Sleepy Hollow Janina Gavankar Season 3

Sleepy Hollow Adds True Blood's Janina Gavankar as Ichabod's New Partner

There’s a new woman in Ichabod Crane’s life, and she’s played by someone who knows her way around supernatural drama.

True Blood‘s Janina Gavankar has nabbed the major role of Diana, a Secret Service agent who will work closely with Sleepy Hollow‘s remaining Witness in the upcoming Season 4, TVLine has learned.

The new character, on which TVLine exclusively reported earlier this month, is officially a guest-starring gig, but fills the void left by the departure of series regular Nicole Beharie.

Diana is described as follows: A single mom and former military officer who’s currently a Special Agent for Homeland Security. She’s got a tough, take-charge personality, punctuated by a wry sense of humor. She also has a softer, more caring side which emerges when she’s with her young daughter. Initially she doesn’t believe in the supernatural, and that creates conflicts with Crane. They also clash because they have different ways of approaching missions: While he’s methodical and research-focused, she’s active and task-oriented, which is reflective of her military training.

She rarely talks about the father of her child — a person she cared for, even though she never saw a life together with him — but she’s fiercely devoted to her daughter and will do anything to protect her, an instinct Crane appreciates. After her partner goes down in the line of duty, she and Crane will find common ground in their shared sense of loss. And the two of them will quickly realize they have another important point of connection — though not one anyone would expect at first.

Gavankar’s joining the cast is part of an overhaul of the struggling Fox series, which is also losing series regulars Lance Gross and Jessica Camacho and switching its setting to Washington, D.C. for Season 4.

In addition to playing shapeshifter Luna on HBO’s vampire series, Gavankar’s TV credits include The L WordArrow, The Vampire Diaries and The League. She most recently appeared on The Mysteries of Laura.

Sleepy Hollow is slated to return at midseason.

What are your early thoughts on Gavankar’s casting? Sound off in the comments!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. M3rc_Nate says:

    Look at that…another female POC. They did it. As I said when tons were complaining about Nicole getting killed off and the outrage of a POC (black) female lead getting killed off of a TV show. And as I said then they would find another female POC to take over the role and good for them.
    And here we are, going from arguably the second highest color/ethnicity represented on TV (black) to one of the rarest colors/ethnicities on TV (Indian).
    Good for her, I am a fan of Janina. I am excited to watch the show with her on it along with some of the other cast I like. I just hope the writing improves and the chemistry between the two leads is great.

    • lechatnoir says:

      You will find that Janina has a living Dutch grandparent so Indian she is not entirely. Indians barely register as minority In the USA. of course it makes sense that we’d see even fewer. Indians have 1.2 billion /population. rare they ain. and besides sendhil kareena miss quantico are making their mark. A high representation of black people , no there ain’t. no need to breed resentment

      • M3rc_Nate says:

        Was this written on a cell phone? Or is ESL?
        >A high representation of black people , no there ain’t.
        I never said there is a high representation. I did however say that they are the second highest represented behind whites and beneath them the numbers are atrociously low of Asians, Native Americans, and Hispanics/Latins. Heck black people have their own network (BET) with almost entirely black casts (duh). The same can’t be said for Asians and Native Americans and all the others.
        So my point being that Indians (a dutch grandparent or not, she is Indian and looks very Indian) representation is just a fraction of black representation. So if you care about equality and blind casting and casting more minorities, then you should be really happy.
        While the Oscars and other places might make “equality” in Hollywood a black thing, it isn’t. It is a black, yellow, and brown thing. It isn’t just black and white. If TV shows were populated with 50% whites and 50% blacks you might think “equality!!!!” but you’d be dead wrong. That means 0% Asians, 0% Native Americans, 0% Middle Easterners and 0% Hispanics & Latins.

        • parstl says:

          How ignorant. BET became a network because of enterprising blacks (and others) who recognized the buying and viewing power of the demographic and because blacks were underrepresented in all aspects of networks. Another thing that always gets me…other minority groups and women (including white) owe a great deal of their opportunitis to the efforts of blacks to integrate and open avenues in all walks of American life.
          As to the casting of Janina…good for her. I liked her on Arrow.

          • Vanessa says:

            Now that Black actors are finally getting more opportunity people want to try to limit or halt it by saying “well what about Asians, Latinos,” etc.

            The reality is Blacks are considered the lowest to these people and society as a whole so if they “have” to see people of color they’d rather it be ANY other color than Black. That’s all this is.

            These people feel as though Blacks should do all the legwork but that everyone should benefit equally or more. Blacks have more exposure/representation now because they’ve been the most vocal and active and frankly working at this and fighting for it longer.

            They ignore the fact that BET exists because Black Americans were ignored on tv and Blacks created the network. It wasn’t gifted to them by some TV Network fairy. If someone is stopping Latinos or Asians from having their own networks or getting representation, it’s certainly not Black people yet somehow they seem to be carrying the blame and receiving the ire for it.

        • Vanessa says:

          If diversity was truly your concern you’d be advocating for them to include MORE people of color, not for them to swap out Black people in exchange for non-Black POCs.

        • Lou says:

          POC are not interchangeable chess pieces.
          Even if they had cast another black woman, people would still have been upset, and rightly so.
          Abbie was presented as indispensable and then rewritten as Ichabod’s helper.
          This does nothing to fix that.

        • Lou says:

          BET was founded by an African American guy, but it’s been owned by an old white guy for the last fifteen years.
          Black people don’t ‘have’ BET, the Redstone family does.

      • H says:

        A third of the network shows have a black lead now, and any other show has at least one black character in the regular cast. There are very few Indian, Asians and Native American characters, and still not many Latinos.

        • Lou says:

          ‘A third of the network shows have a black lead now’
          That is CATEGORICALLY untrue.
          The latest Holllywood report does NOT show black leads as 33% of leads on network television, in fact it shows that ALL MINORITY leads make up 6.5% of broadcast TV leads, with a whopping 93.5% being white.

    • Winkle43 says:

      Sleepy Hollow-lite. Now with 100% less black!

      Google colourism, it’s every bit as ugly as racism. So no, I will not jump for joy that a dark-skinned black actress was ‘replaced’ with a lighter WOC.

    • Christina says:

      They basically replaced Nicole with a lighter, ambiguously looking woman. They really did her dirty, going back to how they didn’t even include her in the DVD commentary.

  2. Mary says:

    I’m thrilled with the casting. She’s been wonderful in everything she’s done. She will bring a whole new perspective to Sleepy Hollow!!

  3. TvPeong says:

    Looking forward to the new season with Janina Gavankar

  4. BlittleU says:

    I might have given the fourth season a try if they made Jenny the (new) second witness. This casting, plus the addition of a kid, does nothing for me. I think they only hired a POC because she will be related to the Mills family, but they sure went as light as they could get away with. Hard Pass!

  5. Jeff C says:

    I think you mean season FOUR throughout the article lol.

  6. ThurmanMurman says:

    Ahh yes, as predicted they went for the “safe” ethnic route. This way they don’t superficially appear racist yet cast someone light enough to be appropriate, unlike the dark-skinned black woman they disrespected and marginalized before killing off and finally erasing.


  7. Renee says:

    Great! Looking forward to seeing her on the show!

  8. GEM says:


    • John NYC says:

      She’s a decent actress so it’s got every chance of “working”. Her comedic chops showed up on Mysteries of Laura and SH could use a bit more of that.

  9. John NYC says:

    I liked her in Mysteries of Laura.

  10. Danielle says:

    This is so tiring. Anyone who can’t see the problem with this will probably vote for Trump come November. Basically the show did not feel comfortable with a darker lead and they did everything to make her uncomfortable on her own show. I’m sure they wanted to go for a white actress but knew how that would look so they went with this actress. Not white but damn sure not black, especially dark black. I find it disgusting. And for those who are trying to trivialize the concern of replacing a Black woman with a lighter POC I find you equally disgusting. Whether she is very much Indian or not she is a more acceptable shade of WOC. They could’ve very well cast a much darker WOC and they didn’t wonder why?

    • H says:

      Your comment is very disrespectful, saying that people that don’t share your special kind of entitlement are Trump voters and calling us racist, when you are making racist remarks towards this actress. Had they cast a black actress you would have said either that she’s not black enought or that they’re trying to replace a black woman with another because for the evil white man all black women look alike.

      • Lou says:

        @H, ‘entitled’???
        To what exactly, having the character she rooted for be summarily killed off and then being bullied for not cheering for her replacement?
        If you think black women asking for representation in America, THEIR COUNTRY, is ‘entitled’ I suggest you search your conscience.

    • LADY_in_MD says:

      Seriously as an Indian woman I can tell you my skin color is “not more acceptable” I am constantly looked at like a terrorist constantly mocked asking where is my headscarf when I am not even Muslim and we are generally portrayed as terrorists on TV
      I find it disgusting that you assume people are Trump supporters and how do you know they made the previous actress on the show as uncomfortable as possible like you stated do you know her personally? no you are just assuming and its unfortunate that you had to result to mocking another WOC instead of being happy for her we need to stand together and not apart otherwise the Trump supporters will win

      • Lou says:

        @ LADY_in_MD
        While it is certainly true that Islamophobia is an increasing problem in America, it is also true, as Danielle points out, that throughout the country’s history, the lighter your skin was, the easier life generally became in terms of racial prejudice.
        If they killed Priyanka Chopra off on Quantico and replaced her with random black actress, would you cheer? I doubt it.
        This isn’t more representation, it’s just shifting the same small amount around.
        Why couldn’t they have a black actress AND an Indian one?
        To ask a black woman who watched her favourite character be reduced to a stereotype to be happy when faced with what looks like a more subtle marginalisation isn’t asking her to stand together with you, it’s asking her to stand BEHIND you.

        • LADY_in_MD says:

          They way I look at shows is if someone gets killed off doesn’t matter race or sex then it’s for the story line of the show I don’t take it personally cause it’s all make believe
          If Prianka was killed off Quantico then so be it its what the writers wanted to do
          Trust me there have been plenty of shows I watch and someone gets killed off and I’m like WTF but at the end it’s a show not real life
          Plus the previous comment lumping everyone together as a Trump supporter just kinda annoyed me

      • Kat2000 says:

        Nicole Made the role of Abbie, which brought in a lot of fans to this show. Would the creators of the Good Wife replace their leading actress with an Indian actress? No, only another white actress would take her place. Are they going to replace Viola Davis on HTGAWM? No, not with anyone else. The creators of Sleepy Hollow are shady and underhanded. They lost me when they killed off Abbie, I’m not returning.

    • Rachel says:


    • Josie says:

      I agree with what u said. I think Fox has a problem, it is
      a pity it can’t take leaf out of AMC’s book.

  11. Ray says:

    I’m okay with the choice–Janina is just fine as an actress. However, I wish the character was given a distinctly Indian name…not something white washed Anglo-Saxon. Same goes for Priyanka Chopra’s character on Quantico.

  12. Mary Kelly says:

    Sleepy Hollow WAS one of my favorites. Then the fantastic cast started getting killed off. Sorry, 3rd season is not going to go well. You might take Crane out of Sleepy Hollow…but you can’t keep the viewers from tuning out! Sorry, but once again a great show goes down .

    • CA says:

      I so agree. This was my go to show for three years and now I’m finding few reasons to continue on into a Season 4.

  13. La La says:

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha-


  14. Rafiat Olayioye says:

    I love her and I’m glad she got this job so soon after the cancelation of The Mysteries Of Laura.

  15. Mok says:

    Good for her! But no, I will NOT be watching this show anymore. I truly wish Janina the best though.

  16. k says:

    They ruined this show starting with season 2. It was like TPTB was like hey season one was great but lets change some major things around next season and that’s when this great show went off the rails.

  17. thekla says:

    yay love her! i never liked abbie or the acting, i preferred her sister so i could care less that she is gone. janina is a very good actress very excited to see her on SH

  18. liame says:


  19. Kat2000 says:

    No thank you. Nicole helped make this a popular show, without her as the leading lady, I won’t watch it.

  20. Mary Lynn says:

    So basically they dug up the bio from Joss Carter on Person of Interest and stuffed her into this show to try to save it? Good luck with that.

  21. Nanci D. Lucey says:

    She sounds perfect for the role and we’ll be very interested in what she brings to the show. Looking forward to the new season of ‘Sleepy Hollow’! :-)

  22. BL17 says:

    Although I wish success for Sleepy Season Four, I will not watch.
    I really invested in Sleepy Hollow with poll participation, tweeting, and telling my friends and family about the show. I am now ruined. I will never be so engaged with a television show ever again. The loss of Nicole Beharie did me in.

  23. MelodyJ says:

    I knew they would replace Nicole with a lighter skin POC. So, no shock there.

  24. sooverfox says:

    so basically establish the show with a black actress and then replace her with a white actress. Same old tired hollywood story.

  25. George Piavis says:

    I wish Janina Gavankar would stop harassing me and my family