Could the new ABC series "Once Upon A Time" become the next "LOST"?
The fantasy drama debuts on the Disney-owned television network on Sunday, October 23 and was created and penned by "LOST" screenwriters Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz. "Once Upon A Time" depicts the aftermath of a curse cast by the Evil Queen from "Snow White" and its impact on those inside and outside of her fantasy world.
Warning: Spoiler alert!
Jennifer Morrison from "House M.D." plays Emma Swan, a sassy bail bonds collector who appears to be a modern-day warrior princess - she is the daughter of Snow White, played by "Big Love" star Ginnifer Goodwin, who is no push-over herself. Swan has yet to discover the truth about her past, until the day a boy she gave up for adoption shows up on her doorstep.
"Like 'LOST,' to us, this show is about the characters," Horowitz told OnTheRedCarpet.com host Rachel Smith. "It's really delving into these iconic characters and trying to find how to make them human and really understand them and understand why they are doing the things they are doing in ways that we never hopefully knew before."
"Beneath the surface the show is about fighting for hope amidst the darkness," he said. "These people are cursed and they are looking for ways to better their lives."
"LOST" marked one of ABC's biggest television hits and was a cult favorite, prompting millions of fans to discuss and hypothesize about its mysteries on the Internet each week. The show ended in 2010 after six seasons.
"LOST was such an amazing and unique television to write on that after six years," Kitsis said. "The thing we loved about 'LOST' was every week could be a different show. One week it was a doctor show, one week it was this kind of show. Fairy tales go all over and they really have no boundaries."
Lana Parrilla of "24" fame plays the Evil Queen in "Once Upon A Time," which also features characters such as Rumpelstiltskin, the mysterious imp with a baby obsession, who is played by Scottish actor Robert Carlyle. Giancarlo Esposito from AMC's "Breaking Bad" portrays the Magic Mirror, seen in "Snow White," while Jessy Schram from the TNT show "Falling Skies" plays Cinderella.
"Some of the fun for us in the show is taking these characters and mashing them up together and seeing what happens when Snow White is with Cinderella or what's Pinocchio doing with Jiminy Crickett and Red Riding Hood in the same scene," Horowitz said.
The two said they did not want to retell fairy tales but answer possible questions about them.
"We're much more interested in why 'Grumpy' is grumpy and why Geppetto was so lonely he needed to carve a boy out of wood, as opposed to retelling 'Cinderella,'" Kitsis said. "What's great about these stories is that they work on every level for every age group. We've kind of designed the show in such a way that hopefully it'll appeal to a broad audience."
Kitsis and Horowitz met at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and previously wrote scripts for shows such as "Felicity," which was co-created by "LOST" executive producer J.J. Abrams, as well as for the comic-fantasy series "Birds of Prey" and the teen drama "Popular." Kitsis and Horowitz also helped pen the screenplay for the 2010 film "TRON: Legacy."
Snow White was also the subject of another ABC show - "The Charmings," a comedy series that aired on the network for one season, starting in 1987. The sitcom depicted the lives of the princess, her husband Prince Charming, their children and her stepmother, the Evil Queen, who resides with the family in a house in Southern California's San Fernando Valley in the 20th century.
"Once Upon A Time" airs on Sunday, October 23, at 8 p.m. ET on ABC, which is owned by Disney, the parent company of KABC Television, which produces OnTheRedCarpet.com and its weekly television show "On The Red Carpet."
Reporting by Rachel Smith, co-host of "On The Red Carpet" (check for local TV listings).
Check out a teaser video for "Once Upon A Time" below.