Sleepy Hollow Showrunner Exits Ahead of Potential Season 3

Sleepy Hollow Season 3

Sleepy Hollow is losing its head.

Mark Goffman has stepped down as showrunner ahead of a potential Season 3, TVLine has learned. The search for his replacement is underway.

Goffman presided over the Fox drama during its acclaimed first season and divisive (and recently wrapped) second.

Sleepy‘s breakout first season averaged nearly 8 million viewers, while Season 2 hadn’t cracked 5 million since October. All told, Season 2 was down 40 percent from Season 1, and it was regularly beaten by its freshman lead-in, Gotham.

Consequently, a third season is far from a sure thing (which makes finding a worthy successor to Goffman even more critical).

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144 Comments
  1. AT says:

    I hope Sleepy Hollow gets renewed. Season 1 was great. Season 2 took a long time to find its footing but the last few episodes were awesome. Abby interacting with Ben Franklin was just awesome).

    • Darcell says:

      I hope Sleepy Hollow gets renewed, the last few episodes spiked my interest, looking forward to season 3.

    • carl says:

      I do hope Sleepy Hollow is renewed. I know some episodes been some what off mark. But thats expected. So please renew my show. I know a lot of shows do get a slump. But do bounce back.

  2. Brian says:

    Good Riddance. Will never get why he insisted on pushing the Katina character.

    • JenJ says:

      I also couldn’t stand how much they dragged Katrina through the show in the 2nd season. She was alright the first season doing what she could to help from wherever the heck she was imprisoned, but it just became too ridiculously silly to believe that she was staying with the Horseman in an “enchanted cottage”, where everybody came and went as they pleased, by the way, just to keep tabs on him. They lost their way since half the fun of the first season was watching the fast paced action and the great chemistry between the rest of the cast. By the time of the season finale, all I could say about Katrina was, good riddance and don’t come back.

  3. David4 says:

    I think if they are looking for his replacement that season 3 is a sure thing, otherwise why would they bother?

    I feel Fox wants to keep the show, but wants new blood so they will see what other people’s ideas are, if Fox likes them season 3 is a go, if not, then bye-bye show.

    • aurat22 says:

      That’s kind of my guess.

    • Andy says:

      It’ll very likely come down to what their pilot slate looks like and if they have room on the schedule after they pick up the ones they want before anything becomes official. That said, you’re right; the fact that they’re bothering to find a successor is a good sign that it’ll come back if they have room.

    • MsViola says:

      I think it all depends on if they find someone worth trusting a S3, along with the total pilot season pick-up.

  4. Oh great, another guy who breaks the show and runs.

    • Dude says:

      It’s my understanding that FOX is the one who broke the show with their creative notes. It sounds like they want season three to be even less serialized to broaden appeal.

      • Nope says:

        THANK YOU. The naivete of these fans is astonishing.

      • sam says:

        Wrong. He broke it with his “creative” choices and FOX had to intervene.

        • ey says:

          Prove it.

          • Prove FOX forced him to make the decisions he did.

          • Larc says:

            Easy. Keep tuned to see if he is announced for another job shortly. If he is, then he probably walked out. If not, FOX probably pushed him out the door.

          • The facts says:

            Here’s proof for you. Under the old regime, Kevin Reilly, Sleepy Hollow had an approved outline for Season 2, and had already shot several episodes, and written still more than that, before Reilly was fired. The season premiere was finished. The new heads of FOX saw the premiere and made them RESHOOT significant portions of it. Made them abandon the outline for the season and basically start over. And you saw the result: an uneven (at best) season. We don’t know what the plans for the season were that FOX made them change (we never will), but when given a choice between the creative vision of the actual creative team, and of the bean-counting network suits? I’ll take the creative team.

      • Not true. Other than forcing Goffman not to leave Abbie in Purgatory, FOX did NOT intervene until after Season Two began airing in the Fall. They had meetings in September and November; that’s when changes were added (including Hawley’s exit, and Abbie’s arc in the last episodes).

        Goffman made his “creative” intentions clear in interviews before and after Season Two started.

      • David4 says:

        Fox gave notes well into the second season after the show started failing.

        The naïveté of these fans are astronishing.

        • The facts says:

          Exactly. The first season was dictated by the creative team, and we saw the results. The second season was dictated by the network suits, and we all saw the results. Compare and contrast, people.

  5. Weezy says:

    I agree with Brian. I think the obvious decision to make Katrina a bigger part of the story ultimately backfired and turned Sleepy Hollow from one of my top 3 favs (Season 1) to watching for continuity’s sake (Season 2). It felt like so much of the storyline was built around trying to get Katrina more involved, which I feel kind of messed up the dynamics of the show. It was also an incredibly poor idea for Fox to expand the # of episodes per season from 1 to 2. All it gave us was a lot more filler and alot less on the edge of your seat action/exciting storytelling moving at a frantic pace. I really hope they give the show a reduced # of episodes for a Season 3, which will hopefully allow the show to return to its Season 1 quality.

    • Everyone blames poor Katrina, but I really liked her in the first season. They just made a lot of poor decisions and didn’t know what to do with her. And then they just gave up and said, “F#%@ it. Let’s just make her evil and kill her off.” There were any number of ways where including her would have kept the show as fun as it was without making Katrina a drag. Just try and remember when Gunn, Wesley, Lorne, Fred and Spike joined Angel. They were all gradually developed over time without being intrusive.

      • jerzygirl45 says:

        WHEDON!!! Whedon will save us. lol Okay, I know he’s prob hella (sorry) super busy. I just hope they find someone who can bring it back to the central story – Abbie & Ichabod against evil.

      • aurat22 says:

        I feel the same about Katrina. Having a true love trapped in purgatory kind of gave Ichabod an added dimension besides just cracking jokes and fighting the baddy of the week with Abby. Rescuing Katrina so quickly in season two, forcing her into the established dynamic, then turning her evil, coupled with so much weird not scary Henry, then the whole soul ping pong thing with Irving, who was one of my favorites, had me tuning out. That’s the writers’ fault though, not that of the actress who portrayed Katrina. I feel sorry for her because I feel she’s taken at least some of the heat unfairly. It wasn’t so much poor performance in my view as poor writing.

        • kentuckywoman says:

          I agree 100%. Season 1 was fantastic and Season 2 didn’t even feel like the same show. Something had definitely changed. Katrina’s obsession with Henry and her turning evil totally turned me off. Also, Hawley was a great addition to the show and removing him was I think a mistake. So now I’m not sure what’s left…the quality and integrity of the original premise has been so totally compromised by FOX execs that I’m not sure anything can save it.

    • delorb says:

      I disagree. They could have easily have given us 18 exciting episodes if they’d wanted to. They could have explored the relationship between the sisters. Delved into the Corbin files. Shown how purgatory effected Katrina. Shown us how purgatory effected Abbie. But I guess being around creepy dead people isn’t a biggie. They could have left Sleepy. So many of the episodes had a wash, rinse and repeat feel to them that it felt like watching reruns. IMO, Sleepy CAN have 18 or even 22 episodes, so long as they don’t hammer the same theme (must bring Moloch to earth) over and over (must save Henry because he’s my son!)

      • Shirley says:

        I agree…too few episodes between “seasons”. During those long and numerous “off-seasons” you are going to lose viewers.

      • Absolutely. If Supernatural can have that many, we can as well. It is the quality, not quantity. Fans want MORE. I’m so tired of reading how the episode count hurt them. It’s only true because some of the episodes were garbage and had no direction.

  6. Alichat says:

    Hmmm….I’m not sure how to feel about this.

  7. T says:

    I don’t think his exit was voluntary. He made a mess of Season 2. Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman were also showrunners for Season 1. They left Goffman to his own and he obviously couldn’t handle it. Sad, but I do want the show renewed with a better showrunner.

    • Patrick says:

      I think they fired this guy. They will look for a new showrunner, but if they can’t find someone with good ideas, they will kill this sucker. The explosive success of Empire, and the successful launches of Last Man and Gotham, combined with the closeness of other shows to syndication, may make this show the odd man out.

      • T says:

        Last Man plunged in the ratings and its not that good. Gotham keeps sinking in the ratings too. It’s not that great. FOX is pushing pilots hard, but none of them look good.

        • Chris says:

          It did plunge but stil .6 better than other fox comedies and beat almost every thing on fox on Sunday’s

          • Nope says:

            The plunge is what matters. It’ll only go down further. Backstrom was a nightmare. Gracepoint was an embarrassment, Ditto Red Band Society. Gotham is actually on an identical downward trajectory to what’s happened to Sleepy Hollow. The Following got a 1.1 last night–unmitigated disaster right there.

            Empire is all FOX has right now. They can’t cancel everything. Welcome back, Sleepy Hollow.

          • David4 says:

            Fox only has Empire, everything else is at normal low levels. Gotham is getting 1.5 million dollars an episode from Netflix, that’s why it was picked up early.

            Last Man plummeted, be interesting in where that lands.

          • That awful show The Following had its series low the other day. I think it was 1.1, so I think all these bad shows are just going to help them revamp Sleepy. At its best this show is a winner. I just hope the fans that strayed will come back. We know the hardcore fans are here to stay, but FOX needs to promote correctly and hype the show by keeping fans engaged and replaying episodes in the off season.

  8. Can you say scapegoat? says:

    Well, someone always has to be the fall guy, right? Sorry, Mark. Some of us understand that you were just trying to put lipstick on the pig FOX insisted on.

  9. WOW JUST WOW. Wasn’t he just on here doing an interview talking about all the exciting things for season three? They must’ve fired him. Humble pie for you, Mark Goffman.

  10. Tammy says:

    Love, Love, Love Sleepy Hollow so please make sure it comes back next season. Bring in a writer who has adventure on the brain….

  11. Lets talk about shows who lost their original showrunner and didn’t suck after… nope, there aren’t any

    • Usually the original showrunner = the creator of the show, that’s not the case here. The idea was concieved by Iscove and then developed with Wiseman, Kurtzman/Orci and I think Kadin long before Goffman entered the picture.
      And unlike what the commenters below say, TWD was a shambling mess with it’s early showrunners and now – regardless of your personal feelings of quality – it’s one of the top-rated, most talked-about shows currently airing.

      • It cracks me up the way people are blaming FOX and claiming Mark Goffman was “forced” into the creative decisions that nearly killed the show. Laughably false.

        • Well, in their (undeserved) defense that is usually how these things go – it just wasn’t the case here. Goffman had plenty of wriggle room to stick it to FOX if he wanted, but his constant praising of Katrina in the interviews gave him away as being entirely behind the direction of the season – I’ve seen showrunners squirm and rebel against network interferrence, many many times, and this wasn’t that.

          • ‘Sleepy Hollow’ is an anomaly in that regard. I’ve never reacted positively to “network meddling” before. That being said, all this about Goffman being “forced” into the creative decisions that may have killed this phenomenal show is nonsense.

          • Sheesh says:

            How on EARTH do you know this? Sat in on the meetings, did you? Complete FANtasy, this.

  12. Steven says:

    Given how badly fans reacted to season 2 this does not surprise me.

  13. Tallee says:

    Sounds like season 3 should be a go if they can find someone to replace him. Otherwise, why bother and just cancel it outright.

  14. Aprilcot says:

    Good. He turned this show into a mess during S2; it almost became a chore up until the end. I agree with the above poster stating that this hopefully guarantees a S3 renewal with a more focused showrunner.

  15. Jake says:

    So, so thankful! Find someone competent, please, FOX. Someone who recognizes the chemistry between the co-leads make the show so very special!

  16. Michelle says:

    Praise the baby Jesus!!!

  17. Stacie says:

    “Sleepy Hollow is Losing its Head”. That’s gotta be my favorite beginning of an article ever, very clever.

  18. susan says:

    Well kids, this is what happens in the real world!! You don’t do your job, you get fired..The fact that they’re looking for a replacement means that might be a season 3

    • Nope says:

      Just because he didn’t do what YOU wanted him to do doesn’t mean he “didn’t do his job.” He did the job the network wanted him to do, fans didn’t like it, he got fired. That’s showbiz.

      • Katherine215 says:

        His job is to make money for his boss (the network), which means having a highly rated show that advertisers want to spend a lot of money on. Bad ratings = no money = didn’t do his job.

  19. LibKat says:

    Goffman dropped the ball and then made a number of aggressive remarks in the press when the fans weren’t in love with season 2. You can’t blame the late order for extra episodes, because the show went wrong on ep. 3. Though I do fear that he might have been pitching a genuine course correction for Season 3 and the Fox execs are going to muck things up even more by trying to make every episode standalone, monster of the week without much through line.

  20. Jo says:

    Folks it’s time to let it go…..no more Sleepy Hollow. But at least the very last episode did leave a huge cliff hanger.

    • Nope says:

      Actually, no, this bodes WELL for a season 3. If the show was going to be cancelled, they wouldn’t have fired him. Would have just let him lose his job along with everyone else.

      • Patrick says:

        This could be paving the way for cancelation. They fire the show runner, and then announce a search for a replacement. But just because they are looking doesn’t mean they’ll find one. They may have feelers out to see if anyone has any ideas that would “save” the show. If they don’t get any ideas they like, they will just pull the plug.

  21. sandra says:

    I can’t tell you how happy i am about this, literally jumping for joy

  22. Fyrea says:

    GOD IS REAL!

  23. GrainneG says:

    Stepped down or pushed down?

  24. Lysh says:

    YESS this doesn’t surprise me.

    Season 2 was kind of a mess, but the final was fun. Hopefully Len sticks around and they find someone else who realizes Ichabod AND Abbie are why the show works. And hopefully FOX gives the show at least 13 more episodes.

  25. honor1 says:

    May Katia Winter, Albert Kim, M. Raven Metzner and anyone else not mentioned who added to the disastorius season 3 of Sleepy Hollow go with him. Sorry, but with him at the helm Sleepy Hollow went from an exciting show and one I looked forward to watching each week to a bored Cranefest. IMO, Mark Goffman cared more about promoting (Katrina/Katia and the Crane Family Drama) over the cast and stories which made SH a great show in season one. Mark Goffman, was directly responsible for sidelining Co-Star (Nicole Beharie) and other actors so he could give Katrina/Katia a vehicle to shine (talk about poor vision–she was a third billed character actress (and I say that loosely because IMO, she cannot act and was the weakest link among the cast and never should of been promoted to lead and the disaster of season 2 proved it) IMO, Katrina needs to stay dead and Katia needs to move on. And, to put the nail in the proverbial coffin, the DVD debacle is just another example of his MG’s leadersip. There is no excuse for Tom Mison, Katia Winter and John Noble to be the only commentators on the season two DVD. Mark Goffman was the Show Runner and should of insured that NIcole, and Tom were the first ones invited and booked to comment and everyone else following them. He has caused unnessary drama among the cast which didnot need to happen.

    • honor1 says:

      Sorry, I meant season 2.

    • Drew says:

      The show runners aren’t responsible for the DVDs. I agree that he mucked things up, but that part had nothing to do with him.

      • honor1 says:

        Thanks Drew, I stand corrected. however, he certainly has mucked things up and we wouldn’t want to blame him for any more than he is responsible for this season –which as we both agree is plenty.

    • Sheesh says:

      What a load of absolute FAN FICTION. You guys have created this absolute fantasy about what went on BTS of this show, when the fact is, you have absolutely NO IDEA.

      • Honor1 says:

        Ok, then enlighten us–what went on. What are we missing cause I could swear–someone tried to push Katrina/Katia and the whole CFD down our throats at the expense of the Co-Star (Abbie/Nicole) and Hawley over Jennie… need I go on? who was responsible for the season two disaster if not the showrunner?????????

        • The facts says:

          Try THE NETWORK.

          • Honor1 says:

            Well, if this is true and I have my doubts, it makes sense for FOX to have hired new network heads to try and steer this ship in the right direction. You still can’t convince me that MG didnot have a say in the direction of season two and the CFD debacle. His obession with Katrina/Katia was far to personal for this to be just a network decison.

      • Radha says:

        Hi Mark Goffman.

  26. lboogie says:

    Good. I was sooo over them pushing Katrina on us. The show losing its head. Ha Ha!

  27. Susannah says:

    Good, I’m sorry for whatever show he ends up on but I’m happy for Sleepy Hollow that he’s gone.
    Mark Goffman took this show from a fun, scary ride to a mopey, romantic drama with Katrina as the center, in doing that, he drove away so many fans that the show might be cancelled. I hope we get a season three and that it can go back to the glory of the first season with a new show runner.

  28. Nicki says:

    Good! Bye bye Goofman, you won’t be missed.

  29. sam says:

    My condolences to his next show’s fans. Bye Felicia!

  30. AW says:

    I’m glad he’s gone. I hope one of the the creators/original writers from Season 1 would showrun Season 3 then, and let Season 2 just be a passing nightmare.

  31. KC says:

    Hopefully they will find someone who will get the show back on track – No more Katrina….

  32. Bob Backus says:

    The senseless destruction of Jefferson’s hidden library was the last straw for me. The weird mutant soldiers were a limited bunch and could have easily been killed without blowing up the library. It’s as if the most uncreative, moronic, laziest person on earth wrote that episode. It’s stupidity was insulting, and screams for the show to be cancelled, or the morons will not learn.

  33. T. says:

    I hope it gets renewed and they listen to Fox and fix all the problems they had in season 2. Season 1 was so great, but they took everything everyone loved and forgot about it.

  34. Eva-Kathleen Leidecker says:

    A lot more people would LOVE to watch Sleepy Hollow, but it is up against the show Scorpion on Monday Nights. I know that I had to make a deal with my husband that one week he watched Scorpion, and I’d have to watch Sleepy Hollow on the computer, then the next week we’d both watch Sleepy Hollow. So, if the show could be put into a different time slot, there would be a whole lot more viewers! I LOVE the show! I sure do hope you bring it back for Season 3.

    • CHP says:

      I don’t think Scorpion, was the major factor. Sleepy Hollow did not do well on demand, DVR or Hulu which it did in season one, it was content. The amazing premise was destroyed and in its place we received as “As the Cranes turns” . Sad thing is if they are not picked up it’ s the fault of their own powers that be.

    • T says:

      Scorpion is slipping in the ratings. That is also another show run by Sleepy Hollow producers. Two different genres. But the story line is what killed Sleepy Hollow most of all this season.

  35. Aly D says:

    Good bye and good riddance! Bring on Season 3 with a return to Season 1 form! #RenewSleepyHollow

  36. Really hope this means season 3 is happening, this show has the potential to be great – it has the parts, it just needs a better chef, one that actually knows and love genre shows.

  37. T says:

    I hope FOX doesn’t want to be THAT network that let’s a brilliant show slip SO FAR. They were as much responsible as Goffman for a poor season 2. They neglected the show for 9 months. NINE months. If you have a show that had so much success you care for it! You push your stars out front and make them do press as much as they could! FOX did NONE of that. Minimal press. An interview here and there. No magazine covers. NOTHING. FOX aired the first season, lived off it, then kicked it to the side with hopes of something else coming in. Nothing really did until Empire, but they can’t live off of that one show. They have nothing major going for them at the moment. Sleepy Hollow is FOX’s 3rd highest rated drama. The entire handling of this show was so amateur. They really screwed up and I hope they realize that and give the time and effort to fix it. Find a new showrunner with experience. Find some great writers. They have Mison and Beharie who are phenomenal! They really are something – akin to Mulder and Scully. It will be stupid for FOX to let that go. They just have to be willing to put the time and money into building that up again because they DESTROYED it, right along with Goffman and the writers.

  38. H says:

    With the embarrassment that was FOX’s fall, with one super promoted show doing ok and the other 3 (Red Bend, Gracepoint, Uthopia) reducing network executives to tears, a sophomore slump is not a good reason enough to to trow away a show with so much potential. Even with Empire, and especially with the question mark that is Bones, there are still 5 empty slot in the schedules.
    I’m sure the show can find a a new home on Friday and possibly thrive there, at least for one more season.

  39. I sure do hope there will be a Season 3! All my witch friends just love the show! The problem is the men in our lives! Sleepy Hollow is on at the same time and day as the show called Scorpion. If you could possibly change days or time, you would have a lot more viewers! Please keep us posted. Merry Part

  40. kmw says:

    Bones is ONLY going off the air if David and Emily do not re sign. The fact that Luther isn’t going forward and the fact that they are looking for a new show runner means they will probably keep it. FOX had only two real hits(EMPIRE and Gotham) and from what I have seen of some of their pilots, they should want to keep it. I know advertisers care about that demo number, and Sleepy did drop quite a bit, but it also does well in DVR viewing and I know FOX cares about that. Now if they find a new show runner and FOX doesn’t like what it sees, then it might be gone

  41. It finished in a good way.. Why have a season 3 which will look like a re-boot? Enough!

  42. if the show go off the air,let it go off the air with an ending.

  43. Sam Haincat says:

    I love this show and really hope it does get renewed. The last few episodes were awesome.

  44. roger says:

    I love sleepy hollow!! Its a train ride watching each show on monday nights and addicting to see what happens next! Just like “survivor” definately the ratings will soar if show still continues and sales of show products will grow i bought my tshirt of the show and its awesome please “save icabob”!! :)

  45. Ohsnap! says:

    JUST BRING THE SHOW BACK!!!!!!

  46. zagsfan says:

    They didn’t turn Katrina evil until the end. All the rest of the season she just dithered and wimped out and was nothing but a drag on the show’s momentum. They turned her evil at the end to add some interest and to come up with a way to get her off stage.

  47. Diane Pitts says:

    I absolutely love this show. Every time a good show comes on only to be cancelled. Tv is very discouraging.

  48. Hodan says:

    Best news ever!!! Bye Felicia!

  49. Maxwell Haddad says:

    Season 1 was great. Season 2 was often terrible. A 3rd season would be a mistake for Fox financially and for the show creatively. Let sleeping dogs lie.

  50. Dennis Lessick says:

    With all the other networks cancelling decent shows that people my age–OVER 49 watch—please do not cancel this show or else after learning Backstrom was canceled I wlll also be tuning out FOX!! Now a days if it doesn’t involve technology—racism—sex or robots the over 49 crowd is out of luck which is a shame! 18-49 year olds today have NO CLUE what a GOOD TV show is!!!!