Once Upon a Time (TV series)
|Once Upon a Time|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||5|
|No. of episodes||99 (list of episodes)|
|Location(s)||Steveston, British Columbia
Vancouver, British Columbia
|Running time||43 minutes|
|Distributor||Disney–ABC Domestic Television|
|Picture format||720p (16:9 HDTV)|
|Audio format||Dolby Digital 5.1|
|Original release||October 23, 2011– present|
|Related shows||Once Upon a Time in Wonderland|
Once Upon a Time is an American fairy tale dramatic series that premiered on October 23, 2011, on ABC. The show takes place in the fictional seaside town of Storybrooke, Maine, whose residents are characters from various fairy tales transported to the "real world" town and robbed of their real memories by a powerful curse. Episodes typically feature a primary storyline in Storybrooke, as well as a secondary storyline from another point in a character's life before the curse was enacted. The show airs Sundays at 8:00 pm ET/7:00 pm CT.
It borrows elements and characters from Disney films, including Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio, Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, Sleeping Beauty, 101 Dalmatians, The Sword in the Stone, Robin Hood, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Hercules, Mulan, Tangled, Brave, Oz the Great and Powerful, and Frozen.
Once Upon a Time was created by Lost and Tron: Legacy writers Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz. The series was renewed for a fifth season in May 2015. A spin-off series, Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, consisting of 13 episodes, premiered on October 10, 2013, and concluded on April 3, 2014.
- 1 Series overview
- 2 Episodes
- 3 Cast and characters
- 4 Development and production
- 5 Broadcast
- 6 Reception
- 7 Tie-in material
- 8 Spin-off
- 9 See also
- 10 References
- 11 External links
The series takes place in the fictional seaside town of Storybrooke, Maine, in which the residents are actually characters from various fairy tales and other stories that were transported to the "real world" town and robbed of their original memories by the Evil Queen Regina (Lana Parrilla), using a powerful curse obtained from Rumplestiltskin (Robert Carlyle). The residents of Storybrooke, where Regina is mayor, have lived an unchanging existence for 28 years, unaware of their own lack of aging. The town's only hope lies with a bounty hunter named Emma Swan (Jennifer Morrison), the daughter of Snow White (Ginnifer Goodwin) and Prince Charming (Josh Dallas), who was transported from the Enchanted Forest to our world as an infant before she could be cursed. As such, she is the only person who can break the curse and restore the characters' lost memories. She is aided by her son, Henry (Jared S. Gilmore), with whom she has recently reunited after giving him up for adoption upon his birth, and his Once Upon a Time book of fairy tales that holds the key to breaking the curse. Henry is also the adopted son of Regina, providing a source of both conflict and common interest between the two women.
Episodes usually have one segment that details the characters' past lives that, when serialized, adds a piece to the puzzle about the characters and their connection to the events that preceded the curse and its consequences. The other, set in the present day, follows a similar pattern with a different outcome but also offers similar insights.
Season 1 (2011–12)
The first season of Once Upon a Time premiered on October 23, 2011. The season begins with the Evil Queen interrupting the wedding of Snow White and Prince Charming to announce that she will cast a curse on everyone that will leave her with the only happy ending. The majority of the fairy tale characters are transported to the town of Storybrooke, Maine, where they have been stripped of their actual memories and identities as fairy tale characters. On her 28th birthday, Emma, the daughter of Snow White and Prince Charming, is brought to Storybrooke by her biological son Henry Mills in the hopes of breaking the curse cast by his adoptive mother, the Evil Queen Regina.
Season 2 (2012–13)
The second season premiered on September 30, 2012. Despite Emma having broken the curse, the characters are not returned to the fairy tale world, and must deal with their own dual identities. With the introduction of magic into Storybrooke by Mr. Gold, the fates of the two worlds become intertwined, and new threats emerge in the form of Captain Hook (Colin O'Donoghue), Regina's mother Cora (Barbara Hershey), also known as the Queen of Hearts, and sinister operatives from our world with an agenda to destroy magic.
Season 3 (2013–14)
The third season premiered on September 29, 2013. It was split into two volumes, with the first eleven episodes running from September to December 2013, and the latter half from March to May 2014. In the first volume, the main characters travel to Neverland to rescue Henry, who has been kidnapped by Peter Pan (Robbie Kay) as part of a plan to obtain the "Heart of the Truest Believer" from him. Their increasing power struggle with Pan continues in Storybrooke, which ultimately results in the complete reversal of the original curse. All the characters are returned to their original worlds, leaving Emma and Henry to escape to New York City. In the second volume, the characters are mysteriously brought back to a recreated Storybrooke with their memories of the previous year removed, and the envious Wicked Witch of the West (Rebecca Mader) from the Land of Oz appears with a plan to change the past. Once again, Emma is needed to save her family.
Season 4 (2014–15)
The fourth season premiered on September 28, 2014. A new storyline incorporating elements from Frozen was revealed when the time travel events of the previous season lead to the accidental arrival of Elsa (Georgina Haig) from the Enchanted Forest of the past to present-day Storybrooke. As she searches for her sister Anna (Elizabeth Lail) with the aid of the main characters, they encounter the Snow Queen (Elizabeth Mitchell) in Storybrooke. Meanwhile, Regina seeks the Author of Henry's Once Upon a Time book so that she can finally have her happy ending. However, Mr. Gold, with the help of Cruella De Vil (Victoria Smurfit), Maleficent (Kristin Bauer van Straten) and Ursula (Merrin Dungey), has his own plan to rewrite the rules governing the fates of all heroes and villains. Henry and Emma race to restore reality and the truth before the twisted inversion becomes permanent. However, the price leads to the ultimate sacrifice.
Season 5 (2015)
The fifth season was announced on May 7, 2015, and premiered on September 27, 2015. The characters embark on a quest to Camelot to find the Sorcerer Merlin (Elliot Knight) in order to free Emma from the powers of an ancient darkness that threatens to destroy everything. To complicate matters, King Arthur (Liam Garrigan) is determined to forever alter the balance between light and darkness using the legendary Excalibur. As history and destiny collide, unsuspected consequences lead the characters to the Underworld where they must face Hades (Greg Germann).
|Season||Episodes||Originally aired||Nielsen ratings|
|First aired||Last aired||Viewers
|1||22||October 23, 2011||May 13, 2012||11.71||28||4.1/10||18|
|2||22||September 30, 2012||May 12, 2013||10.24||35||3.6/9||18|
|3||22||September 29, 2013||May 11, 2014||9.38||35||3.3/8||12|
|4||22||September 28, 2014||May 10, 2015||8.98||50||3.2/7||17|
|5||23||September 27, 2015||May 15, 2016||6.32||69||2.2||34|
Once Upon a Time's first season received "generally favorable" reviews from critics. Metacritic gave it a score of 66 out of 100 based on 26 reviews. The pilot episode was watched by 12.93 million viewers and achieved an adult 18–49 rating/share of 4.0/10. The second season premiered on September 30, 2012, to an audience of 11.36 million viewers, while the third season began on September 29, 2013, opening to 8.52 million viewers. In May 2014, ABC renewed the show for its fourth season, premiering in September 2014 to an audience of 9.47 million viewers. The series was renewed for a fifth season in May 2015.
Cast and characters
- Before accepting the role, Goodwin stated in interviews that she'd always wanted to play Snow White and called her acceptance of the role "a no-brainer. Kitsis and Horowitz are self-described big fans of Goodwin's previous series, Big Love, and wrote the part of Snow with Goodwin in mind.
- The daughter of Snow White and Prince Charming, an ex-bail bonds collector. and Henry Mills' biological mother. Morrison described her character at the beginning of the first season as "broken, damaged and worldly". During the fourth season finale, "Operation Mongoose", Emma absorbs the power of the Dark One into herself to save Regina. In order to successfully create a dark version of Emma, Morrison explained that "In order to build Dark Emma, I've been doing a bunch of research there with some of their mythology books and old fairy tale books and just looking back through the history of swans and the etymology of 'Swan'" and explained that Emma's rate of evolution "challenged [her] on a daily basis".
- Lana Parrilla as Evil Queen / Regina Mills
- Josh Dallas as Pauper / Prince Charming / David Nolan:
- The leader of the Enchanted Forest's War Council who is comatose in Storybrooke. While initially he is known simply as "John Doe" in Storybrooke because of his comatose state, he is eventually revealed to be called David Nolan, after waking up. The creators also mixed Charming's history with that of The Prince and the Pauper, with Dallas portraying both the original Prince and the Pauper who replaced his brother after he was killed. Because of this history, Dallas tried to bring a "rural" feel to the character to make him more accessible to viewers. On what makes his portrayal of Prince Charming different to those before, Dallas explained that "Prince Charming just happens to be a name. He's still a man with the same emotions as any other man. He's a Prince, but he's a Prince of the people. He gets his hands dirty. He's got a kingdom to run. He has a family to protect. He has an epic, epic love for Snow White. He's like everybody else. He's human."
- Jared S. Gilmore as Henry Mills
- Raphael Sbarge as Jiminy Cricket / Dr. Archie Hopper (main season 1; recurring season 2, 3; guest season 4)
- Jamie Dornan as Huntsman / Sheriff Graham (main season 1; guest season 2)
- Robert Carlyle as Rumplestiltskin / Beast / Crocodile / Mr. Gold
- Eion Bailey as Pinocchio / August Booth (main season 1; guest season 2; recurring season 4)
- Emilie de Ravin as Belle / Lacey (recurring season 1; main season 2 onwards)
- Meghan Ory as Red Riding Hood / Wolf / Ruby (recurring season 1, 3, 5; main season 2)
- Colin O'Donoghue as Captain Killian "Hook" Jones (main season 2 onwards)
- Michael Raymond-James as Baelfire / Neal Cassidy (recurring season 2; main season 3)
- Michael Socha as Will Scarlet (main season 4)
- Rebecca Mader as Wicked Witch of the West / Zelena (recurring season 3, 4; main season 5)
- Sean Maguire as Robin Hood (recurring season 3, 4; main season 5)
Development and production
Eight years before the Once Upon a Time pilot (the two had just completed their work on Felicity, in 2002), Kitsis and Horowitz became inspired to write fairy tales out of a love of "mystery and excitement of exploring lots of different worlds." They presented the premise to networks, but were refused because of its fantastic nature. From their time on Lost, the writers learned to look at the story in a different way, namely that "character has to trump mythology."
"As people, you've got to see what the void in their heart or in their lives is to care about them ... For us, this was as much about the character journeys and seeing what was ripped from them in coming to Storybrooke – going at it that way as opposed to making it the 'break-the-curse show.'"
Despite the comparisons and similarities to Lost, the writers intend them to be very different shows. To them, Lost concerned itself with redemption, while Once Upon a Time is about "hope". Lost co-creator Damon Lindelof aids in the development of the series as a consultant, but has no official credit on the show. Kitsis and Horowitz have called him a "godfather" to the series. To differentiate the storytelling from what the audience already knew, the writing staff decided to begin the pilot with the end of the typical Snow White fairytale. Themes concerning family and motherhood were emphasized, in contrast to the focus on fatherhood in Lost. Kitsis and Horowitz sought to write strong female characters, rather than the classic damsel in distress. Horowitz stated their desire to approach each character the same way, asking themselves, "How do we make these icons real, make them relatable?"
The pilot is meant to be the "template of the series". Kitsis confirmed that every week will contain flashbacks between both worlds, as they "love the idea of going back and forth and informing what the character is missing in their life." The writers' desire to present a "mash up" of many small characters can be seen in a scene of the pilot, in which there is a war council featuring Geppetto, Pinocchio, and Grumpy. Horowitz elaborated, "One of the fun things for us coming up with these stories is thinking of ways these different characters can interact in ways they never have before." Since then, the creators have added more elements, and given its ties to Disney, have managed to expand the universe to include more recent material, by throwing out hints that they might look ahead at incorporating characters from Brave and Frozen in future episodes, if they get the green light from Disney. The Season 3 finale introduced Elsa in the final minutes of the episode.
The general premise, importing the Snow White core characters into the "real world", was previously seen on ABC television in the short-lived 1980s comedy The Charmings. The show also has a similar premise to Bill Willingham's ten-year-old comic series Fables, to which ABC bought the rights in 2008 but never made it past planning stages. After Fables fans raised controversy over possible appropriation, the show writers initially denied a link, but later said they may have "read a couple issues" of the comic book but while the two concepts are "in the same playground", they are "telling a different story." Bill Willingham responded to the controversy in an interview, where he stated he did not feel the show was plagiarism and said: "Maybe they did remember reading Fables back then, but didn't want to mention it because we've become a very litigious people."
Secondary character casting director, Samuel Forsyth, started the casting process in 2010. Horowitz stated that everyone they initially wanted for roles in the series accepted their roles after being sent a script. Ginnifer Goodwin was cast as Snow White / Mary Margret Blanchard, who appreciated that she would be playing a strong character that was fleshed out for the audience. Goodwin had stated in interviews that she would love to play Snow White, and called her acceptance of the role "a no-brainer." Both Kitsis and Horowitz are self-described big fans of Goodwin's previous series, Big Love, and wrote the part of Snow White with her in mind. Josh Dallas, who portrays Prince Charming / David Nolan, was pleased the writers took "some dramatic license" with his character, believing the prince had become more real. He explained,
"Prince Charming just happens to be a name. He's still a man with the same emotions as any other man. He's a Prince, but he's a Prince of the people. He gets his hands dirty. He's got a kingdom to run. He has a family to protect. He has an epic, epic love for Snow White. He's like everybody else. He's human."
Jennifer Morrison was hired for the part of Emma Swan. The actress explained her character as someone who "help[s] her son Henry whom she abandoned when he was a baby and who seems like he's a little bit emotionally dysfunctional", but noted that Emma does not start out believing in the fairytale universe. Ten-year old Jared Gilmore, known for his work on Mad Men, took the role of her son, Henry. The role of The Evil Queen/ Regina was given to Lana Parrilla.
The role of Rumplestiltskin / Mr. Gold was given to Robert Carlyle, after having been written with him in mind, though the writers initially thought he would not accept the part. Horowitz recalled Carlyle's prison sequence, which was the actor's first day on the set as "mind-blowing ... You could see Ginny actually jump, the first time he did that character. It was fantastic!" Jamie Dornan portrayed the Huntsman / Sheriff Graham as a series regular before being killed off in the seventh episode, while Eion Bailey was cast as Pinocchio / August Wayne Booth in a recurring role, starting in the show's ninth episode, "True North", where he was credited as "Stranger", he was promoted to series regular status for the fifteenth episode, "Red-Handed". Raphael Sbarge portrayed Jiminy Cricket / Dr. Archie Hopper.
For the second season, Meghan Ory and Emilie de Ravin were promoted to series regulars as Red Riding Hood / Ruby and Belle / Lacey respectively, while Bailey made guest appearances in two episodes after departing the series and Sbarge joined the recurring cast. Colin O'Donoghue was cast as Captain Killian "Hook" Jones, and was upped to series regular for the fourteenth episode of the season.
For the fourth season, Michael Socha was brought onto the show as Will Scarlet / Knave of Hearts from the show's spin-off, Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, while Raymond-James was dropped from the regular cast when the writers decided to kill off his character. Bailey returned in a recurring arc towards the end of the season after being absent from the show since the second season.
For the fifth season, Rebecca Mader and Sean Maguire were announced to have been promoted to series regulars as Zelena / Wicked Witch of the West and Robin Hood respectively, while Socha was confirmed to not be returning as a series regular. Ory also returned to the series in a recurring capacity after being absent since the third season finale.
Principal photography for the series takes place in Vancouver, British Columbia. The village of Steveston in the adjacent city of Richmond doubles as Storybrooke for the series, with props and exterior sets disguising the existing businesses and buildings. During filming, all brightly-colored objects (flowers, etc.) are hidden to reinforce the story village's spell-subdued character. Certain sets are additionally filmed in separate studios, including the interior of Mr. Gold's pawn shop and the clock tower, which are not found in Steveston.
The actual spread and scope of the Enchanted Forest is currently unknown. Several independent kingdoms are implied by an array of different rulers, including Snow White's father King Leopold (the kingdom later ruled by his widow (the Evil) Queen Regina); Cora's father-in-law King Xavier; Princess Abigail's father King Midas; Charming's (secretly adoptive) father King George (Charming and Snow rule his kingdom after deposing him); Cinderella's father-in-law; and Sir Maurice, Belle's father.
In the series' first season, Storybrooke, Maine, is depicted as a typical ocean-side small town. Although it has a "trapped in time" factor, modern conveniences such as TV broadcasts and the internet are available. Because of the curse, residents cannot remember how they came to live there or meet each other, though they are unconcerned by this. They are also unable to venture past the town limits of Storybrooke. When characters have attempted to leave, something prevents them, such as their cars breaking down causing them to get into some sort of danger (in a similar fashion to how residents of The Village were unable to leave in the 1960s TV series The Prisoner); However, it was discovered in "Heart of Gold" that some magic items as well as those who were not affected by the curse but kept their powers intact can make its way into the outside world.
Some of the series' characters are partially or entirely free of the curse, however. One of these is Henry, who was born years after the curse was cast, in the "real world". He leaves Storybrooke in the pilot episode to retrieve Emma from Boston. She is revealed to have escaped the curse in the enchanted wardrobe. Later, August Booth (Pinocchio) and Neal Cassidy (Baelfire) are introduced; August came to the "real world" with Emma, and is similarly not cursed, and Neal left the Enchanted Forest through a portal many years before the curse was cast. Regina, Mr. Gold, and Jefferson (the Mad Hatter) are aware of the curse and remember their previous lives, but the latter two characters are still forced to remain in Storybrooke by the curse. Also not affected were Hook, Robin Hood, Zelena, Cruella De Vil, and Ursula because they were immune or traveled through other realms. Another character, Isaac, is also immune because he is The Author and, as such, can write his way through realms despite being trapped in the physical volume of Once Upon a Time.
With Emma's arrival, the curse began to weaken, with clocks moving forward, crickets chirping, and Regina's apple tree showing signs of spoilage. Once the curse was broken, residents who passed the city limits found their newly restored memories of being fairy-tale characters erased; they only remembered their Storybrooke identities. Also, those who have magic powers will lose them upon leaving town, although Zelena was an exception because of her ability as a witch to travel through realms. In addition, as alluded in "The Outsider", the weakening curse resulted in individuals from the outside world entering Storybrooke; characters include the arrival of Greg Mendell (who, along with his father were witnesses to the town's "arrival" in 1983) and later Tamara (after she followed August from Hong Kong). The episode "Hat Trick" shows Wonderland of Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. It revealed that other worlds or universes exist; in "The Doctor", Dr. Frankenstein is brought to the Enchanted Forest for a short while, and later in Storybrooke, (as Dr. Whale) he expresses concern over whether all the worlds have disappeared. It was also revealed in "An Apple Red as Blood" that it is be possible to retrieve an item from the Enchanted Forest and bring it to the present day.
In the second season, it is revealed that not all of the Enchanted Forest was cursed, due to a protection spell cast by Cora. The survivors were frozen for 28 years and awoke when the curse was broken. They established themselves in a safe haven, waiting for news of the fate of the remaining Enchanted Forest. In the season two finale, Greg Mendell and Tamara take Henry to Neverland, after creating a portal with a magic bean. Oz is featured during the third season. During the fourth season, it was discovered that The Snow Queen also escaped the curse through another method, in which she ended up in the real world as Sarah Fisher, the foster mother during Emma's years as a teen, of which she would erase their previous past until she showed up in Storybrooke. Another portal was later created by the Sorcerer's Apprentice when he accidentally sent Maleficent's daughter, Lily, along with Ursula and Cruella De Vil to the land without magic after infusing Emma's potential darkness into Lily in order to ensure Emma grows up to be pure and heroic. The second curse also altered the way anyone can leave or enter Storybrooke, such as being banished or using the scroll to gain entry.
As a nod to the ties between the production teams of Once Upon a Time and Lost, the former show contains allusions to Lost, and is expected to continue alluding to Lost throughout its run. For example, many items found in the Lost universe, such as Apollo candy bars, Oceanic Airlines, Ajira Airways, the TV series Exposé and MacCutcheon Whisky can be seen in Once Upon a Time.
Mark Isham composed the series' theme and music. On February 14, 2012, an extended play album featuring four cues from the score was released by ABC Studios. On May 1, 2012, a full-length 25-track official soundtrack album was released by Intrada Records to accompany season one. On August 13, 2013, another full-length 25-track official soundtrack album was released by Intrada to accompany season two.
|Season 1 Soundtrack|
|1.||"Once Upon a Time Orchestral Suite"||4:13|
|3.||"The Queen's Curse"||2:46|
|5.||"Dealing With Rumplestiltskin"||3:26|
|9.||"Things Are Changing in Storybrooke"||1:47|
|13.||"If The Shoe Fits"||1:35|
|15.||"Emma And Henry"||1:43|
|17.||"The Man with the Wooden Box"||1:11|
|18.||"Hope Will Return"||1:48|
|19.||"Rumplestiltskin in Love"||2:19|
|20.||"The Genie's Wishes"||1:58|
|21.||"The Road To True Love"||2:50|
|22.||"The Family Compass"||2:00|
|23.||"Burn The Witch"||2:34|
|24.||"What The Queen Loves Most"||2:30|
|25.||"The Clock Moves"||1:12|
|Season 2 Soundtrack|
|4.||"We Are Both"||1:41|
|5.||"Meet the Jefferson"||2:37|
|6.||"Ruby and Granny"||1:54|
|7.||"A Real Boy"||2:26|
|8.||"The Hedge Maze"||4:13|
|9.||"Regina's True Love"||2:29|
|12.||"The Lady Jack"||0:45|
|13.||"In a Burning Room"||4:16|
|15.||"This Boy Will Be Your Undoing"||2:46|
|19.||"Snow White in Black"||2:45|
|20.||"How Magic Is Made"||3:33|
|21.||"One Perfect Day After Another"||2:37|
|22.||"Bae and the Shadow"||2:45|
|23.||"Tamara Shows Her True Colors"||4:20|
|24.||"The Adventure Begins"||2:14|
The series has been licensed to over 190 countries. In Australia, Once Upon a Time first aired on Seven Network, starting on May 15, 2012. In Canada it airs on CTV from October 23, 2011. In Hong Kong and Malaysia it premiered on Fox Movies Premium on June 4, 2012. It also airs on ntv7 starting October 28, 2012. In India, Pakistan, and the Philippines the series airs on STAR World. In Ireland it airs on RTÉ One from September 15, 2012. It premiered on Channel 5 in the United Kingdom on April 1, 2012.
In Hong Kong, the show premiered on May 5, 2013, in a new timeslot. The series premiered in Ireland on May 18, 2013. On December 17, 2013, it was confirmed that Channel 5 would not be picking the series up for the third season airing in the UK. On March 14, 2015, the series returned to the UK as Netflix picked up the fourth season, subsequently showing all seasons on Netflix and premiering each season 4 episode on Wednesdays after their initial showing on Sundays on ABC.
Critical response to the first season was generally positive. On Metacritic, it was given a score of 66 out of 100 with "generally favorable reviews". E!'s Kristin dos Santos cited the show as one of the five new shows of the 2011–2012 season to watch. Matthew Gilbert of The Boston Globe gave the show a "C+" grade commenting
"From a pair of Lost producers, this is a love-or-hate proposition. The ambition is impressive, as it asks us to imagine Goodwin's Snow White and Parrilla's Evil Queen as moderns. But Morrison is a wooden lead, and the back stories – a random collection of fairy tales -- don't promise to surprise."
In a review from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, TV critic Gail Pennington hailed it as one of the "Most Promising Shows of The Fall" and, unlike Gilbert, had high marks for Morrison. USA Today's Robert Blanco placed the series on its top ten list, declaring that "There's nothing else on the air quite like it." Mary McNamara of the Los Angeles Times preferred the series to another fairy-tale themed drama, Grimm, citing that the premise takes its time building up the charm and that the producer "has that part nailed". She also gave excellent reviews for Morrison's character: "Her Emma is predictably cynical and prickly – fairy-tale princess, my Aunt Fanny – but she's sharp and lively enough to keep audiences begging for 'just a few more pages' before they go to bed."
Several feminist outlets were pleased with the show for its feminist twist on fairy tales. Avital Norman Nathman of Bitch stated that she liked the show for "infusing a feminist sensibility" into the stories. Genie Leslie at Feministing commented that Emma was a "badass", that she liked how Emma was "very adamant that women be able to make their own decisions about their lives and their children", and how Emma was a "well-rounded" character who was "feminine, but not 'girly'". Natalie Wilson from Ms. praised the show for a strong, "kick-butt" female lead, for including multiple strong women who take turns doing the saving with the men, for subverting the fetishization of true love, and for dealing with the idea of what makes a mother in a more nuanced fashion. Wilson went on to state of the lead: "Her pursuit of a 'happy ending' is not about finding a man or going to a ball all gussied up, but about detective work, about building a relationship with her son Henry, and about seeking the 'truth' as to why time stands still in the corrupt Storybrooke world."
The first season premiered as the top-rated drama series. The pilot episode was watched by 13 million viewers and received a 4.0 rating/share among 18- to 49-year-olds. It was the season's highest-rated drama debut among the age range and ABC's biggest debut in five years. With DVR viewers, the premiere climbed to 15.5 million viewers and a 5.2 rating/share in adults 18–49. The show's next three episodes had consistent ratings every week with over 11 million viewers. The series has become the number one non-sports program in the U.S. with viewers and young adults on Sunday nights.
|Season||Timeslot (ET)||# Ep.||Premiere||Finale||TV Season||Rank||Viewers
|18–49 viewers (#rank)||Live + DVR Viewers|
Awards and nominations
Once Upon a Time was nominated for a 2012 People's Choice Award for "Favorite New TV Drama", but lost to Person of Interest. The show was nominated at the 39th People's Choice Awards in four categories: Favorite Network TV Drama, Favorite Sci-Fi/Fantasy Show, Favorite TV Fan Following, and Favorite TV Drama Actress (Ginnifer Goodwin); it lost to another ABC show Grey's Anatomy in the first category, Supernatural in the second two, and Ellen Pompeo in the last category. the show was nominated at 40th People's Choice Awards, but lost to Beauty and the Beast and The Vampire Diaries, respectively.
The show was also nominated for "Best Genre Series" at the 2011 Satellite Awards, but lost to American Horror Story. The show was nominated in this category again at the 2012 Satellite Awards, but lost to The Walking Dead.
At the 38th Saturn Awards, the series received a nomination for Best Network Television Series and Parrilla was nominated for Best Supporting Actress on Television, but lost to Fringe and Michelle Forbes, respectively.
The show was nominated at the 2012 Teen Choice Awards, but lost to The Vampire Diaries, Pretty Little Liars and Awkward and the show was also nominated at 2013 Teen Choice Awards, but lost to The Vampire Diaries and Pretty Little Liars.
It was also nominated at the 64th Creative Arts Primetime Emmy Awards, but lost to Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead and the show was nominated again at 65th Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards, but lost to The Borgias and Game of Thrones.
In 2013, Disney-owned Hyperion Books published Reawakened by Odette Beane, a novelisation of storylines from the first season, expanded to include new perspectives. The narrative is from the points-of-view of Emma Swan in Storybrooke and Snow White in the Enchanted Forest. The novel was published on April 28, 2013 as an ebook and May 7, 2013 in paperback form.
A comic book, titled Once Upon a Time: Shadow of the Queen, was released on September 4, 2013 in both digital and hardcover forms. The story was written by Dan Thomsen and Corinna Bechko, with art by Nimit Malavia, Vasilis Lolos, Mike Del Mundo, Stephanie Hans and Mike Henderson. Shadow of the Queen details what happens after the Evil Queen takes the Huntsman's heart. She forces the Huntsman to commit evil, and try to capture Snow White yet again. The Huntsman faces his past, and also meets Red Riding Hood, who is trying to cope with her beastly alter ego. Together, they team up and try to save Snow White before all is too late.
On April 14, 2014, a sequel to the first comic book called Once Upon a Time: Out of the Past was released.
In February 2013, Kitsis & Horowitz, along with producers Zack Estrin and Jane Espenson, developed a spin-off focusing on Lewis Carroll's Wonderland. The series was called Once Upon a Time in Wonderland. A "teaser presentation" began shooting in April 2013, and the pilot was shot in late July or August. On May 10, 2013, ABC announced that it had approved the spin-off and on May 14, 2013, announced that the spin-off would air in the Thursday night 8:00pm time slot instead of making it a fill-in for the parent series. The series premiered on October 10, 2013, but was cancelled after a single-season thirteen episode run that ended on April 3, 2014.
- List of Once Upon a Time creatures and races
- List of items in Once Upon a Time
- Television in the United States
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