‘Sleepy Hollow’ premieres Monday night on Fox

SALISBURY — Salisbury, are you ready for your close-up?

“Sleepy Hollow,” the supernatural thriller based on Washington Irving’s classic tale, premieres at 9 p.m. Monday on Fox with downtown Salisbury as a backdrop for some of the action.

Crews filmed here in March, transforming the front lawn of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church into a Revolutionary War cemetery where Ichabod Crane awakens from the dead and does battle with the Headless Horseman.

The Bell Tower, Confederate monument, East Innes Street and other downtown locations hosted car chases, gun battles, pyrotechnics and more that appear in the ambitious $8 million pilot.

Reviews have been mixed. Brian Lowry, TV columnist for Variety, said the hour-long show is “filled with mythological mumbo-jumbo — and, lacking a head, could use some legs.”

But David Wiegand, television critic for the San Francisco Chronicle, encouraged viewers to suspend disbelief “because the illogical hodgepodge of myth premiering Monday night is great fun.”

In this modern-day retelling, Ichabod Crane, played by British actor Tom Mison, is resurrected and pulled two and a half centuries through time to unravel a mystery that dates all the way back to the founding fathers.

Revived alongside Ichabod is the infamous Headless Horseman, who is on a murderous rampage in present-day Sleepy Hollow. Bound to the Headless Horseman by a blood spell cast on the battlefield of the American Revolution, Ichabod realizes that stopping the villain is just the beginning, as the resurrected rider is but the first of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

Although the pilot was based in Salisbury, 20th Century Fox located the TV series in Wilmington to save time and money, a film official said. It’s possible crews could return to Salisbury to shoot scenes for the 12-episode series.

Contact reporter Emily Ford at 704-797-4264.

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