Timothy Busfield
Credit: AP

Sleepy Hollow is enlisting a major Founding Father this fall. Ichabod Crane will meet up with Benjamin Franklin in season 2. Fox’s breakout action-thriller has cast The West Wing actor Timothy Busfield to play “the First American” in a recurring role for the show’s sophomore season.

Fans will discover that Crane (Tom Mison) reluctantly apprenticed under Franklin before he awoke in present day upstate New York. “Last season, we created this history between Ichabod and George Washington that talked about this secret war that was part of the American Revolution,” says executive producer Mark Goffman. “This season, we’re continuing that and expanding on it with other characters. Benjamin Franklin is great because we are all familiar with so many of his contributions and now we get to pull back the veil a bit. This man founded the printing press and was responsible for so many [innovations] and now we find out he’s involved in this secret war and that Crane had a relationship with him. I’ve read several biographies of Franklin and we’re teeing off on some of his precociousness and eccentricities.”

Busfield previously worked with Goffman on Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip and says he’s particularly excited to play a person who is so widely known, yet infrequently dramatized in TV and movies. “Not a lot of people have actually played Ben Franklin, and the more I learn about him and read about him, he’s a really fun guy,” Busfield says. “He’s a writer, and I love how that informs his mind.”

Plus, there are other perks. “[Executive producer Ken Olin] said, ‘Eat all the ice cream you want,’ and there’s nothing more fun to hear as an actor,” Busfield says. “I get to play a guy with a potbelly who wears bifocals — finally a part that Michael Fassbender couldn’t play!”

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