“Sleepy Hollow”: Why Shorter Seasons Are Better

I’ve been seeing some worry about Sleepy Hollow, especially since the ratings ticked down to the lowest they’ve ever been.

The fear can be summed up in this tweet by Shadow and Act:

However, The Cancellation Bear still has Sleepy Hollow at “Likely to Be Renewed.” But the ratings,as the Cancellation Bear points out, could signify that even though Sleepy Hollow still has a good chance at being renewed, the show could come back in a much more limited run. The Cancellation Bear’s residence, TV By the Numbers, has a post by Bill Gorman references notes from fellow TV By the Numbers writer Tom Shaw:

For Sleepy Hollow, while ratings have dropped this eyar, it’s Fall ratings were still above the Fox average. I’d not that New Girl wasn’t renewed either, and it would take literally every Fox Spring show succeeding to put this in any danger. That said, how Fox’s Spring does will likely determine how many episodes Sleepy Hollow comes back for next season.

It would seem that some of Shaw’s opinion still stands, despite his ramped-up urgency displayed in his latest tweets:

(“Reilly” refers to Kevin Reilly, the former Fox head who greenlit Sleepy Hollow and Almost Human.)

So it seems like it comes down to if the new Fox heads really want to keep it around. Dana Walden and Gary Newman have already given indication that they really do love the show and the leads, and have even gone as far as to give possible solutions to fix the show going into the next season. To me, it would seem kind of strange for the heads to give this kind of hope just to yank it away (unless deals can’t be reached or something like that). In short, I think there’s a chance for it to come back solely on the good graces it earned during the first season and because the execs actually like the show. I’d be more worried if Walden and Newman didn’t like it, which seemed to be the case with Almost Human. It wasn’t a show they’d greenlit in the first place, but the cancellation seemed to support the idea that Fox thought it was a show that involved much more time than Fox was willing to give.

However, I’m not going to lie and say I’m completely calm about Sleepy Hollow‘s fate. If I were to guess, I’d say that Fox is more than likely going to renew it, but to go along with the Cancellation Bear article, I think that if they do renew it, it’ll come back along the lines of an event series, which is how it should have stayed to begin with. The first season was only 13 episodes, but Fox (during the Reilly) reign, got too greedy and renewed the show for a full second season. We see now that Sleepy Hollow‘s storytelling doesn’t mesh well at all with full seasons, since there’s the slippery slope of it turning into a full-out soap opera (and an uninteresting one at that).

If Walden and Newman want to be seen as the “saviors” for the series, then I would think they’d renew it with “event series” status. This way, it could be a contained story like Agent Carter—a series that has deft storytelling and high production values with a shorter season as a trade-off. A smaller season will also allow the writers to focus primarily on what matters, which is Ichabod and Abbie saving the day. No maternal guilt or male guilt or whatever. Just saving the day and getting stuff done. All action and snark, with no time for scenarios that don’t make sense. The writers would be forced to use an economy of words and storylines, which will make for a tighter season all around.

As I’ve written before, the longer season paved the way for Sleepy Hollow‘s ruin, along with other storytelling factors. There was just a lack of focus, and to me, some of that dealt with the added pressure of writing for five extra episodes. The thought was that drama created by Katrina, Abraham and Henry would sustain the show throughout the season, but that could have been seen as either creative desperation or laziness. With a smaller season, the writing team will be able to zone in on what really matters and what really gets the fanbase going.

Advertisements

One thought on ““Sleepy Hollow”: Why Shorter Seasons Are Better”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s