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Fox's Sleepy Hollow: Keep or Cut?

TVLine logo TVLine 2/17/2017 Kimberly Roots
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By mid-May, the broadcast networks must make some tough calls as to which series will return for the 2017-18 TV season, and which… won’t.

As that deadline draws near, TVLine is singling out a few “bubble” shows and sizing up their prospects — based in large part on creative strides (and stumbles) and future potential, but also with a requisite nod to cold, hard numbers.

Next up is Fox’s revamped supernatural drama.

THE SHOW | Fox’s Sleepy Hollow (Fridays at 9/8c)

THE CASE FOR KEEPING | Sleepy Hollow has built a rich world full of eerie villains and United States “twistory” (as the show’s EPs like to call it), and four seasons in, the dark nooks and dusty archives of that that world are still fun places to hang out. Though only two of the original series regulars — Tom Mison and Lyndie Greenwood — remain with the show, new characters/Agency 355 employees Jake and Alex inject a little youth and a lot of geekery into the mix — all the more fun for Old Man Crane to play off of — and their eager personalities are nice counterpoints for Ichabod and Jenny’s more sober takes on the life-or-apocalypse mission. Meanwhile, Homeland Security Agent Diana is a capable, believable, funny counterpoint for an increasingly in-charge Crane.

THE CASE FOR CUTTING | Please note I called Diana Ichabod’s “counterpoint” rather than “partner” — and that’s an important distinction. It has nothing to do with Janina Gavankar, who is turning in an imminently watchable performance as Agent Thomas, and she and Mison certainly have chemistry. But Diana isn’t a Witness; her kid is. And precocious though she may be, Molly is (at least not yet) able to challenge Crane’s assumptions, rein in his stubbornness or provide a mature emotional balance for the Man Out of Time — all things Abbie did as second nature in Seasons 1 through 3. Because of the show’s decision to fill the Witness role with a child, Sleepy can feel at times more like a supernatural procedural than the you-and-me-against-the-world journey that made earlier seasons (the freshman one, in particular) so captivating.

And then there are the ratings. Season-to-date, Sleepy is averaging barely 2 million weekly viewers and a 0.6 demo rating — down 35 and 25 percent from Season 3, and matching Scream Queens as Fox’s lowest-rated drama. The trend is troubling: As recently as Feb. 3, the show hit series lows of 1.8 mil/0.5.

Vote below, then hit the comments and make your own case for keeping or cutting Sleepy Hollow.

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