The TV show Scandal ushered in a wave of TV projects starring black women. One of the first was Sleepy Hollow, starring Nicole Beharie, which brought FOX monster ratings during its first season. I’ve never watched the show, but apparently the chemistry between Nicole and Tom Mison (who portrays Ichabod Crane), hooked viewers. A second season was quickly ordered.
But, something has happened during season two. Ratings have plummeted and it appears the show is on the verge of cancellation. FOX’s other two shows that prominently feature black women – Jada Pinkett Smith (Gotham) and Taraji P. Henson (Empire) also premiered to strong ratings and have already been renewed for second seasons. So what has gone awry with Sleepy Hollow?
Again, I don’t watch the show but it sounds as if Nicole’s character, Abbie Mills, has been diminished in favor of a storyline that focuses on Ichabod’s relationship with his wife, Katrina, who is portrayed by a white actress. It seems a section of Sleep Hollow fandom wanted more of Katrina and unfortunately, the series is paying the price. This reminds me a bit of Scandal going off track in season three, where Olivia Pope & Associates started to be eclipsed by the White House. All of a sudden, there was more interest in Mellie (portrayed by Bellamy Young) than the lead character, Olivia Pope. There were whispers that Kerry Washington had to shoot less while pregnant. However, diminished shooting due to pregnancy does not seem to be a factor in Sleepy Hollow’s storyline shift.
In the meantime, if you like the character Nicole Beharie portrays (I’ve never heard that her character paints black women in a bad light) and want to see Sleepy Hollow renewed (with a change in storyline), reach out to Rupert Murdoch at 21st Century Fox. The co-chairmen of Fox Television Group, Dana Walden and Gary Newman, report directly to Murdoch and own the renewal decision for Sleepy Hollow.
Twitter handles: @21stCenturyF0X, @rupertmurdoch