WASHINGTON, January 20, 2014–When it was first announced that FOX had developed a new fantasy show based on Washington Irving’s classic novel, there was no shortage of skepticism about the show’s chance of becoming a hit.
Despite the doubts, when it debuted, “Sleepy Hollow” got such good ratings that it became the highest-rated FOX series premiere for a drama in the fall in six years. FOX made another radical move when it ordered a second season less than three weeks after its premiere episode.
Even more impressive is the fact that “Sleepy Hollow” has achieved its success without the help of a popular lead in show or a famous entertainer at the helm of the action. What has driven the show’s success is its unique blend of horror, humor, and mystery, all portrayed by a likable cast.
Perhaps the biggest reason for “Sleepy Hollow’s” success is the excellent writing. It is no small feat to transport a soldier in the Revolutionary War and compatriot of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson to present day without coming across as ridiculous.
But instead of hampering the flow of the story, Ichabod’s confusion about the new world he finds himself in provides some of the funniest and most insightful dialogue of the show. Rather than mire itself in the demands of feasibility, “Sleepy Hollow” tells a great story without taking itself too seriously.
At the end of a long day at the salt mines we care little about watching the Kardashians in their make believe world, we just want the distraction of being told a good story that entertains us. “Sleepy Hollow” does this, and does it well.
Tonight when the two hour season finale of “Sleepy Hollow” airs at 8 p.m. on FOX, get a good dose of it because season two is a long eight months away.
Also worth noting; Discovery Channel will venture into the land of scripted drama tonight with the six-part miniseries “Klondike.”
For a network that currently airs the reality shows “Moonshiners” and “Dude, You’re Screwed,” it will require quite a leap for Discovery to create an entertaining and accurate portrayal of the historic Yukon Territory gold rush.
Enlisting Scott Paul Scheuring, Ridley Scott and David W. Zucker to write and produce the show is a great start for Discovery, but filming the epic drama on location is the real stroke of genius behind “Klondike.”
Add to the formula a cast that includes Richard Madden, Abbie Cornish, Sam Shepard and Tim Roth, and all the necessary parts for a successful effort are there.
After the huge success of historical dramas like “The Bible” and “The Hatfields and McCoys” last year, expect “Klondike” to pull in some great ratings for Discovery Channel.
With a little luck, “Klondike” will attract enough viewers to prompt the network to steer away from the ridiculous reality shows it now airs and get back to educating and entertaining us.
We can always dream.