‘Sleepy Hollow’ trailer features Salisbury scenes

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 14, 2013

SALISBURY¬†— Salisbury is ready for its close-up.

Promotional photos and the trailer for “Sleepy Hollow” feature downtown Salisbury landmarks, and Fox has given the new supernatural TV show a prime spot in primetime.

Nine o’clock Monday nights will become appointment television for fans of “Sleepy Hollow,” the fantasy series that will launch in September with a pilot filmed extensively in Salisbury.

St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Bell Tower Park, the Square and other Salisbury backdrops make the “Sleepy Hollow” promotions spooky and mysterious.

Ichabod Crane, played by British actor Tom Mison, is resurrected from the dead in St. Luke’s front yard. A priest faces the villainous Headless Horseman next to the Bell Tower.

Police cars race through downtown Salisbury streets.

“Sleepy Hollow” landed at 9 p.m. Mondays, once Fox’s best hours for scripted TV, Newsday.com reported, calling the show the “big winner” in Fox’s fall lineup. Encores will air on Friday nights.

Just-released promotional photos for the fantasy series show the four lead actors in front of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Salisbury, with the Headless Horseman fast approaching on his white steed.

Twentieth Century Fox transformed much of downtown Salisbury into the town of Sleepy Hollow for the pilot, but it’s not clear yet where the studio will film the series.

If 20th Century Fox chooses Salisbury as a location, film crews will return this summer.

Salisbury was one of several North Carolina cities used to shoot the pilot this spring, and the studio has been looking nationwide for locations to film the series, a city official said.

Some downtown restaurant owners said they lost thousands of dollars when the city shut down a nearly 12-block area for five nights of filming. Some downtown retailers said their businesses also suffered.

The city charged the studio less than $30, for using water.

But other businesses did well, including the Holiday Inn, where most of the cast and crew stayed. The city and county benefitted, as each levies a 3 percent hotel room tax.

St. Luke’s and First Presbyterian Church, which owns Bell Tower Park, negotiated significant donations from the studio, and many local residents worked as extras on the pilot.

Proponents say if “Sleepy Hollow” returns to Salisbury, it would bring jobs and tourists with it.

“Sleepy Hollow” was created by Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, whose best-known credit is “Lost.”

In this modern-day retelling of Washington Irving’s classic, Ichabod Crane is resurrected and pulled two and a half centuries through time to find that the world is on the brink of destruction and that he is humanity’s last hope, forcing him to team up with a contemporary police officer to unravel a mystery that dates back to the founding fathers.

Contact reporter Emily Ford at 704-797-4264.