Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz Preview Once Upon A Time

The phrase “Once upon a time…” is a staple of most every childhood, but ABC is hoping that it can also become a staple of their Sunday night lineup. At 8pm tonight, the network will unveil Once Upon a Time, a drama from former Lost scribes Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz. Last weekend, the duo took the stage at New York Comic Con to discuss the pilot, its genesis, and their plans for the series as a whole.

In 2001, as Kitsis and Horowitz were wrapping up a stint on The WB series Felicity, they took a rough version of Once out to most broadcast networks, where it was met with a universal “no.” In retrospect, Kitsis says he isn’t surprised. “We were two unknowns pitching [a show with] dwarves, fairies, children and a dog.” But, after their career making turn on Lost and a gig writing Disney’s Tron Legacy, the duo have returned to Once Upon a Time.

Split between two universes, Once tells the story of Emma Swan (Jennifer Morrison), a lonely bail-bondsman from Boston who gets whisked away to Storybrooke, Maine by Henry Mills (Jared Gilmore), a ten year-old boy claiming to be the son she gave up for adoption. Henry believes Emma is the key to reversing a longstanding curse placed on all of the characters of fairytale lore, which only he seems to know about. This includes Snow White (Ginnifer Goodwin), Price Charming (Josh Dallas), and Rumplestiltskin (Robert Carlyle), among others. Said Horowitz, “If Lost was about redemption, Once Upon a Time is about hope.” Added Kitsis “Disney’s Snow White was released in 1937, at the height of the Great Depression. People turn to fairytales during uncertain times, hence the influx of fairytale films currently in development.”

In the pilot, the modern day story is juxtaposed with the birth of Snow White and Prince Charming’s first child and the Evil Queen’s nefarious plot to curse the rest of Far Far Away. Subsequent episodes, however, will be told in a centric format similar to Lost, allowing the audience to learn more about the comings and goings of Far Far Away before the Evil Queen warped reality. For example, episode 3 will explore how Snow White and Prince Charming met and episode 5 will reveal how Jiminy became a cricket.

Kitsis and Horowitz also have plans to bring some of Disney’s exclusive characters into the fold, as the season goes on. Over the summer, the pair met with Disney’s brand management team to discuss who was and was not available for the show. And, while they played coy when asked exactly who we could expect to see, they did confirm that Maleficent (Kristin Bauer van Straten) will turn up in episode 2.

Watch ABC’s behind the scenes look at Once Upon a Time down below, and make sure to tune in tonight at 8pm for the premiere.




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