SLEEPY HOLLOW: Jenny (guest star Lyndie Greenwood, L), Abbie (Nicole Beharie, C) and Ichabod (Tom Mison, R) search for answers in the "Vessel" episode of SLEEPY HOLLOW airing Monday, Jan. 13 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.

SLEEPY HOLLOW: Jenny ( Lyndie Greenwood, L), Abbie (Nicole Beharie, C) and Ichabod (Tom Mison, R) search for answers in the “Vessel” episode, airdate Monday, Jan. 13 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.

*Nicole Beharie did not see this coming.

The breakout success of her freshman Fox series “Sleepy Hollow” has been a pleasant surprise for the 29-year-old actress, with emphasis on the word, “surprise.”

“Maybe somebody saw it coming, but I didn’t see it coming at all,” Beharie told EURweb at a Fox party in Pasadena earlier this month. “You read the scripts, it’s kind of bizarre. When you look at the cast, it’s not the usual equation for a successful television show. It’s a little strange, unknown people in leading parts…about a random old poem.”

The series is based on Washington Irving’s short story “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” and its tale of the Headless Horseman – the ghost of a soldier who had his head blown off during the Revolutionary War.

In the television show, the Headless Horseman’s decapitator is fellow soldier Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison), who himself is killed in battle, but rises from the dead in present day…in the town of Sleepy Hollow, New York. The Headless Horseman (revealed to be “Death,” one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse) is also suddenly alive in present day Sleepy Hollow, and acting a complete fool.

Beharie plays Abbie Mills, the head of the police force investigating the Headless Horseman and the two occult groups it has unleashed in her city. Ichabod assists with the probe – with his 18th century worldview on race and gender often getting in the way.

Below, Beharie says the premise of the show alone had her believing it might not last past the first season.

“Sleepy Hollow” wrapped its first season on Jan. 20. It was renewed for a second on Oct. 3, just 17 days after its premiere.

Deadline.com is reporting that Lyndie Greenwood, who appeared in 10 of the first season’s 13 episodes as Abbie’s estranged sister Jenny Mills, will be promoted to series regular in season 2.