Fox picks up ‘Sleepy Hollow,’ film location unclear

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 9, 2013

SALISBURY — Fox has picked up “Sleepy Hollow,” but will the Headless Horseman return to haunt downtown Salisbury this summer or will 20th Century Fox film the TV series somewhere else?
Although downtown Salisbury was depicted as the town of Sleepy Hollow in the pilot, it’s not clear yet whether the studio will return this summer to film the series.
Filming will resume in July, but it will take several weeks to determine locations and schedules, a spokesman for 20th Century Fox said Wednesday night.
The studio has been looking for alternate filming locations across the country, a city official said earlier this week.
Fox has ordered four new shows, including the supernatural thriller based on the legend of Ichabod Crane that takes place in modern times.
A 12-block area of downtown Salisbury was shut down for five nights in March for filming, causing excitement and making money for some local businesses like the Holiday Inn, but causing frustration and a loss of revenue for others, like downtown restaurants.
Bob Lambrecht, who owns Critters Gifts, said he doesn’t know a single downtown retailer who benefitted from “Sleepy Hollow.”
But Rose Meeks Jones, who owns a downtown wine shop and cafe, said people need to stop being negative.
To complicate matters, the N.C. General Assembly may consider doing away with tax credits that have made North Carolina such an appealing film location.
Studios that spend more than $250,000 qualify for a 25 percent refundable tax credit. Twentieth Century Fox spent $8 million in the Charlotte region filming the ambitious “Sleepy Hollow” pilot.
House Bill 994 would eliminate that tax credit.
Film leaders oppose the legislation, saying it would effectively gut the state’s film and television industry. Robert Van Geons, executive director of RowanWorks Economic Development Commission, said he thinks the tax credit will remain in place.
Fox on Wednesday also ordered “Rake,” “Gang Related” and “Almost Human.” predicted that “Sleepy Hollow” star Tom Mison “is poised to be one of the breakout stars next season.”
Big names attached to “Sleepy Hollow,” including director Len Wiseman and co-creators Alex Kurtzman and Bob Orci, helped the pilot earn a spot in the fall lineup.

Contact reporter Emily Ford at 704-797-4264.