Once Upon a Time First Look: Jennifer Morrison Gets Schooled on a Town's Fabled Secrets

ABC wraps up its roll-out of new fall shows this Sunday at 8/7c with the premiere of Once Upon a Time, a fun and fantastical drama that raises the question: What if fairy tale characters were banished to a real-world existence, with no idea of their true identities? And what if a pretty bail bondsperson from Boston held the secret to giving them back their “happy endings”?

If you find that a lot to swallow, know that you are in good, skeptical company. In this exclusive clip from the show’s debut, a young lad named Henry (Mad Men‘s Jared Gilmore) explains to a disbelieving Emma Swan (aka the aforementioned bail bondswoman) the curse placed on the residents of Storybrooke, Maine.

Scoop: Once Upon a Time Bewitched By Buffy Alum Emma Caulfield

P.S. In addition to an appearance by Jiminy Cricket (Prison Break‘s Raphael Sbarge), this scene also features one of the pilot’s many Lost shout-outs. Once after all was co-created by Lost scribes Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz.

TVLine’s Fall TV First Impression: ABC’s Once Upon a Time Is Fairy Ambitious

Press PLAY below, then tell us if you plan to give Once Upon a Time a once-over this Sunday. Guest stars on tap for Season 1 include Emma Caulfield (Buffy) as the blind witch from Hansel and Gretel lore, Jessy Schram (Falling Skies) as Cinderella, Giancarlo Esposito (Breaking Bad) as the Evil Queen’s magic mirror, Alan Dale (Lost) as Prince Charming’s father, Kristin Bauer van Straten (True Blood) as evil sorceress Maleficent, Alias‘ David Anders as a doctor, and Deadwood‘s Brad Dourif.

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  1. Kelley says:

    Oh I am DEFINITELY looking forward to this. It has some great cast, and has a great look. And I REALLY hope that the scripts can match them. It has a hard road since its out of the mainstream, but I am going to be watching!

  2. Rebecca says:

    I’ve already watched the pilots of all the other new shows so far. If I could sit through Whitney, Charlie’s Angels, Last Man Standing, Free Agents, The Playboy Club, and a slew of other duds, I’m definitely going to give Once Upon a Time a chance. Based on this clip, it’s already better than any of the aforementioned series (not that that would take much, true).

    • Cheryl says:

      I agree with you..at least it did not seem anyone was trying to insult our intelligence with the dialogue..loved that Jiminy Cricket was carrying an umbrella, those are the kinds of hidden gems that keep a viewer interested!

  3. karo says:

    Oh thanks,it is a good sneak peek. I`m definitively intriguied with the show.

    “I´m not crazy” :)

  4. Jebby says:

    I was going to check it out anyway because it takes place in my home state, but this clip tells me that it could actually fill (some of) the whimsical void left by Pushing Daisies. I wonder if Stephen King will make a cameo ;-)

    • che says:

      Agreed, ABC is the only network that gives green light to this kind of shows and it would be great to have another(well done) fairy tale, I would be cautious not to get attached at the beginning because ABC is not afraid to pull it off soon if the ratings are not good. I will definitely check it out though.

  5. Emily says:

    I am excited for this one and I think it has a decent shot as Sunday night family fair. With the exception of Revenge I have been underwhelmed by this season’s offerings but I am hopeful for Once (particularly with Lost writers on board.)

  6. Lucio1988 says:

    I was going to give it a chance until I realized that Jennifer Morrison was the lead. A woman who almost ruined a brilliant comedy like HIMYM with her horrible portrayal of Zoe shouldn´t get a gig anymore.

    • Dessy says:

      It’s not only her, gosh.
      The rest of the cast looks really good too, Rumpelstiltskin and the Evil Queen and stuff. And Ginnifer Goodwin!

    • Sally says:

      Oh look, a Jen hater. Why don’t you just stay away and leave us alone? A one minute per episode for a couple of episodes-role hardly ruins a show. And it’s not her fault that the writers didn’t do a good job with the character. Gosh, delusional haters…

    • Lee says:

      “Brilliant comedy?” That’s a good one. HIMYM hasn’t been consistently funny in years.

    • Rob M. says:

      No, no, no, no. How I met Your Mother ruined How I Met Your Mother. The show is god-awful. Jennifer most likely, although I haven’t seen her in it, felt embarrassed to read her lines.

      • Booth_girl says:

        I agree — Jennifer Morrison can not be blamed for the train wreck that was Zoe.

        • Zachary says:

          I liked Zoe for the first couple of episodes, the last episode being the only were Marshall calls both Ted and Zoe on the phone…after that not so much but at one point in time I enjoyed the character. JM is a fine actress people complain for the sake of complaining

  7. Guess says:

    I like it, it looks like True Blood for network television.

  8. Leithen says:

    I’ll watch the pilot, just to see how they justify saying it’s not actually Fables.

    Between this and Grimm…someone’s unoriginal.

    • murley says:

      yeah- it is not fables because they don’t KNOW they are fairytale characters. i have long though fables would translate well to television. i am checking this out as a fables substitute. if it is even half as awesome it will be a good show.

  9. EveatEden says:

    This is the show I’ve been waiting all season for! I’m not quite sure how the kid and Emma Swan fit in but I’m dieing to find out more!

  10. David says:

    I had the pleasure of watching the pilot on a flight home from Orlando. I really enjoyed it and I can’t wait to see how it does. I worry that (like LOST) they will need to set an end date for the show and have the story build towards something, otherwise I feel like the viewers will get the short end of the stick.

  11. sam says:

    I will let my kids decide if they want to watch it. Personally, I can’t stand Jennifer Morrison, she sucks the fun out of everything she touched, but that’s just me.

  12. Sasha says:

    I actually want to see this…

    Its these types of stories that have me wondering how are they going to approach a second season

  13. Daisy says:

    It’s usualy not my type of show, but I’m gonna give it a shot. I also hope it helps ABC in the Sunday ratings, DH and Pan AM deserve much better rartings than they have now.

  14. Saracen Riggins says:

    I’ve definitely been excited for this premier. I’m curious to learn (from watching the show, not spoilers) how the boy knows all this but no one else does.

  15. lacey says:

    JM was horrible on HIMYM, she is not a comedic actress. So I will try not to hold that against the show and tune in a few times.

  16. Sally says:

    I can’t wait for this show. The entire cast is brilliant and the plot sounds good. And I will tune in BECAUSE OF Jennifer Morrison, she’s an amazing actress, both in comedy AND drama. Well, smart and beautiful, no wonder people are jealous of her.

    • sam says:

      She is cute, as to the “smartness” – go read her tweets. But she is an actress, not a rocket scientist, so sharpness or lack thereof shouldn’t be a problem, and it isn’t. If you like her, don’t get upset over other people’s opinion, it’s all about perception anyway. Many years ago we had an annoying neighbor who looked just like her, maybe that’s why she rubs me the wrong way.

    • Lucio1988 says:

      Good comedy actress? Sorry but i strongly disagree. She was beyond pathetic in HIMYM and as i said above she almost ruined the show.

      • Linda says:

        @Lucio after the x-time ,You hate Jen & didn`t like her on HIMYM. We got it. There are many others who like her incl. me and you won`t change our minds. I agree with others who said when she ruined the HIMYM for you with her one minute appearance per episode in 10episodes out of 24 then you had probabely other issues with the show. It is ridiculus to blame JM for it,I`m Sorry. Anyway Zoey is gone and you can fully enjoy HIMYM again and there is no need to invade every article about Jen & her new show to make hateful comments.

        • Lucio1988 says:

          And since I have my own opinion about her and her comedy skills and this is a free site to post my thoughts, i will do it as often as i want. This is an article about Jennifer Morrison and comments about her can be either positive or negative. There isn´t a rule about negative comments. I didn´t insult her or people who like her. Don´t tell me where i have to go in the internet to share my opinion. Thanks God i´m doing it from my own laptop, with the internet conection i pay for and inside my house. Go and lecture someone else.

          • Linda says:

            You can have your opinion,though i don`t understand your attitude. If i don`t like an actor/actress i feel no desire to follow their careers and waste my time to comment on them. However each man to his own.
            You voiced clearly your opinion above,that´s fine but there is no need to tell exactly the same to other commentors who happens to like her. Since you are ignoring other ppls counter-arguments we would ultimately end up switching back and forth between our love and hate of Jen.
            I think Jennifer is a versatile actress and to your pacification Once upon a time is not a comedy. Maybe you will like Jen and all these many other actors on this show. You never know!!

    • annabelle says:

      An amazing comedic actress? Exactly what comedy was she in that was so amazing? I’m not jealous of her, I just don’t think she’s a very good comedic actress and should never torture viewers by trying to do comedy again.

  17. Karen MT says:

    Oh, I’m definitely going to give it a look. It may not last, but it looks like it may be a fun ride.

  18. Bonesxxx says:

    Looks like a unique type of show. I’ll be watching it, I’m a Jennifer Morrison fan, missing her since she left House M.D.

  19. Rex says:

    Definitely checking this out. Can’t wait to see Pam as Maleficent!

  20. Emily says:

    Certainly want to watch the premier. I hope it survives. Loved Jennifer Morrison on House.

  21. Daphne says:

    I’m so excited for this show ! I already love Emma !
    Jennifer Morrison and Robert Carlyle: yes yes yes !!!!

  22. jhon says:


  23. mamaLarson3 says:

    What was the ‘Lost’ shout-out? I’ve seen every ep, but I was always terrible at catching the little clues they threw out. Anyone catch the one in this sneek-peek? PS – WILL be watching this show for sure…

  24. Booth_girl says:

    This looks great. I’m very excited for something OTHER than cops, lawyers and doctors. Hopefully will stay away from lots of violence. I think Jennifer Morrison will NAIL this part.

  25. mary says:

    Will give it a look. There is nothing good on, on Sunday night anyway. They could have done a lot better with the preview!!! But maybe that’s the best this show can give. If so, it doesn’t bode well.

  26. Teresa says:

    YAWN at the Jennifer Morrison haters. So she ruined HIMYM (for some) boo frickin hoo! Grow up and get over it already! Lisa Edelstein ruined House for me but I don’t go trolling The Good Wife spoilers to whine about it. Yeesh!

    I for one am so looking forward to this. It has everything I could want in a show. I hope it does well and can’t wait to see Jennifer Morrison being awesome.

  27. Tracy says:

    This is the #1 show I’ve been looking forward to since the new programs were announced in spring. I applaud ABC for having it NOT be a procedural.

  28. Becca says:

    Jennifer Morrison is in this? I was so looking forward to a show like this but she is a huge let down. I know she will ruin it with her presence so i guess i won’t even give it a try

  29. Lily says:

    I will probably watch despite Jennifer Morrison. It’s not that I have anything aginst her and I know HIMYM’s 6th season was not her fault, but I think she just does better in serious shows like House.

    A show with fairy tale characters seems a little too whimsical for her to handle. The pilot might have been fine but consider what might happen when she actually begins to believe that little boy. Can anyone really picture Jennifer Morrison believing that fairytale charcters exist in real life, or that snow white is her mother?
    I do hope I’m wrong though…

  30. Guy says:

    Of the new season this is the show that has been sitting at #1 of the must watch list. Its the one i am most excited about and i really hope it does very very well. Opinion though is that this isn’t going to rate. I hope that is wrong wrong wrong.

  31. crimsonrhodelia says:

    The LOST reference is that it’s 8:15pm! I will definitely be watching this, mostly because of Raphael Sbarge. The LOST connection is a bonus!

  32. Dessy says:

    I watched the pilot. It was beautiful and captiating. I cannot wait for more!