ABC's Once Upon a Time Spin-Off Grows in Size

Once Upon a Time in Wonderland More EpisodesIt looks like someone has had a bite of the “Eat Me” cake.

ABC’s Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, originally conceived as a limited-run standalone series to bridge Once Upon a Time‘s winter hiatus, is now poised to run longer than 13 episodes — and could even get a Season 2 order, if successful.

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Once cocreator Eddy Kitsis tells EW.com that while Wonderland‘s exact episode count is currently TBD, it will land somewhere between 13 and 22 — and that the final tally “will be it for the season.”

The freshman run, which revolves around Alice’s (played by Sophie Lowe) tortured romance with a mysterious genie (Peter Gadiot), will tell “a complete story, with a beginning, middle and end,” says cocreator Adam Horowitz. The spin-off, however, could come back to spin “a whole new” Wonderland-based tale, in fall 2014.

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Once Upon a Time in Wonderland will air Thursdays at 8/7c, starting this fall. Watch the trailer below, then share your latest thoughts on its expanding size.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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45 Comments
  1. Maki says:

    The preview looked really good! So the show can work really well. lt’s see how the 2 world can work together!

  2. It’ll get extended to 16. Regardless of that, it’ll flop.

  3. Wasn’t the point of this apparent ‘limited’ series meant to stay limited for a beginning, middle and end so that they could then tell a different OUAT story/fairytale with another limited series the following year? Seems to have just destroyed the original concept if you ask me.

    • Davey Elmer says:

      Even when the series was being spoken of as being a ‘limited series’, there wasn’t actually any indication from anyone involved that it was going to be a ‘one-and-done’ thing, only that, like American Horror Story, it would have a concrete beginning, middle, and end, which is a detail that hasn’t changed. The only thing that’s different is that it’s not going to ‘bridge’ the hiatuses of Once as was the intent at one point, and that it’s not going to be limited strictly to 13 episodes.

  4. the girl says:

    As I commented on another blog, I don’t think it’s a good idea for Wonderland to become its own independent series. I would much rather have an anthology series where Wonderland is featured in season 1, another fantasy world is featured in s2, etc. This way we can get deep backstory and history on the various worlds and characters from OUAT without distracting from the main storyline of OUAT. There are a lot of people and stories that have been alluded to and/or introduced in OUAT that they will never have time to fully explore.

    • Michelle says:

      THIS!

    • Doc says:

      I’m glad this idea is still being kicked around by the fandom. It was then, and still is the ultimate spin-off idea for OUAT. A new relm and fairytale to explore every year. It also provides a perfect opportunity to introduce new characters, not only for this show, but, for OUAT as well if desired.
      We’ll just have to find a new name for the show…….”?”
      “The Worlds Of Fairytales”,… “Once In (put relm here)…..”?” Any ideas?

    • A says:

      Agreed. Much prefer this idea.

  5. A says:

    I was pretty game when this was supposed to air during OUaT’s hiatus. Then ABC announced it would be airing during the regular season. I was wary but I still put it on my tv schedule for the fall because it does look good and it was supposed to only be 13 episodes. But seriously these show runners can barely handle ONE show. OUaT Season 2 was a hot mess, especially the second half. They don’t need two shows.

    • Davey Elmer says:

      It was never officially stated that the series was only going to be 13 episodes, only that it wouldn’t be a full 22. The 13 episodes thing was a logical assumption, but has now been proven to be an erroneous one.

      • A says:

        Given that it was initially supposed to run during the fall hiatus 13 episodes would’ve been likely and yes that has now been proven otherwise. Regardless of the episode number though I have doubts that the showrunners can pull this off. Which is my main concern. No need to quibble about the number of episodes.

        • WingsStef says:

          I am going to guess that perhaps the original plan was for OUAT was going to have a long hiatus and use this show as an extended fill in. Maybe they decided to curb long hiatuses since most people really hate them. I do not mind three or four week hiatuses as long as they only happen a few times. However three month hiatuses? Nah Also other perhaps did not turn out as well, but this one did? Either way I am looking forward to both series this fall.

          • WingsStef says:

            I meant maybe other pilots maybe did not do well. Either way this trailer was intriguing.

    • Jaded tv viewer says:

      Could not agree more. I’ve already given up on OUAT, there’s so many tv shows out there and so little time for people with busy lives to watch them you’ve got to be brutal, I was going to give this a go but won’t bother now.

  6. CBWBDK1 says:

    The promo looked great. I’m really excited to see it.

  7. I would much rather they kept it as an anthology summer series. “Once Upon A Time In…”, with each season focused on a different set of characters/fairy tale.

    • A says:

      Idk about a summer series but I liked the original plan. They could have a new self contained mini series run during OUaT’s winter hiatus each season. There is plenty to work with.

    • Davey Elmer says:

      Like I just said above in another comment, there was never actually any indication that it was ever going to be an ‘anthology series’ (at least as far as I know), only that it would be a ‘limited series’ with a concrete beginning, middle, and end.

  8. Dan says:

    I don’t see why it couldn’t become it’s own series. Both ‘CSI’ and ‘Law & Order’ had spin-off series and they were pretty successful. IMHO, the best plan would be to keep the airing schedule like it is now so one of them is on while the other is off and then when one goes away the other comes back.

  9. Taylor says:

    Get ready for a deeply shallow comment. Sophie Lowe is so unattractive that I’m not sure the casting will hold up.

  10. A says:

    This is sort of disappointing as I was hoping that if this one was successful, they’d be able to create multiple miniseries from different fairytales. OUAT in Agrabah, OUAT in Sherwood Forest, OUAT in Neverland, OUAT in Notre Dame, OUAT in The World of Hercules/Cinderella/Sleeping Beauty. The list goes on. I liked the idea of having OUAT be the base show and each season possibly an original miniseries to take over during the hiatus.

    • Davey Elmer says:

      I’ve already said this twice, but there was never actually any indication that the spinoff was ever going to be the type of series you’re describing.

      • A says:

        I know that, that’s why I said that I was “hoping” if this one was successful that there might be a possibility of doing this type of American Horror Story-type anthology series. I like Wonderland, but we all have many fairytales we would like to see explored as well and if Wonderland is successful, it’d be cool to see OUAT’s different twists on different fairytales individually away from OUAT’s weaving all fairytales with Snow White.

  11. Esaul says:

    I hope they don’t exhaust their creativity by overdoing the premise with two shows.

  12. xav says:

    This show is already almost as big a mess as the original and it hasn’t even aired yet

  13. Joel says:

    It should have stayed a bridge show during the hiatus. Done a different fairytale world every year and kept the same cast but retooled them as different characters like American Horror Story. ABC is becoming the new NBC.

    • Elyse says:

      thats where i thought they were going with it! a new fairytale every hiatus is definitely a better idea.

      • Davey Elmer says:

        Even if this show were airing during Once’s hiatus, it was never intended to be the type of ‘anthology series’ that people were apparently expecting. We would still be getting exactly the type of series we’re getting now, it would just be airing during Once’s hiatus.

        • TheiKing says:

          Davey, you keep posting the same comment but the point of peoples posts’ are not that there was intentions of the creators to have it be an anthology series it is that the majority of potential viewers would have liked it to be one.

          OUAT Wonderland will most likely flop in this timeslot in the regular season.

          Had the plan by the creators actually been a 13 episode run in the mid-season hiatus it would have been smarter.

          I for one would have watched OUAT Wonderland during the midseason break just because I like the universe of OUAT and I would have liked to keep seeing that universe even though the original was on break. I know that many other people would watch just to get a dose of the OUAT universe when the main show was off the screen.

          Now that OUAT is airing anything from 16 – 22 episodes Thursdays at 8 in the regular season It is pretty much DOA based on competition and past history of ABC shows in that timeslot.

          I think a smarter plan for ABC would have been making sunday the “fairy tale night.” Pairing spinoffs on the same night has always worked for Sci Fi and Fantasy shows. Look at how well Stargate SG1 and Stargate Atlantis worked on the same night “Sci Fi Friday.”

          Alot of people would have liked it to be like American Horror Story with a changing theme and I too like that idea but if I like OUAT in Wonderland and if this show is successful and I get attached to these characters I wont want the cast to completely change the next year if it jumps to a new fairy tale world and I am certain ABC would not want to throw away what made the first successful show in that timeslot it has had in a long time.

          That being said, I really do not think that they should have attempted a spinoff yet. Season 2 of OUAT lost so much of the charm that made many people love the show in the first place. While magic is a important part of the show I think that the way they handled it with the characters in season 2 was so utterly sloppy. Jennifer Morrison as Emma in the first season was a kickass portrayal. This season I just really did not like Emma, David/Charming, or Mary Marg./Snow. At certain points in the season I really just wanted Cora & Hook to win. I actually don’t have much of a problem with Henry because with a family like his…..you would be messed up too.

          I think that the showrunners of OUAT should have fixed the mess season 2 created of the original before even considering a spinoff.

          • TheiKing says:

            Wow, where did all the paragraph breaks go in my “essay”

          • Davey Elmer says:

            So comments like “It should have stayed a bridge show during the hiatus. Done a different fairytale world every year and kept the same cast but retooled them as different characters like American Horror Story.”, “This is sort of disappointing as I was hoping that if this one was successful, they’d be able to create multiple miniseries from different fairytales. OUAT in Agrabah, OUAT in Sherwood Forest, OUAT in Neverland, OUAT in Notre Dame, OUAT in The World of Hercules/Cinderella/Sleeping Beauty. The list goes on. I liked the idea of having OUAT be the base show and each season possibly an original miniseries to take over during the hiatus.”, and “Wasn’t the point of this apparent ‘limited’ series meant to stay limited for a beginning, middle and end so that they could then tell a different OUAT story/fairytale with another limited series the following year? Seems to have just destroyed the original concept if you ask me.” don’t indicate that there was this expectation that the show was going to be an anthology series (even though, as I’ve repeatedly stated, there was never any indication given that this was even remotely going to be the case)? Because they certainly paint that picture.

  14. Elyse says:

    I’m really excited about this show! I hope it lives up to the hype.

  15. Autumn says:

    I just hope it is better than Once Upon a Time. I ‘tried’ to like it for a season and about a quarter. That was about all I could stand because I find it uncreative (I’ve watched and read way too many fractured fairy tales to take this one even remotely seriously), formulaic (they honestly believe they are Lost), the costumes are horrible (take some advice from British productions please), and the show has some of the worst fake sounding dialogue I have ever heard on TV. That being said, I thought this show seemed immensely better than Once Upon A Time. Perhaps because it is more focused? I really want this to be good so crossing fingers. I just hope the showrunners of Once Upon A Time stay focused over there and have someone else run this show!! Writers who can write natural sounding dialogue in a fantasy setting would be nice. It IS hard to do.

  16. Davey Elmer says:

    The information about the potential for multiple seasons had already been revealed courtesy of the official Once: Wonderland Facebook page, but it’s nice to get full official confirmation from Adam.

    Regarding the exact number of episodes, I think it’ll be between 18 and 20, as it’s a nice round number, still falls within the ‘expected’ episode number for a serialized television drama, and fits with the ‘more than 13 but less than 22′ statement by Adam.

  17. Jaded tv viewer says:

    I absolutely knew this would happen. I was really looking forward to the idea of a mini series, of which format there is too little of on tv but no everything must run and run these days until it inevitably gets cancelled. This is bad news for both once upon a time and its spinoff series as I honestly can’t see the writers managing to maintain quality over a long period of time for both shows, OUAT was already slipping this season and that was without another show for the writers to concentrate on.

  18. Thursdays at 8 p.m. has been a “black hole” for ABC in years not since Ugly Betty became a huge hit in that time slot. Once Upon a Time in Wonderland may be its only hope to break that curse depending on the amount of episodes it will take to air in its freshman season.

  19. prish says:

    The whole Wonderland thing was always a big bore to me. Alice and the characters are not a draw in our household. I just want our Once universe. Of course, using it as back story telling sounds like a good idea from a poster, here. But as a series, count me out.

  20. Mikael says:

    Has there been any word of Barbara Hershey returning as the Queen of Hearts? I’m assuming this takes place before The Curse, when she was still in Wonderland.

    • Davey Elmer says:

      Adam and Eddy have gone on record stating that they fully intend to try and get Barbara involved, but there’s been no word up to this point on whether or not they’ve succeeded.

      As for when the series is set, it’s actually set in the present (concurrent to the events of OUaT Season 2), but will feature flashbacks to pre-Curse Wonderland (hence Cora being able to appear if Adam and Eddy can get Hershey to return).

  21. Doc says:

    I’m wandering just how many of us truly understand K&H’s meaning of “concurrent” or “contemporaneous” to our time….”?” Those are the terms they throw around loosely, as though their meaning were an easy concept to grasp. Then again, I may be much slower than the rest of you, lol…., because it took me the whole first half of season one to figure out!…and in doing so I found out why Emma’s 28th birthday was pounded into our heads from the get go. But, what do you all think it means, in the context of how K&H are using it?
    I’m just curious what the rest of you think…… ;)

  22. Leave Comments says:

    Wow that looks really good. I found I have lost interest in Once Upon a time. It is dragging and I cannot stand the character of Snow and Charming. You get cavities just watching them act. But the finale was good, so I am sticking with it, but this one looks pretty cool and different.

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