Sleepy Hollow A Diamond In The Rough For Fox & Already More Successful Than Scandal

by on September 27, 2013

blacktvshowssleepyhollowandscandalThere is no debating  that the debut of Sleepy Hollow  has been incredible success for Fox! Nicole Beharie’s new TV show is already breaking records. The show is now the highest-rated fall drama to premiere among Adults 18-49 in the past 12 years on the Fox network (Futon Critic).

Its debut episode earned more viewers than any single episode of the Kerry Washington led drama Scandal has ever had over its entire first two seasons!

By now you are probably wondering exactly how many people are watching Sleepy Hollow. The show made a grand debut to 10.1 million viewers on September 16th when it aired its first episode. When digital downloads and DVR views were counted, it was determined a total of 13.3 viewers had tuned in to the series premiere. (NYTimes)  This week it was announced that it retained 90% of its viewership.

So how do these numbers compare to Scandal which also features a Black leading female? Kerry Washington’s series set its own personal record in its May 2013 finale which garnered 9.12 million viewers (Wikipedia). This is nothing to scoff at. This is an upward climb from the series debut. Nonetheless, Beharie’s show earned a higher view count than Scandal.


Fears that the Sleepy Hollow plot, which involves a small town police department fighting the four horseman of the apocalypse, was too silly, or that viewers cannot relate to a Black female as a central character no longer a concern.

Shows with supernatural elements have done extremely well on network television in the past. Consider the cult classic Buffy The Vampire Slayer, or the more recent Supernatural, which is currently in its 9th season.

If any team can pull off a wacky plot, its this show’s team of executive producers which includes Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci. This duo two have a knack for fun-filled adventure plots. They are the writers who revived Star Trek in the 2009 and 2013 motion pictures, as well as the recent 3 Transformers films.

The fear that viewers can’t or won’t relate to a Black female character, which is supported by evidence, is one TV networks are beginning to conquer. This fear no doubt will remain valid if networks don’t give Black actresses a chance. But the opportunities given to Kerry Washington (Scandal) and Meagan Good (Deception) and now Nicole Beharie are setting the stage.

In fact, I actually thought Beharie, who plays Lieutenant Abbie Mills in Sleepy Hollow, is far easier to relate to than her co-star Tom  Mison.  For starters, her character is from this century.  That sure helps. Beyond that, she keeps the show grounded with her level-headed demeanor.  Mison’s comical moments as Ichabod Crane are balanced by her stoicism.

The Monday night prime time slot on Fox has put the show in a very good position to do well. But the time slot isn’t the reason for the shows success. Sleepy Hollow has made full use of this privilege and has the ratings show it.

The show airs Monday’s at 9/8c pm as and repeats at the same time on Friday nights. If you haven’t viewed it yet, give it a shot. If you have, post your opinion on the first two episodes below.

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  • Fanci Pants

    Just wanted to point out that Monday night is not known for competitive television programs. For years Monday night has had BORING tv. So it is easier for Sleepy Hollow
    to have better ratings than Scandal. Thursday night is known as having more competitive programs so that should have been taken into account in your assessment. However, I do love both programs.

    • http://www.blallywood.com/author/anya87/ Anya Rahming

      Okay that’s a good point. I wasn’t aware Monday was not known for competitive television. I remember it being a good night back in the day. This could definitely have helped get the show renewed for a second season.