Fall TV Preview
Sleepy Hollow Season 3

Sleepy Hollow Season 3 to Return to More 'Fun' Original Formula

Fox’s Sleepy Hollow will be a bit more fun, a little less dark and dense, as it aims to get back on track in Season 3.

With a new showrunner, The Glades‘ Clifton Campbell, in place, and cocreators Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci still in the mix, “What we asked for [in Season 3] was a bit of a return to the storytelling model of the first season — a bit more of the fun instead of such a deep mythology that got a little bit dense” during the show’s sophomore run, Fox CEO Dana Walden told TVLine Thursday at the Television Critics Association press tour in Beverly Hills.

As part of that — and despite the addition of two new series regulars, Shannyn Sossamon and Nikki Reed (playing Pandora and Betsy Ross)– Walden also confirmed a restoration of the focus on the show’s core characters, Abbie and Ichabod and Jenny.

“We’re still proud of the episodes of last season,” Walden added. “But our observation was that a lot of the show had moved into the fantastical world, where it used to be a show that was weighted very evenly between Abbie in the real world and Ichabod in the fantastical. We’re trying to shift it back to a more even-handed storytelling engine.”

Earlier at the TCA press tour, Walden had confirmed that Sleepy Hollow — as well as sophomore dramas Gotham and Empire — would break their seasons “into two installments” of “virtually uninterrupted” episodes “that won’t challenge our audience to figure out when we’re in originals.”

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  1. AnnieM says:

    Sounds good to me!

  2. serivore says:

    Does the last paragraph mean that season 3 will be split into two distinct parts like season 2 of Empire or like OUAT has been doing for the past 2 years ? If so, what will replace SH during its break ? Otherwise, all these declartions look good for season 3, can’t wait !

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      Simply two halves, not distinct arcs a la ONCE.

      • Oh okay but the broadcast of the two halves of the season will be separate from several months ? For instance, the first half will be broadcast from October to December and the second half will be broadcast from February/March to April, right ?

  3. Television says:

    No more witches and katrina.

  4. Cory says:

    Eh this is not necessarily good stuff. I only hated the last few eps of s2 and before that was just displeased with a few things here and there. They are changing all the stuff that I really loved about season 2 it seems like. The dark tone of season 2 was MUCH better than the tone of s1 and I loved how more complex and complicated the mythology was getting, I love me some dense mythology.

    I just hope they finally start exploring Corbin’s case files and the fact there are supposedly dozens of witches in SH.

    • Angela says:

      I actually didn’t mind the dark tone of season 2, either. I liked seeing the issues of mistrust and loyalty explored, and I also think that anytime a show deals with people battling something like the freaking apocalypse, it makes sense that at some point things will turn kind of serious and dark and some really deep, weighty issues will have to be debated and dealt with.
      But I also love the “fish out of water”/”rant about the modern world” humor from Ichabod, and I love the snappy banter between him and Abbie, so I want the show to continue to keep that in as well. I think so long as the show can keep a good balance between the light, ridiculous camp and the more serious, emotionally heavy moments and stories, the show will be able to work okay.

  5. Donna says:

    That comment about Abbie in the real world and Ichabod in the fantastical world just shows the absolute misunderstanding these studio heads have for this show. It’s actually the opposite, and that’s part of what makes the show interesting and different. Yes, Crane is from the 18th century, but he’s soundly rooted in the present day now,, whether he likes it or not. It’s actually Abbie who has the “fantastical” elements. She met Moloch as a child. Crane didn’t (that we know of). She sees visions. Crane doesn’t. Her mother saw visions. Crane’s didn’t (that we know of). Her ancestor was a witch. Crane just married one, but completely unbeknownst to him. Etc. etc.

    Walden’s description makes it sound like they’re turning Abbie into Dana Scully (even sending her to the FBI!). That would be a HUGE mistake. One of the things that stretched the credulity of X-Files was the years and years that Scully remained a skeptic despite everything she’d seen and experienced. One of the GREAT things about Sleepy Hollow was that they threw that pretension out the window in the PILOT.

    They say they want to return to what worked in Season 1? Well, if that description is how they plan to do it, they’re already WAY off the mark.

    • Dmac says:

      I didn’t get that at all. Crane life is fantastical, he was alive over 200 years ago and Abby has always been the practical one and that won’t change. She needed to get back to being in law enforcement, it didn’t make her Agent Scully then and it won’t make her agent Scully now. Abby knows all of this is real so how is she suddenly become a skeptic? That makes absolutely no sense and it sounds like you are trying to find a problem where there isn’t one

      All along people were complaining because she became a side character and now that they have let her fulfill her dream of being in the FBI it someone becomes the X-files and she suddenly will stop believing Crane??? That is a complete stretch.

      They clearly stated that they are getting back to the three core characters so everyone should be happy and yet it seems that people are trying to find things wrong with season three and it hasn’t even aired yet. Why don’t we take a step back and try not to twist every thing around and make it sound worse than it actually is.

  6. Drew says:

    Returning to the roots of season 1 sounds good. But season 2’s failing wasn’t that it was too dense… it’s that it was too much fluff. There were too many useless episodes that added nothing to the ongoing arc. Then they completely resolved the arc, which should have spanned seven years. So the challenge for season 3 is to give the show a purpose again. I don’t need more goofy fun if these episodes are like the weak stand-alone episodes last season.

    • yup says:

      And my money’s on the studio making them kill of Moloch mid-season because they thought it was too dense.

    • Dmac says:

      Where did they say they were going to do more stand alone episode? They mentioned even handed story telling and that is it.

      • Drew says:

        That’s usually what these people are talking about when they say that they don’t want to get bogged down with mythology.

        • Angela says:

          I can see the concern about that, though. I like shows with some follow-through on their storylines, too, and well-plotted story arcs and all that sort of thing.
          But I also know there’ve been many shows that come up with a big concept, a huge mythology…and then the story arcs get all convoluted or drag out too long, or they lose sight of the characters because they’re so focused on the twists and turns of the mythologies and storylines instead. And people lose interest as a result, because it becomes too messy and complicated and nonsensical.
          It’s fine to have creative, inventive concepts and twisty storylines and mythologies, of course, I like seeing how imaginative show creators can get. But there needs to be a balance between that and giving us time to get to know the characters and letting them have a few little side stories and adventures that have nothing to do with the big story, too.

  7. smartysenior says:

    Excellent, the show had so many lost opportunities with Ichy learning 20th century stuff. The first season had the proper amount of things that go bump in the night and light humor. It’s very tricky to be an excellent writer and find the balance, I hope these new guys find it like the first season did. There are so many great elements in the way the show was originally put together, including an ensemble cast (who I think they’ve lost) and some scary-fun plots. Shows are won or lost in the writing first followed by a cast with chemistry.

  8. Gail says:

    Sleepy Hollow still runs short seasons correct? How many episodes are scheduled for Season 3?

  9. scyren says:

    Really not sure they get what the problem was. I’m still confused by the article that said Abbie went away for a year. I don’t get why that would ever happen. They are supposed to stick together and fight. Just seems so unnecessary. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

    • Beats Me says:

      Because they want to turn her into Dana Scully, and the show into The X-Files, but with demons instead of aliens? That’s my guess, anyway.

    • Dmac says:

      Because things have calmed down and she starting training for the FBI like she was going too in episode 1.

  10. Jeannette says:

    I love the series Sleepy Hollow and so happy it’s returning.

  11. Angela says:

    All for keeping the focus on Ichabod, Abbie, and Jenny. I’d really like to see more Abbie/Jenny moments and stories. And I agree that a balance between the real world and the mythology/fantasy is good, too. I like the mythology, but that’s not the main reason I watch the show. I watch ’cause I like these characters, and I want to get to know them and their backstories better.

  12. Temperance says:

    More fun (and cool, and surprising) is good. The show swing to being hard to watch sometimes.

  13. Kristelle says:

    I loved both Seasons…so I guess there is no “real” formula. Both worked!!!! Hopefully the next season will too.