‘Sleepy Hollow’ on Fox Is First New Show to Be Renewed
Published: October 4, 2013
Fox’s “Sleepy Hollow” has become the first of this fall’s batch of new
network television shows to be renewed for a second season.
The order for a second season came on Thursday after only three episodes
had been televised. The show’s ratings earned it a vote of confidence:
the premiere, on Sept. 16, one week before the formal start of the fall
season, attracted 13.6 million viewers and scored a 5.0 rating among 18-
to 49-year-olds, enough for Fox to call it, in a news release, the
network’s “most successful fall drama premiere since the debut of ‘24’
in November 2001.”
Those viewer totals included three days of digital video recorder
playback; once further DVR plays and online streams were tallied, the
premiere recorded more than 22 million viewers, according to Fox.
The numbers have held up relatively well through the third week of the
“Sleepy Hollow” season, which spans 13 weeks, about 10 shorter than a
typical network drama but normal for Fox’s competitors on cable. By
ordering a second season, instead of tacking on more episodes to the
first, Fox is hewing to its belief in a shorter-season strategy.
“Sleepy Hollow” is a retelling of Washington Irving’s 1820 tale “The
Legend of Sleepy Hollow.” Kevin Reilly, Fox’s chairman of entertainment,
on Thursday called it a “risk well worth taking — it’s a conceptual
blast unlike anything else on television and it all holds together with
inventive writing and a fantastic cast.”
It might have been heartwarming for television network executives to see
a new show beat the odds and be renewed before one had been canceled.
But on Friday the first axing of the season was announced by ABC, albeit
indirectly, when the network said it would replace the low-rated drama
“Lucky 7” with repeats of the much-buzzed-about “Scandal” starting next
“Scandal,” which has enjoyed a big ratings boost in the past year, set a
record for itself when its third season started Thursday night. Among
18- to 49-year-olds, the show received a 3.6 rating, up 71 percent
year-over-year, even before all of the DVR playback of the episode is
ABC did not say what would happen to the remaining episodes of “Lucky
7,” about a group of blue-collar workers who win the lottery. Networks
sometimes stream the already-completed episodes of “lame duck” shows
online or burn them off in obscure time slots to satisfy fans.