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December 22, 2014

OnceUponATime

Fall TV: A Mid-Season Report

by Stephanie Earp, posted Nov 1st 2011 11:47AM


It's always tempting at this time of year to look for patterns where perhaps none exist. With four confirmed cancellations ('Charlie's Angels,' 'The Playboy Club,' 'How to be a Gentleman' and 'Free Agents') and several on-the-bubble new shows ('Pan Am,' 'Prime Suspect,' 'Body of Proof'), the only real theme (besides being awful) is a tendency to take themselves too seriously. I do take some satisfaction from seeing all the nostalgia shows die an early death. Apparently the one thing 'The Playboy Club' team didn't look up about 'Mad Men' were the ratings -- a couple million viewers. It was also the only thing they were able to duplicate.

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The Evil Queen Battles Malifecent For the Curse on 'Once Upon a Time' (VIDEO)

by Jason Hughes, posted Oct 31st 2011 7:15AM
'Once Upon a Time' - 'The Thing You Love Most'Last week saw the Evil Queen unleash her curse upon the Enchanted Forest on 'Once Upon a Time' (Sun., 8PM ET on ABC). This time around, we took a step back from the black cloud to see what lengths she went to in order to be able to cast such a powerful and all-encompassing curse.

First, she had to re-acquire it from Maleficent, from 'Sleeping Beauty.' Cleverly, they said that the apple that enchanted Snow White to sleep was a faulty spell concocted by Maleficent, based on the spell she put over the entire kingdom in her fairy tale.

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Prince Charming Saves Baby Emma From the Curse on 'Once Upon a Time' (VIDEO)

by Jason Hughes, posted Oct 24th 2011 2:45AM
'Once Upon a Time' - 'Pilot'The Alphabet fired the first volley in the great 2011 war of the fairy tales with the premiere of 'Once Upon a Time' (Sun., 8PM ET on ABC). The Peacock returns fire with 'Grimm' this Friday, though at first glance the two series look to be very different.

Framed much like a fairy tale itself, 'Time' sees the fairy tale characters trapped in Storybrook, Maine. There time stands still thanks to a curse from the Evil Queen (Lana Parrilla), who herself fell victim to the curse. That appears to be part of her plan, though. That said, it's unclear if the "human" Queen, who is the mayor of Storybrook, knows the truth or not.

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Review: 'Once Upon a Time's' Admirable Attempt to Bring Magic to Primetime

by Maureen Ryan, posted Oct 21st 2011 2:45PM
There's an earnestness to 'Once Upon a Time' (8PM ET Sunday, ABC) and while I find that quality winning, I can see how some people might be put off by not just the show's sincerity but its fanciful premise.

TV's finest dramas tend to feature modern (or modern-seeming) characters of ambiguous morality who often give in to their worst impulses. There's really not a Prince Charming in the bunch, but one of the leads of 'Once Upon a Time' is the actual Prince Charming. He's not what you'd call edgy.

In some ways, though, 'Once Upon a Time's' square-ish optimism is what sets it apart from everything else on television at the moment. Well, that, and the fact that half of it is set in a universe populated by fairy tale characters such as the Evil Queen, Snow White and Jiminy Cricket.

Toto, we're not in regular primetime any more. And that alone is reason to give this show a shot.

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'Once Upon a Time' Creators on How Their New Show Is and Isn't Like 'Lost,' Plus a Video Preview

by Maureen Ryan, posted Oct 20th 2011 2:45PM
Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz joined the 'Lost' writing staff midway through season 1 and stayed with the landmark ABC drama until it ended in 2010. Along the way, they penned island favorites like 'Tricia Tanaka Is Dead' and 'Everybody Hates Hugo,' just a couple of their many Hurley-centric outings (and with the Nikki and Paulo kiss-off 'Expose,' they helped win back many wavering fans during the dark days of season 3).

Once the show wrapped for good, they knew what they didn't want to do. "We weren't going to write the cheesy [procedural, i.e.], 'Young D.A. balancing her life and work, here is the case of the week,'" Kitsis said in an interview in the pair's Los Angeles office two months ago. "We don't think that way."

Instead of going that route, they revisited a fairy-tale script that they had first shopped around many years earlier, way back when they were staff writers on 'Felicity.' Nobody wanted it then, but ABC eagerly bought their revised pitch for 'Once Upon a Time,' which premieres 8PM ET Sunday, despite the fact that, as Horowitz joked, the pilot script is a compendium of elements that often make network executives freak out.

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Talking TV Podcast Elects 'Boss,' 'The Walking Dead' and 'Once Upon a Time'

by Maureen Ryan, posted Oct 19th 2011 4:00PM
For this week's podcast, we had a special guest for the last segment. Alyssa Rosenberg, a former political reporter who writes about TV and pop culture for Think Progress and The Atlantic, joined Ryan McGee and myself for our discussion of 'Boss,' the new political drama starring Kelsey Grammar (my review of the show is here).

Before we got to 'Boss,' Ryan and I discussed 'The Walking Dead's' new season and its boffo ratings, and we also gabbed about the new ABC drama 'Once Upon a Time,' which premieres Sunday.

Running times are below.

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EXCLUSIVE: Paula Marshall to Work Her Magic on 'Once Upon a Time'

by Maureen Ryan, posted Jul 27th 2011 9:05PM
Paula Marshall has been cast as a "badass" character on 'Once Upon a Time,' the upcoming fairy tale drama from former 'Lost' executive producers Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz.

Marshall, a busy actress who has appeared in everything from 'Cupid' to 'Californication,' will play Malificent, the nemesis of Sleeping Beauty. "She's a badass and she's also the rival" of Lana Parrilla's evil queen character, Kitsis said.

Starring Ginnifer Goodwin, Jennifer Morrison, Robert Carlyle, Josh Dallas and Parrilla, Giancarlo Esposito of 'Breaking Bad' will also appear in the recurring role of the Magic Mirror in 'Once', as TV Line reported earlier this month.

UPDATE: ABC has confirmed that 'Vampire Diaries' and 'Alias' actor David Anders will play a doctor in an upcoming episode of 'Once Upon a Time.'

I spoke to Kitsis and Horowitz at length in their 'Once' office (where I admired the 'Lost' posters you see below), and I'll publish the majority of that interview closer to the show's Oct. 23 premiere date. But I can't resist sharing a little of what they had to say about the show's central concept, which features characters in a fairy tale kingdom where the evil queen is up to no good, and characters in a modern-day town where things are stranger than they first appear.

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