Aug. 1, 2013 at 4:35 PM ET
Like a certain horseman's head, don't get too attached to the cast of "Sleepy Hollow."
"No one is safe," warned producers Thursday at the Television Critics Association's summer press tour in Beverly Hills.
"You're never sure exactly what characters are going to get it," they added, evoking heartbreaking punishers such as "The Walking Dead," "The Following" and "Game of Thrones."
This surprised actor Orlando Jones, who plays Capt. Frank Irving on FOX's new modern-day Ichabod Crane series, which sees the fictional character, who dies in the 1800s, rise again in the present to battle the Headless Horseman.
"We're still reeling from the news that we could die at any point," Jones half-jokingly cracked.
Leads Tom Mison (Ichabod Crane) and Nicole Beharie (Det. Abby Mills), however, can probably count on job security — maybe for seven years!
Noting that "the network has been unbelievably supportive of the show," co-creator and executive producer Alex Kurtzman pointed out FOX refused to pick up "Sleepy Hollow" to series until they knew the long-term game plan.
"They made us do our homework," laughed his show partner Roberto Orci.
That included Bible study.
By following the biblical prophecy of the Great Tribulation, which ultimately "determine(s) whether or not the Apocalypse happens," Kurtzman said, "we will actually get to milk the story over seven years. Abbie and Crane were the two witnesses designated by God to help balance the scales. Each trial they face will be an episode."
Although Crane is intent on rescuing his dead wife from a mysterious netherworld, he will still be very attracted to his mortal partner.
"There will be a 'will they or won't they' (undercurrent to their relationship)," Kurtzman told TODAY.com. "For sure!"
Mison views Ichabod as thinking "he's the only sane person in the room — everyone around him is a maniac. (Abbie) has a similar secret, (and) they have to bond really quickly ... out of necessity, working together for a common aim even though they are 250 years apart."
Spoiler alert: The Headless Horseman is killed off in the premiere — but unlike the mortals' deaths, he'll be sticking around. "He does come back into the series from time to time," said executive producer Len Wiseman. "He still is a man — he isn't just going to be a creature."
The Horseman manages to be quite expressive from the neck down — "you can do a lot with body movements" — but we'll also see his head in flashbacks.
In another "Sleepy Hollow" link to the Bible, "Headless" is one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. "The other Horsemen are going to be just as cool and daunting as this guy," said Wiseman. "Once he gets his head back he's part of that bigger picture."
"Sleepy Hollow" premieres Monday, Sept. 16 on FOX.