The executive producer behind the Fox freshman hit tells TheWrap he’s eyeing a seven-year run
“Sleepy Hollow” has been heating up Fox’s Monday night ratings this fall, and showrunner Mark Goffman does not see that changing anytime soon.
The executive producer spoke to TheWrap on a supposed “off” week when he was shooting, prepping and writing three different episodes of the show. There will be 13 total episodes in Season 1. He just saw the first cut of Monday’s episode 107, which was held for November sweeps due to Fox’s World Series rights. The episode will kick off a new story arc that goes through November, and Goffman says its “fantastic.”
“Fox asked us to pitch out to them our dream scenario where we’d go with the season if we did a 13-episode arc,” he told TheWrap. “So far, we have been able to execute it.”
The network, which has already pulled the trigger on Season 2, is hoping Goffman and co. can continue to execute the success of the show’s initial run. Not only has “Sleepy Hollow” been pulling in strong overnight and same day ratings numbers, it is one of the most-watched multi-platform shows days and weeks after its initial airings. The past three episodes have each doubled their viewership in the Live+30 days measurement.
So if you are not watching the Fox show, you certainly would not be alone in playing catch-up.
Here are 8 interesting things that we learned about the showrunner and his series’ future:
1. Goffman knows how the season ends (and then some)
While not written yet, Goffman said he has “a really good idea” how he wants to end the season. Of course, he would not reveal many details. But he did promise that the current arcs are “gearing up” for the finale. Goffman said he writes every episode as if it were a series or season finale.
Goffman also knows how they are going to start and end the already-ordered second season, and he has some ideas heading into the third, should the show be so fortunate.
2. Seven years may be the magic number
Goffman is fascinated with the concept of seven years throughout history and also discusses the Bible’s seven years of tribulation as a formula for TV drama: “As a pattern, seven years is a good arc to look at,” Goffman told TheWrap.
Even with a seven-year arc, one year may not necessarily equal one season, Goffman pointed out.
3. Monday’s new character, the Sin Eater, is here to stay
“Sleepy Hollow” will introduce a new character Monday Nov. 4, the Sin Eater (John Noble of “Fringe”). A sin eater in mythology is one who ritualistically absorbs the sins of a household through food and drink. He usually comes after a recent death, absolving the soul and allowing that person to rest in peace.
In “Sleepy,” the Sin Eater winds up playing really heavily into the series and into characters’ lives because of his powers, Goffman told TheWrap. We have an exclusive clip below featuring the new character.
4. Goffman is one smart cookie
The man obsessed with mythology, cultures and religions has a masters from Harvard in Government. The path made sense, as Goffman originally planned on being a speechwriter, but instead ended up writing for TV’s “The West Wing.” At the same time that Aaron Sorkin came calling, Goffman was offered a job writing for the State Department — but he elected to stick with the boob tube for one snarky reason. “I chose to write for the fictitious government, so that I could be more truthful,” Goffman quipped.
5. Goffman’s a fan of binge-viewing, but he’d watch “Sleepy” live if he were you
“Sleepy Hollow” was on a break due to the World Series, which Goffman thinks will help bring in new viewers who caught up on demand and through other platforms. That’s what he does with his favorite shows, anyway.
“I will binge-watch shows over a break,” Goffman admitted to TheWrap. “You’ve got that marathon to ramp up to it.”
Still, Goffman believes that “Sleepy Hollow” is appointment TV because it’s an “epic” story. For a man with an impressive vocabulary, Goffman uses “epic” a lot when describing “Sleepy Hollow.”
6. He’s going to kill off some of your favorite characters
“One of the great things about a 13-episode arc is that no character is safe,” Goffman contended. But the great thing about a show like this is characters can die and still return from the dead, the creator was quick to point out.
7. His team wasn’t too bummed about missing Halloween week due to the World Series.
“Every week is Halloween on our show,” Goffman said.
As a matter of fact, Monday’s episode actually contains an “homage” to baseball, he said. And why not? The show deals with American history and the sport is our nation’s pastime.
8. Headless Horseman info is riding into town
Goffman told TheWrap that viewers are going to find out a “really cool connection” between the Headless Horseman and other main characters soon. What exactly that is, you’ll have to just wait and see.
In the meantime, watch an exclusive clip from Monday’s “Sleepy Hollow”: