‘Sleepy Hollow’ Boss Talks ‘Bones’ Crossover: ‘They’re Two Sides of the Same Coin’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Bones Sleepy Hollow Crossover
Courtesy of Fox

On Oct. 29, two of Fox’s quirkiest crime-solving teams will join forces in a one-night crossover event, as “Bones” characters Temperance Brennan (Emily Deschanel) and Seeley Booth (David Boreanaz) come face to face with “Sleepy Hollow’s” Abbie Mills (Nicole Beharie) and Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison). Variety has an exclusive first look at the key art for the unorthodox team-up, which begins at 8 p.m. with the “Bones” hour, “The Resurrection in the Remains,” before “Sleepy Hollow” picks up the baton at 9 p.m. with “Dead Men Tell No Tales.”

Here, “Sleepy Hollow” showrunner Clifton Campbell discusses what the crossover means for the two teams, which kicks off when Ichabod and Abbie visit the Jeffersonian to try and recover some fittingly headless remains from Booth and Brennan.

“That’s the inciting incident that brings their case to our attention; once we get there, things aren’t quite as they seem, which is a theme both in their show and ours in terms of the procedural of it all,” Campbell tells Variety. “Pairing them up together is something that I think our fans and their fans will enjoy seeing as they process the same case together. At a certain point midway, when we pass off from their episode to our episode, the supernatural really kicks in and it’s like looking at two sides of the same coin – you see what we were starting to sense in their hour get on its feet and come to life in our hour, and it requires a reunion of this brand new coupling to take us to the conclusion that we need on our side, and it reveals a lot about both characters.”

Despite the seeming incongruity of both shows — one rooted firmly in reality and one focused on the fantastical — the crossover highlights many similarities between the two teams when the duos pair up with their counterparts on the case, Campbell promises.

Because Brennan and Crane are both scholars of their time and “share a common love of knowledge and a curiosity, it’s interesting to see the two very different versions of that,” Campbell says. “There’s a moment in our hour, once we go back to them for some forensic help, where we really get to break that down … Certainly this isn’t the first time Crane has interacted with somebody who is that high level of intelligence, but the experience and the crystallized emotions Crane has had, being a man out of time, allows him to peel apart a little bit of what Brennan is saying. When she breaks it down in very concrete terms, which is her comfort level, and asks very simple questions about the case, that lets us look into how she really does feel about life and humanity.”

According to Campbell, the experience will also show viewers a rare side of Brennan: “Being in proximity to somebody like Crane and having her brush with someone who is much more poetic in his approach to the concrete lets us see a little glimmer of ‘well, she does have a romantic side’ — it’s just her version of a romantic side.”

As fellow FBI agents, Booth and Abbie’s team-up was a “natural fit,” Campbell says. “Abbie is at the beginning of her career, and Booth, to some extent, is the veteran and much further down range. There’s a real pass-off there, a real mentorship that, without any effort at all, Booth is able to help Abbie on her quest to try and have it all in a world that’s very difficult to begin with. He doesn’t know exactly what’s going on or why they’re poking around at this thing that doesn’t make sense to him at all, but he understands that that’s the nature of being an investigator. And Booth is aware of Abbie’s original mentor, August Corbin (Clancy Brown), that began the whole premise of the show. Because August Corbin was a well-respected, well-regarded lawman to begin with, he’s only too willing to help out a fellow agent and to give her a leg up and let her feel supported.”

Needless to say, we’ll also get to see some hilarious reactions from Brennan’s fellow squints as a result of the crossover: “There’s the fascination from the entire team at the Jeffersonian when a guy walks through the door looking like Crane, so they all have a lot of fun with that, and they all think it’s interesting as hell,” Campbell chuckles.

While Campbell admits that both episodes are “self-contained by design” to allow viewers of both shows to dip into each episodes without feeling lost, he also says, “there’s always that wink to the audience that you never know, something like this could happen again. Now that we’ve established a framework for the compatibility, it’s fun to wonder if something like that might make sense another time.”

The “Bones” and “Sleepy Hollow” crossover event begin at 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 29 on Fox.

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  1. Takin it Easy says:

    It does seem a bit goofy, but it’s a Halloween special for both shows. It doesn’t seem like it will affect the overall plot for either one. I could be wrong! But it seems like a little fun for the holiday. Does it make much sense? No. But it could be fun for a one-off event. We’ll see!

    • wendy2066 says:

      Actually, it has long-term implications for the Bones setting.For one thing, it’s now quite likely that Booth actually use to be the vampire Angel from the fantasy Buffy universe. Someone blogged a good comparison already between Booth and Angel.

  2. srsly says:

    I don’t get it, so this makes magic canon in Bones??? After 10 odd years, okay what the hell

  3. Spider says:

    it’s bad enough that once-intriguing, “Sleepy Hollow”, is starting to tank in the ratings and now this desperate ‘crossover’ idea? I have a bad feeling in my “Bones” about this. I don’t see this idea paying off in no way, shape, or form. I really wouldn’t be surprised if Fox suddenly cancels both shows.

  4. Karen Henley says:

    Bad idea being forced upon both shows by Fox.

  5. Jamie says:

    Am I the only person super bummed about this crossover?? It’s absolutely ridiculous!! Bones is a realistic show, Sleepy Hollow is supernatural. Seriously what’s next, a Once Upon A Time/The Blacklist crossover because that’s the equivalent of Bones/Sleepy Hollow crossin

  6. Kurina says:

    Nooooo! THIS does not fit at all….Sleepy Hollow and Supernatural would make a better crossover! Both are about stopping apocalyptic themes. Bones does not mix with Sleepy Hollow! It just doesn’t! Bones is more scientific….This just messes up both of the shows…..

  7. Andy Austin says:

    The premise just seems ridiculous. Brennan, after all, is a scientist and has had problems with Booths’ religious beliefs in the past. Despite softening her stance because it means a lot to him, she still does not accept it as fact. The supernatural lies in the same trench. I’ll be interested if they can really make this mash-up work and retain credibility of the character. If she starts to believe in the supernatural, the very thing that underpins the show is destroyed.
    Personally, I don’t have any interest in these supernatural shows so it is difficult to see how there would be much of an opportunity to adopt each others audiences, which is, after all, what this is all about.

  8. Seems like the alleged moderation could be more thorough.

    I’m doing my best to try and see this as something other than a “jump the shark” moment. My confidence in this year’s show runners is rather low at the moment, after the shenanigans in the opening episodes.

    Can anyone offer any explanation at all why Booth is reinstated instead of in jail? Yeah, yeah, I know, he was trying to save valuable FBI intelligence but that doesn’t offset triple homocide and grand theft, even, or especially, when it also results in the death of your own family as one of the accomplices.

    Would it have been so horrible for Booth and Brennan to actually experience some personal growth and develop a life outside of the Jeffersonian and the FBI while still managing to consult for one or both of them as required?


  9. Dunstan says:


    More standard issue tv crime crap.

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