"Sleepy Hollow": The Ratings Are Returning to To Normal (with One Episode Left)

“Awakening,” the first in the two-part season finale of Sleepy Hollow, truly is an awakening on many fronts. Of course, it’s an awakening to Katrina’s evilness, something I’ll be discussing in even more depth in an upcoming post, but it’s also an awakening to the plagues of this season and literally rebooting the show, even having a person out of time.

Here’s how “Awakening” did last night according to TV By the Numbers. The show bumped up 17 percent from its series low, getting a 1.4. That’s much more stable than 1.2, and since there are still DVR and such ratings to account for, it could go even higher.

Writer Albert Kim and Kurtzman/Orci producer Aaron Baiers had this to say on Twitter:

It’s also worth mentioning that the big boost in the ratings in partly (or mostly) due to the huge fan Twitter push that happened this weekend on Twitter. Baiers asked the fans to keep it up, but if you’re a fan that gets easily spooked, I wouldn’t worry about Baiers’ comment as being some kind of admission that the show is doomed for failure. He just wants everyone to keep up momentum, just to show Fox that there is a huge fanbase.

However, despite the gains, TV By the Numbers’ Cancellation Bear has bumped Sleepy Hollow down from “likely to be renewed” to a “toss up.”

The reasoning for this, states Bill Gorman, is last week’s 1.2 series low. However, it’s also possible (and I think, likely) for the show’s chances to get changed again after the returns from the last two episodes. So in short, it’s best to keep the momentum up if you’re a part of the online fan push. These last two episodes seem to be the big make-it-or-break-it moment for the show, so the higher the ratings, the better.

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Even still, there are several factors (in my opinion) that show that Sleepy Hollow still has a chance at renewal. I’ve mentioned in several other posts that the Fox execs seem keen on renewing it, but, as exec Dana Walden has said herself, they’re waiting to see what happens.

I don’t know why it didn’t click earlier, but after viewing “Awakening,” I’ve realized one of the things they were waiting on was seeing how Katrina’s evil turn would play out for fans. They said they’d been monitoring the fan clapback in so many words, so I’m sure they had an idea that Katrina was a big problem with the show. But, being executives, they were probably waiting on some clear-cut numbers to show that making her evil and eventually getting rid of her would put the show back on the right track. I think “Awakening” clearly showed that, in terms of ratings and fan engagement. Even Orlando Jones, who is always live-tweeting during Sleepy Hollow, seemed more energized by the episode (because let’s also remember that Irving was retconned in this episode as well).

If I was one of the Fox execs, I’d be feeling a lot more confident about bringing the show back after seeing the ratings climb upon Katrina’s evil turn. But, of course, I’d really wait to see what the writers had in mind for next season. I think the execs will really have a lot of say in what happens in the next season, whereas I think there was a lot of carte blanche attitudes going on this season. That’s how you let a non-entity of a character successfully sabotage your whole show.

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If pushing Katrina without a real plan really was Mark Goffman’s doing, then I’d start getting nervous, at the very least. The show was under his helm when it nearly got killed off; I doubt the execs would want it under his control. However, his production company is one of the many behind the show. There might be some kind of restructuring that happens, where Goffman’s company will still be involved, and Goffman still might have some level of say in the writers’ room (which might worry some fans), but Goffman wouldn’t be showrunner.

Instead, someone else, maybe Len Wiseman, might be the showrunner. He was one of the founding fathers (as it were) behind getting Sleepy Hollow to air, and he directed both the pilot and “Awakening.” I’m sure there’s going to be (or have been) some talks about Wiseman coming back in a much more active role, if not as showrunner.

Also, something else I’d written about earlier was the fact that Sleepy Hollow is one of the shows on Fox’s roster that has diversity. Seeing how every network is currently in a buying mood when it comes to shows containing diversity and minority actors who are now getting bombarded with offers, chances are Fox wants to keep their roster as full of diverse shows as they possibly can. Getting rid of Sleepy Hollow at a crucial time could be a big headache, seeing how they’d have to find something to fill the timeslot.

Overall, I’m still pretty confident in Sleepy Hollow coming back. We’ll see what else the Cancellation Bear has to say.

What do you think? Give your opinions below.

Photo credit: Brownie Harris/FOX