Pilot preview: 'Fringe' creators visit 'Sleepy Hollow' at FOX

roberto-orci-alex-kurtzman-sleepy-hollow-pilot-preview-gi.jpg In less than a month, the broadcast networks will be announcing which new series they're picking up for the 2013-14 season. Zap2it can't wait for that, though, so this week we're doing a series of pilot previews.

In addition to this gallery of 22 shows we hope the networks order to series, we're also going to take a closer look at pilot scripts from each of the networks. While a lot can change between now and a series premiere, and these are by no means full reviews, we hope to offer some insight at some of the projects the networks are considering this spring.


Ichabod Crane makes his way to modern day -- and the small screen -- in "Sleepy Hollow," a FOX pilot from Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, the brilliant minds behind the dearly-departed "Fringe."

What it's about: Ichabod Crane wakes up over 200 years in the future, in our present day, and teams up with Abbie Archer, Sleepy Hollow's local female detective, to investigate the strange events in town, while unraveling each mystery's connection to the battle between good and evil that has ravaged the town.
 
Who's in it: Tom Mison ("Parade's End") as Ichabod; Nicole Beharie ("The Good Wife") as Abbie; Katia Winter ("Dexter") as Katrina Crane, Ichabod's wife; Orlando Jones ("MADtv") as Frank Williams, Abbie's lieutenant; guest-starring John Cho ("Go On") as Andy Dunn, Abbie's friend and fellow police officer.
 
Who's behind it: Orci and Kurtzman, who also created CBS' "Hawaii Five-0," serve as creators and executive producers. Len Wiseman ("Underworld") also serves as executive producer, as well as director of the pilot.
 
Pros and cons: On the page, the pilot presents an exciting new take on a classic story. The how and why of Ichabod making his way to present day is part of a mythology that doesn't seem so dense as to turn away viewers. It doesn't hurt that Kurtzman and Orci have plenty of experience juggling episodic mysteries with an overarching story from their five season with "Fringe."

Mison and Beharie aren't exactly established talent, so it's hard to say whether the two will handle the lead roles well, but the diversity in the pilot cast overall should be admired. (Beharie and Jones, both playing law enforcement, are African-American.)

The script is developed exceptionally well, with a couple of wicked reveals in the final two acts that are sure to keep viewers hooked, initially. Whether Kurtzman and Orci can keep that up remains to be seen. Hopefully, we'll get the chance.

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