either get rid of the character or turn her evil.

          • Deb says:

            It is not to late, they put Irving and Jenny in the background they could do the same with her. Fox is not going to get rid of or make evil. I read that were not changing any of character and mentioned Katrina when they said it.

        • herman1959 says:

          I agree about having them repair their marriage SOON – I’ve been feeling the same way for weeks. It makes sense that Katrina’s return would have made some problems between her and Ichabod, but do we have to see every minute of it? Let it go FOX.

  7. Cori says:

    That’s too bad about RBS. Basically it could’ve kept going if they could have agreed on a compromise?

  8. Amber says:

    They need one more season of X-Files to focus on the mythology, or at the least a movie. I would love to see Scully and Mulder back.

    • Drew says:

      The mythology was the weakest part of the show. If they come back, I’d rather see good old fashioned monster of the week episodes. But it feels like the recipe might be off now. Mulder can’t be excitedly trying to convince Scully of things years later. It didn’t even make sense after a few seasons of the show. They would need to find another way to spin that relationship (and completely forget the romantic angle ever happened) or add new characters and use Mulder and Scully as supporting characters.

  9. kmw says:

    Love that FOX is now saying “hopefull” for Bones, when all year they said they wanted it back. I am now very worried about it. As for X-FILES? David Duchovony is doing a series for NBC and Gillian Anderson seems very busy but who knows. No reason to do this show without them. Good for their other renewals though

    • Stacey says:

      I think this is the most tricky contract negotiations of them all. It’s year 10. I think David is the one who is the most difficult to get to continue. Emily should be no problem. I would think with the new baby, it helps to still work and make some more money for another season. And given the ratings are not as helpful to the situation as they used to be. But still all the buzz I hear is that they are still pretty confident. But contracts are making it more difficult this time. I also think FOX wants to see how Backstrom does! And how many episodes they can arrange from Emily and David. A full season or 13 episodes and push some of the episodes this season to next… Or add those to next years order.

    • David4 says:

      They should just do one last movie where the aliens come and destroy the planet.

    • A says:

      There are other quotes from Dana stating that nothing would make them happier than bring Bones back and Bones is very meaningful to the studio…. From what I read it is basically down to David & Emily to resign… take some time and look around for other quotes/articles from the FOX TCA :)

  10. TVLine_FanGirl says:

    I think it is time to break with Bones. . . the show has gone from a great murder of the week to unrealistic/unsellable serial killers and has destroyed the core dynamic. It is long past time to put the old girl out to pasture. Brennen would want that!

    • lechatnoir says:

      Bones is basically the young and the Boneless .There is no juice left , they squeezed the lemon dry . They need to wrap it up. We can’t have for another 10 years .

  11. nitemar says:

    Scully? Mulder? Hope the truth is they will be back al least for 13 episodes, better than a no nonsense third movie.

  12. Drew says:

    If an X-Files revival is anything like the last movie, no thank you. The show suffered from producers not willing to end their main arc when it should have ended, and they carried it out until it made no sense and nobody cared. They should have done what Supernatural did and finish the story and move on afterward. The movie was… so bad. I think that Chris Carter should be involved in name only, and someone else should run the show.
    As for Sleepy Hollow, I think that season 1’s shorter season helped the show a lot. It was tight and moved smoothly. Season 2 has felt like they’re holding back and spinning their wheels. The angel episode was a waste of time and while it might have quality material for a lot of its episodes and it might balance out with season 1 in the end, it will still have a lot more excess baggage stinking up the place. Shorter seasons. Tighter plotting. And they should only use supporting characters when they really need to, so we look forward to seeing them again.

  13. Lois says:

    Yeah Bones!! I want more to see more! No better duo that Brennan and Booth!

    • anon says:

      I am such a big Bones fan too, watched it from the day it aired…I would love to see another season….not ready to say goodbye to Booth & Brennan yet… Season 11, bring it :)

  14. Steven says:

    David and Gillian have said numerous times that they’s love to do more and were waiting for a greenlight. Chris Carter has said this too so my guess is if they can work out a good format and the monetary aspect then we may see more X Files soon! Only problem may be David’s new show and Gillian’s work on Hannibal and The Fall.

    • militantgod says:

      Duchovny’s new show Aquarius is an “event series”, meaning it is essentially a mini-series. Seeing how Hannibal is probably going to be in jail by the end of this season (if they follow the novels, which I believe they will), Anderson will probably no longer be a series regular. If they really want to do a limited X-Files series, I’m sure they can fit it in their schedules. It just may take a year to do it.

  15. rebecca says:

    more x files would be amazing but they would definitely need gillian anderson and david duchovny not sure about him saying “ideally” cant imagine a re-boot type thing would impress alot of people!

  16. Babybop says:

    Just when I was starting to not worry about Sleepy Hollow they go and and say they’re “hopeful” for a renewal. Now I’m scared again.

  17. LibKat says:

    I love how network execs blame serialization for a shows problems rather than admitting the writers went completely off the rails. Sleepy Hollow’s problems are Katrina, Henry and Headless, with a helping of Hawley on the side.
    I’m so tired of being TOLD that Katrina is a bad-@$$ witch/spy with so little proof. The writers undercut her character at every turn. I am very much not an IchAbbie shipper, but every time Katrina is on screen, I’m just waiting for the next groan worthy moment and hoping they will find a way to kill her off.
    Henry was completely squandered this season, with plots that were seemingly foiled until they weren’t. The writers destroyed the sense of menace that John Noble can so effectively convey with with all the muh-wah-ha-ha’ing and whining about his parents.
    I just feel sorry for Headless. He was such an effective figure of evil in Season 1 and now he’s just a pathetic sad sack.
    Hawley adds nothing to the story. He was shoved in places where they should have been using Jenny or Frank simply as a distraction from any possible romantic chemistry between Crane and Abbie.
    Season 1 was pretty darn serialized and it was bonkers-awesome. Serialization isn’t the problem. The writers and executive producers are.

    • Angela says:

      I don’t want them to kill Katrina off, ’cause I like her. But yes to actually showing more of her being powerful and tough and awesome. She can still be the quiet, unassuming person she is now…but she could use that to her advantage-lure people in with her seeming innocence, and develop more cunning manipulative powers and show off more of her skills as a witch. That way the people she’s targeting won’t know what to expect, and heck, neither would we, sometimes. And she can do that whether she stays on the side of the good guys, or whether she goes evil.
      (Personally, I want her to either work with the good guys but be ruthless in dealing with the bad guys, or be some sort of ambiguous in between, working as some sort of double agent for both sides, but making her evil could be okay if they were able to make it work somehow.)
      And yes to making Henry and Headless truly ominous and scary again. I have no problem with seeing a bit of their sympathetic sides, and humanizing them to some degree (and I actually am interested in the whole thing of how a mother can remain sympathetic towards a son who’s gone evil-even if Katrina accepts Henry is evil and fights to take him down, I won’t blame her for any guilt or regret she feels over it. She’s a mother, it’s a natural feeling, and done right, that topic can tie into all the other stories and character situations going on).
      But I do want Henry and Headless to ultimately stay evil and either work together or compete for their goals of destruction and revenge (competition could be particularly fun, seeing who gets to the finish line first, if either of them does).
      As for Hawley, eh, he’s had a few amusing moments with Ichabod, which I’ve enjoyed a little…but ultimately, of all the characters, yeah, he’s the one I wouldn’t complain about either staying in the background or leaving altogether. Like you said, there’s plenty they can do with Jenny and Irving for side story ideas all their own.

    • kath says:

      I agree, they shoved in Hawley where they should have been using Jenny or Frank, both far more awesome characters than Hawley.

      Of Katrina, Henry and Headless, I like Headless the best. At least he hasn’t taken over the show from the Ichabod/Abby duo that made it fun last season.

    • herman1959 says:


  18. diane says:

    I’m game for an X-Files tv movie, limited run, mini series, or whatever they wanna call it.

  19. The EW report also mentions an interest in reviving Prison Break. That be cool, but how without Michael?

  20. So, let us say Fox were to revive ‪‎X-Files‬. Does the revival pick up three years INTO an alien-dominated Earth (since the invasion happened in 2012), or three years into an Earth that escaped being dominated? Will Fox and Scully be all like “oh boy, that alien invasion sure was massive. We barely got out of it by the skin of our teeth!”

  21. Chryssa says:

    I want to believe!!! I want the X-files back!!!

  22. hello says:

    There is no such things as overly serialized, there is serialized then there is crap

  23. Alia says:

    I do not trust FOX, they were the ones who cancelled Firefly.

  24. Foxie says:

    I also want The X Files back with Fox and Scully on the lead by the same actors . Remember the last episode of te series finale. Fox and Scully escaped the explosion on that deserted land or the dessert and after that noone really knew what happened. Also Scully has a son, they can pick up from there. A son with powers and all grown up. Even until the end cully was still skeptical of all the aiien thing, of course less than in the pilot but she still did not believe much of that stuff only Mulder. THey can pick up from there too, Scully now a believer. The revival could be made of many different topics different like the ones in the normal series, always alien related, they can include alien, were wolves, vampires, hybrids, super heros, witches, etc

  25. Monique scott says:

    That means if Emily and David agree to renew their contracts we will have a season 11👏yayyyyyy

  26. Jose says:

    Maybe with Kate (Yvonne Strahovski) as the lead? I’ve liked her since the Chuck Days and she did a great job on the latest 24 run

  27. Tran says:

    Really hope BONES gets a much deserve final season next year. Even though I’m a huge fan of 24 since the beginning, don’t know what the future holds for the real time thriller and it would be sad if the franchise moves on without Jack Bauer aka Kiefer Sutherland.

  28. Larc says:

    FOX shouldn’t be surprised that Utopia didn’t make the grade. The whole premise sounded dull as dishwater from the first mention of it, IMO.

  29. Matt says:

    Sleepy Hollow easy fixes:
    More Jenny and Irving!!
    Get rid of Hawley
    Less Katrina or get rid of her altogether

  30. Moria says:

    Sucks to put someone out of a job, but Sleepy Hollow has gotten so bad so fast, I kinda hope Fox is just negotiating to get a new Showrunner. Keeping all the bad stuff AND switching to Monster Of The Week will kill the show by the end of the year. Hoping “too serialialized” actually means too much soap opera melodrama instead of having mythology.

  31. kmw says:

    Bones has plenty of life left in it they just need to let Booth and Brennan be real partners and more scenes than what we were getting before their 200th episode. After rereading the statement above I think the hold up in negotiations is year length, which would be understandable from both actors point of view, but surprising from the network given that no matter what they say, FOX has not wanted to promote them very well. Also with Emily being pregnant its possible she wants shorter season. As for X-FILES, it is tempting to want it back but they really ruined the show the last 2 and a half seasons and their last movie was horrible. 24 without Jack will not work

  32. Moria says:

    Like most I would love to see an X Files miniseries or movie, but wasn’t it Amazon who just picked up a pilot from Chris Carter? Then he flat out didn’t deliver the show? That is seriously weird behavior. And it’s not like he’s done tons since the original show went off the air. Perhaps he has some personal issues. Sadly I don’t think he sounds like someone very reliable at this point to be getting the gang back together.

    • ninamags says:

      He shot a pilot of his new show which did air but Amazon decided not to go forward with a series. The news was on this very site a few days (weeks) ago.

  33. Terry Bell says:

    Oh please don’t cancel Sleepy Hollow! I love it so much!

  34. Kayla says:

    I love bones so I hope it does get renewed!!!

  35. Betty says:

    I’m so bummed that they are going to cancel Red i Band Society. It was so different and refreshing. I’m sorry I got so invested in it now. Will they show what happened to the characters at the end of the cliff hanger?

  36. Jake says:

    Bones could go imo. To me it is just an ok, I will watch show.

  37. Without Jack Bauer there is no 24. If you remove him them do not ruin the previous seasons by making a season without him. SAD!

  38. Ruth says:

    YOu have made me So happy!!! Let’s Go X-Files.

  39. kmw says:

    Well Bones could go, but then what? Just because FOX has two hits this season doesn’t mean they have anything to replace it with. Like I said before Bones still has life in it and deserves a good sendoff when it leaves. Apparently the FOX execs were flowing with “love” for Bones at this press event. but they have a funny way of showing it(even given the recent exec changes at FOX). Just because the 24 episode event worked doesn’t mean it will again. I loved the X-FILES but I don’t think they should touch it.(24 was not off the air as long as THE X-FILES has been) I cannot even imagine what story they could have in place that would satisfy all fans of the show. I could be wrong though because the show has LOTS of devoted fans

  40. B says:

    I really hope Sleepy Hollow and Bones both get another season if only to wrap things up properly but if I had to chose I would pick Sleepy Hollow because I’m invested and I think the show has the potential if it gets rid of Katrina and Henry because those two have been weighing the show down this season

  41. Mary Buyer says:

    Please continue the series Bones – I like the cast and enjoy the show so please bring Bones back

  42. Dee says:

    Get rid of Katrina and you have another hit…..and the son should turn out to not be their son.

    Keep the chemistry with Abbey and Crane. A hit will emerge.

    • Valerie says:

      Sleepy Hollow is an awesome show! I love the chemistry between Ichabod and Abbie. They truly have a bond that has been tested all this Season. Now that the originals are back together the show can get back to what made it so amazing in Season 1. PLEASE RENEW SLEEPY HOLLOW!!!

  43. Danofive0 says:

    YES for the X Files. IF, IF you have David & Gillian . And do it like it was in the past.. IT was great! If they are going to go cheap. And put other people in there place.. For get it!