Fox series “Sleepy Hollow” has undergone a number of changes after Abbie Mills’ (Nicole Beharie) untimely death. The show had to cast a new female lead to replace the deceased lieutenant, and “True Blood” actress Janina Gavankar was enlisted to fill that vacancy.

“This is the third show that I’ve joined as a series regular in the fourth season,” Gavankar told TVLine, “‘The L Word,’ ‘True Blood,’ ‘Sleepy Hollow.’ Bizarre. It’s like, ‘Oh, we’ve got to fill a spot, who are we going to call? Call Janina.’ It’s very strange.”

The 36-year-old American actress is, however, aware that her role as a former Marine-turned-Homeland Security agent named Diana Thomas comes with a whole lot of baggage. Her predecessor was killed much to the chagrin of loyal fans.

Gavankar said, “I’m not an idiot. I’m totally nervous that people are going to hate me. But someone had to take the job, and I was so honored that [‘Sleepy Hollow’] called me in the first place. I wasn’t going to say no.”

Circumstances in the “Sleepy Hollow” Season 4 premiere lead Diana to bump into Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison). Like Abbie, she isn’t buying the fact that there are supernatural creatures on Earth. But in time, she does accept the fact and work with Crane.

Gavankar also revealed that she loves Beharie’s character. “The characters on the show miss Abbie. They are grieving for her loss, as the fans are. By the way, I’ve seen every episode -- I am, too. She’s incredible. She’s part of the fabric of the show.”

“Sleepy Hollow” showrunner Clifton Campbell is excited to see fans’ reaction to Gavankar’s character who is a strong, independent woman. She also values her career.

Much like Abbie and Ichabod, Diana is good at the practical aspects of fighting supernatural creatures. She leaves the academic and theoretic side of their mission to the Englishman.

“Sleepy Hollow” Season 4 premieres on Friday, Jan. 6 at 9 p.m. EST on Fox.