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Sleepy Hollow - Season 3 Finale - Post Mortems on [Spoilers] Exit

The executive producers, studio, and network released this statement to EW:

“The finale featuring the tragic death of Abbie Mills was a very dramatic ending and a bold move for the show, but Sleepy Hollow has always been known for its shocking finales. We feel we provided a wonderfully poignant conclusion for Abbie and showed some of the best moments between the Witnesses that we’ve seen on-screen. We thank Nicole Beharie for bringing Abbie and Sleepy Hollow to life. We are currently discussing season 4, and should the series be picked up for another season, we have some exciting scenarios and new avenues we want to explore.”

The character's death marked the exclamation point in a season that featured Abbie and Icahbod Crane (Tom Mison) teaming to defeat big bads Pandora (Shannyn Sossamon) and The Hidden One (Peter Mensah). Abbie ultimately went out a hero as she sacrificed her soul — and her life — in a bid to finally bring down Pandora. The finale came after Abbie was nearly killed off earlier this season when her soul was taken to the catacombs — an alternate realm between life and death. Unlike earlier this season, Ichabod was ultimately unable to rescue her this time after Headless returns and confirms that there is no bringing Abbie back after Pandora's death.

For her part, Beharie has been a key part of Sleepy Hollow's success. Many attributed the show's first-season hit status to the chemistry between Beharie and lead Mison. Sources tell THR that Beharie had been unhappy and was actively trying to exit the series for quite some time. The character, sources say, was originally supposed to be killed off during the midseason finale but insiders are said to have gotten cold feet.

News that Beharie will not be returning to the series comes as the Fox drama remains on the bubble as it awaits news on a potential fourth season. Sources tell THR that talks are underway to renew Sleepy Hollow, which is produced in-house by 20th Century Fox Television with the studio already poised to turn a profit on the series. A renewal — which sources say is highly likely — comes as Fox is facing a sizable hole on its 2016-17 schedule without juggernaut American Idol. Sources say Mison is in the midst of renegotiating his contract for season four after the actor successfully negotiated a reduced workload in season three. (Sources stress there has been no talk for a potential fourth season to be Sleepy Hollow's last.)

TVLINE | So is Nicole Beharie no longer with the show?
Nicole Beharie as Abbie Mills is no longer with the show. The character is dead. But we’ve had a terrific run with her. She’s been an absolute delight. She helped build out the mythology of the show, and we’ve had a tremendous run with her. The character is gone and, like I said, in Sleepy Hollow it’s always surprising to see how the reflections of one character or another can influence the show moving forward.