The Humor Mill

Why Did Orlando Jones Leave ‘Sleepy Hollow’ and Will He Return?

Posted Dec 14, 2015

Last month, FOX announced that “Sleepy Hollow,” which had its fall finale on Thursday, Nov. 19, and which has been under-performing in terms of ratings, will move to Friday nights at 8pm, when the series returns for the second half of the current season, after the holidays, with all-new episodes starting on Feb. 5.

This is the 3rd time the network has shifted the show’s air date. In its first season, it was a Monday night series, airing after “Gotham”; this season, it was initially moved to Thursday nights, competing directly with “Shonda Rhimes Night” series on ABC (“Scandal” specifically). And now, starting in February of 2016, it’s heading to Friday nights at 8pm.

Friday nights are often where TV shows are sent to die. So I think, with this move, it’s very likely that this will be the last season for “Sleepy Hollow” – unfortunately for the show’s creators, actors, and fans.

Much earlier this year, I shared my surprise when Fox announced in March that it had renewed the series for a third season, given the sharp drop in ratings the series suffered from season 1 to season 2. For example, its season 1 premiere drew over 10 million viewers, while its season 2 premiere episode drew half of that number, at just over 5 million viewers – a 50% drop. And season 2 ratings only got worse as it progressed, leading to its season finale at the end of February, which drew just over 4 million viewers during its time slot.

It was a let-down of a season for fans, if my Twitter feed was any indication, with many decrying what they felt was a pushing-aside of the character played by Nicole Beharie, as she effectively became a supporting character in her own series – at least, that’s what I’ve been told by those who have watched the series religiously. I watched the first half of the first season, but, despite what I felt was a promising first 3 episodes, the series quickly lost its appeal to me, and with so much else competing for my attention, I moved on.

And so did one of the show’s co-stars, Orlando Jones, who left the show at the end of season 2. At the time it was announced, no reasons were given for his exit, but it came after original series showrunner, Mark Goffman, left his position before the announcement of its season 3 renewal (he was been replaced by Clifton Campbell).

Skip ahead to this past weekend, 7 months after leaving the series, Jones addressed his exit for what I believe is the first time publicly, during a video-taped Q&A session with fans who submitted questions via Twitter.

“What led to me leaving was, they changed the show. There is no headless horseman,” Jones says in the video. “When we started on ‘Sleepy Hollow,’ there was a headless horseman, and he had a shotgun. You know how awesome that was?”

He also talked about the demon Moloch, adding that without key villains, “I don’t know who [Captain] Frank Irving [the character he played on the show] would be fighting against,” Jones said.

After a bit more explaining, he said that he didn’t believe the character would be coming back, after a fan asked whether he’ll make a guest appearance in a future episode, although he’d love to make a guest appearance. He just doesn’t see that happening because, “they kinda asked me to leave, so I don’t know why they are acting like I ran off and left,” he added as he laughed.

He did say that the series creators are “awesome guys,’ but ultimately, it’s wasn’t necessarily his decision to leave, and it’s obviously not his decision if he returns to the series or not.

All that may be moot, because, as I’ve already argued, I think this is the show’s last season. If it’s renewed for another season, that will certainly be a shocker!

Jones also shared projects he has coming up, including more of his graphic novel-style action-comedy web series “Tainted Love,” which we featured on this blog in 2013, as well as co-starring in the feature drama, “The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea” (2016).

Source: Shadow & Act

Watch the video Q&A below in full:

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