Fox’s SLEEPY HOLLOW returns for its second season Monday, September 22, at 8 PM. The resumption of the series created by Phillip Iscove and executive producers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman can’t come soon enough for viewers who saw Season 1 end with multiple cliffhangers. Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison), a Revolutionary War soldier who woke up in present-day upstate New York, was trapped in a coffin; his good friend and fellow Witness to the Apocalypse police lieutenant Abbie Mills (Nicole Beharie) was stuck in Purgatory; Ichabod’s wife Katrina (Katia Winter) was kidnapped by the Headless Horseman; Ichabod and Katrina’s son Jeremy (John Noble) turned out to be the Horseman of War. Furthermore, police captain Frank Irving (Orlando Jones) went to jail for a murder actually committed by his young daughter while she was possessed. These people are in deep trouble.
SLEEPY HOLLOW show runner Mark Goffman and his fellow executive producer Heather Kadin are on the red carpet for a Paley Fest event. Like all good spoiler-phobes, the two avoid revealing how our heroes are going to extricate themselves from their respective dire straits, but still talk about HOLLOW highlights.
ASSIGNMENT X: What is the division of responsibility on the show? What are your specific functions as executive producers?
HEATHER KADIN: Well, I don’t write [laughs].
MARK GOFFMAN: I solicit their [Kurtzman, Orci, Kadin and directing executive producer Len Wiseman] advice as much as humanly possible, because those people are geniuses, and it’s a lot of fun, but I run the writers’ room and I’m the show runner, so it’s my job to work with all the writers and the producers [headquartered in Los Angeles] and the crew in North Carolina [where the series is shot], and then get creative input from all the executive producers. I mean, there are – the show is so good because we have Bob and Alex and Heather and Len, who are just the best, most incredible people to work with, who help with every episode, from concept through post-production.
KADIN: And Mark really oversees and supervises and drives the creative vision of the show entirely. [to Goffman] You’re undermining what you’re doing. You barely slept the whole season, and that’s how you got such amazing material. And then for me, I definitely create in the room, helping with ideas. But also, I’m doing all this stuff that no one else has time to do, like dealing with the wig issue that comes up, or the publicity things, or the other stuff.
AX: Were you surprised by the following that SLEEPY HOLLOW has developed?
GOFFMAN: You know, it’s funny. My agent called me the night before it premiered. He said, “Listen, the town’s kind of divided. Some people think this is going to be huge and phenomenal and there’s been a ton of publicity and press around it, and there’s a lot of excitement for the pilot. Some people think it’s ridiculous and it’s going to be off in two episodes. But don’t worry. We’re really proud of you either way.” [laughs] So literally, that was twenty-four hours before we aired the premiere, so I don’t think anybody really knew [the series would gain ardent fans]. But it’s incredibly gratifying to see it both be so well-received and embraced.
KADIN: And the fans are incredible. I’ve never experienced anything like it. The fan art that they do – actually, someone in my office put together a coffee table book of all the fan art. It’s on my coffee table at work. It’s amazing. First of all, that they take the time – that they’re so artistically talented, but they’re so dedicated to this show. It’s unbelievable.
AX: When you cast John Noble as a character who initially seems like a helpful psychic, did you know that he would turn out to be Ichabod and Katrina’s son?
GOFFMAN: Oh, yes. That was something we knew early, that he was going to be – we wanted Crane’s son to be older than him, and that was from the beginning. The question was, when were we going to introduce that?
AX: Have there been moments in the writers’ room where you’ve thought, “This could be a standout scene”?
GOFFMAN: I kid you not, the great thing about that show is, that happens about once a day. It really does. It’s so much fun, because all of our characters are so rich and all of our characters are so incredible . There are a lot of them, but I remember the first time contemplating, “How are Ichabod Crane and Abby going to interrogate a Headless Horseman?”
KADIN: I was going to bring that up, too.
GOFFMAN: “What is that going to look like?” And we spent a little while. But I knew it was going to be cool [laughs].
KADIN: That episode [was] the big point of contention between us, the studio and the network, because it was the biggest swing we took, as far as, “Are you buying that?” And we were just like, “Trust us, trust us.” But we would talk internally, like, “This could go really wrong.” And there was a version where it didn’t work, and actually, Mark and I, we switched off, we were covering the set during that, and [on seeing the final version] me calling him, “It’s bonkers, but it’s great.”
GOFFMAN: When we first pitched out the whole season arc to the network, we talked about how the Horseman should be prominent early in the season, to establish what he means, and then go underground for a little while, and establish that the show is about something bigger, and then right in the middle of the season, do a run in the middle of the season where the Horseman reemerges and we see just how powerful he is, and then again, he goes underground until the end of Season 1, when he comes back. I think everyone agreed that it was the right placement [within the season for the Horseman’s interrogation]. It was much more about, “What does it look like?”
KADIN: What does it look like and also, does it take away, somehow, the power of the Horseman? If you’re able to chain him up, if he’s able to speak … once [the creative team] came up with the idea, John Cho’s character [Deputy Andy Brooks] is going to speak for him, that was brilliant.
GOFFMAN: I have to admit, [that solution] was Bob and Alex together.
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Article:Interview with SLEEPY HOLLOW Executive Producers Mark Goffman and Heather Kadin on Season 2