Exclusive: ABC's Once Upon a Time Gets Lost, Taps Alan Dale For Royal Role

Another Lost Easter egg is being planted within ABC’s Once Upon a Time, and this one walks and talks!

The highly anticipated fairytale drama — from Lost producers Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis  — has tapped Charles Widmore himself, Alan Dale, to play the father of Josh Dallas’ Prince Charming.

Fall TV First Impression: ABC’s Once Upon a Time Is Fairy Ambitious (Not To Mention Really Good)

“It’s a really pivotal role, and a pivotal part of the Snow White (Ginnifer Goodwin) and Prince Charming story that we don’t think has been told yet,” Horowitz tells TVLine, adding that Dale is booked for one episode “but we’re leaving the door open for a larger tale to potentially tell with him.”

Dale is the first Lost alum to invade Time‘s turf, but probably not the last. The pilot alone contains numerous references to the late ABC drama, including a clock stuck at 8:15 and a Geronimo Jackson bumper sticker. It also boasts Lost co-creator Damon Lindelof as a consultant. “Damon has been a godfather to us,” Kitsis told reporters earlier this month at the Television Critics Assoc. press tour. “His name is not on the show, but he is in the DNA of it.”

Once Upon a Time‘s Jennifer Morrison, Ginnifer Goodwin & Co. on Their Literal “Dream” Project

Once Upon a Time premieres Sunday, Oct. 23 at 8/7.

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  1. EvilQueen says:

    This show, along with Pan Am, look to be the only two original and interesting shows on TV this fall. The other “new” shows are exactly the same story (beautiful young woman rises to the occasion and saves herself along with ….(fill in the blank)).

    • wordsmith says:

      I agree about this show looking promising, but disagree about the lack of other prospects for the new season. I’m particularly looking forward to Person of Interest and Terra Nova – incidentally neither of which adhere to the formula you described (though I do admit that an alarming number of the other newbies do…)

    • wordsmith says:

      Also, and I hesitate to point this out, both of the shows you mentioned do seem to adhere to the aformentioned formula at least as much as anything else. so maybe it’s not necessarily a bad thing…

    • Ben says:

      Yeah, I’m excited for both of these shows but they don’t seem to break your box of what is unoriginal. I’m looking forward to Terra Nova, Smash, Awake, Alcatraz and Person of Interest, all of which I think could turn out to be original (and were any of us calling Lost original based only on what was said before it aired?)

      Even if the shows are not ‘original’ per se, I am completely fine with shows that do something not entirely original if they do it better that what has come before.

  2. Michael says:

    I’m afraid that this show is going to see the same results as the wonderfully fanciful Pushing Daisies. I have a feeling that it’s going to be an excellent show(Ginnifer is all the reason I need to watch).

  3. keving says:

    I am afraid this will be the next Pushing Daisies. A high concept show, with critical praise, and canceled too soon.

    • Ben says:

      I really hope not, but I get the feeling around and about that this is possibly the most anticipated show of the season – which couldn’t be said of pushing daisies – plus it has the hook of the familiar stories everyone knows playing out in a different way, so I think that familiarity has the ability to bring in and keep more viewers. But in the end it will probably come down to execution.

  4. Dan says:

    There is something royal about Alan Dale. Widmore was a fantastic character.

  5. Ben says:

    What I hope from this show is that 1) It’s successful enough to get multiple seasons and 2) Kitsis and Horowitz learned something from Lost and use what leverage they have to push for an end date at the 4-6 season mark. I can definitely see how this show could be amazing when the plot is clever and well executed, and terrible when the plot is not clever and well executed (a la heroes). So they need a plan and a finite lifespan.

  6. dee says:

    Surely he’ll die of a heart attack just like he did on Ugly Betty and The O.C.

  7. Jon says:

    I don’t know why, but when I think of Alan Dale, I don’t think Lost vet. I think The guy who married Julie Cooper in The OC.

  8. MTBowers says:

    I saw the pilot and it is just wonderful. This has much of the magic of the show so often being referenced here – Pushing Daisies. The cast is great and I cannot wait to see where the story goes.

  9. Sandra says:

    I loved Once Apon A Time…It is so refreshing to see ABC have some great fantasy and exciting shows for us to watch. Many of us are sick of all these reality shows where folks get 15 minutes of fame and make fools of their selves.