Once Upon a Time Bosses: TV's Other Wizard of Oz Projects Won't Rush Our Own Plan for Dorothy

Once Upon a Time Wizard of OzAlthough two other networks have declared themselves off to see the Wizard, the creators of ABC’s Once Upon a Time will not in turn fast-track their own trip down the Yellow Brick Road.

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When asked if Syfy’s Warriors of Oz (a post-apocalyptic, male-fronted saga) and CBS’ Dorothy (a contemporary medical drama), projects that just recently went into development, will impact their own, previously teased plans to someday plumb L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Once‘s Eddy Kitsis told TVLine, “We don’t really feel the pressure” — because, for one thing, they wanted to travel to Neverland first, during the first half of Season 3 (premiering Sept. 29).

“Last year there were a few Wonderland[-based pilots],” Kitsis notes, alluding to projects at NBC and The CW. “So you kind of have to throw your hat in the ring and see what happens.” (As it turned out, out of that crop only ABC’s Once Upon a Time in Wonderland landed on a fall schedule.)

“We’ve always loved Oz — we’ve talked about it, we’ve hinted at it,” Adam Horowitz acknowledges. “And if and when we get to it, we have the way we want to do it. And if we’re lucky enough to be able to do it, we’ll just go our way.”

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Besides, if/when Once takes on that plucky lass from Kansas, it’s bound to be more faithful to the Oz-some stories we all know than the aforementioned riffs from Syfy and CBS.

“It just goes to our approach to all these things, which is about honoring the source material and trying to do something new to it without reinventing the wheel,” Horowitz notes. “We’ve tried to put our spin on characters like Snow White and Prince Charming while still allowing the audience to have the memories they love.”

Want more scoop on Once Upon a Time, or for any other show? Email insideline@tvline.com and your question may be answered via Matt’s Inside Line.

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  1. courts says:

    They’re already struggling under the weight of four worlds, they need to make a ‘bible’ if they’re going to try for more.

    • jestsaying says:

      exactly. they’re out of control with the story they have now. i’m over this show already. only watched it on dvr skipping some eps and fast forwarding just cause not enough was happening to keep me interested.

  2. ““Last year there were a few Wonderland[-based pilots],” ”

    And remember the Beauty and the Beast ones? One was on the CW, the other one elsewhere. CBS? I don’t recall.

  3. liz says:

    I’m glad. The other Oz spinoffs sound awful (especially that SyFy one – seriously, taking Dorothy out of her own story wtf). I have faith in the OUAT team that they’ll deliver us Oz + Dorothy when its right. It makes sense to hold off on Oz; we’ve got Wonderland and Neverland to deal with for a while.

    • Alice says:

      Of course they had to take Dorothy out. Far too many leading ladies on TV. What we need is a show that is nothing but dudes with a few token good-looking “girlfriend” types.
      Oh. Wait.

  4. JCK says:

    I’m losing interest. Too many new characters. Too much life history to keep track of. Is Regina Gold’s daughter? Is Hook actually Bael’s father? Is Emma Rapunzel?]. Where is Greg’s father? Where is Neal? The plethora of story lines is too much work. I watch evening TV to decompress.

    • courts says:

      None of those things actually make sense. No she’s not his daughter. No, Hook is not Bae’s father. Emma is Emma. Greg’s father is dead.

      • JCK says:

        K&H have said that Emma will have a Fairy Tale identity, too. She was separated from her parents, fostered and her hair keeps getting longer. Sounds like Rapunzel to me. Milah ran off with Hook as though he was the love of her life. Rumpy wasn’t around when Bae was born and maybe not when he was conceived. Cora was “involved” with Gold, so Regina may be his daughter. Cora certainly never showed any respect for her husband. If they ever established that Greg’s dad was dead, I missed that part.

        • Crysania says:

          Actually, no, they never said she was getting a “Fairytale identity.” They’ve always said Emma is just Emma, daughter of Snow White and Prince Charming. She’s no one else.

          They did establish that Regina was not Rumple’s daughter, despite his relationship with her. They established Greg’s Dad was dead in one of the last two episodes when he dug him up (where Regina said he was buried) and found his skull.

        • World Traveler says:

          Hook didn’t come around until long after Bae was born and Rumplestiltskin had been branded a coward. Milah had come tio dislike her husband because he was a coward, and saw Hook as her way out of the marriage, leaving her son behind. Cora clearly told Rumplestitskin that there would be no child from their relationship. The wording of the deal she made with him was changed to read “his first born child” with her. Regina is NOT Rumple’s daughter. In the episode where Greg was torturing Regina, she finally told him she had killed his father and he was buried near their camp site. Greg found his father’s near the end of that episode.

          • Catherine says:

            I’m still cynical enough to believe that at some point we will learn that Regina is his daughter. When the ratings start to tank and the writers decide they want something SHOCKING to stir things up, it’ll happen. For now, though, we are supposed to believe they’re not related.

          • Lynnette says:

            OK, but Cora isn’t exactly the last word in truth telling. And they found a skull, not necessarily Greg’s father’s. I don’t think Hook is Bae’s dad.

          • courts says:

            You think that someone else happened to be buried in a shallow grave at the Flynn’s old campsite? Once Upon a Time a show that doesn’t make much sense and plays fast and loose with logic, but that one is pretty categorical.

  5. alistaircrane says:

    I don’t want to see Oz unless they can get MGM to loan them the rights to the ruby slippers. MGM allowed Disney to use the ruby slippers for Return to Oz, and they also turned up on Charmed.

    • Singing_gal says:

      Well in the books they are actually silver slippers, so I don’t know if MGM really needs to do anything, Ruby slippers were chosen because of the wow factor and pop of colour for the Technicolor film. If they plan on honouring the source material, as they said, then it could go either way.

      • David4 says:

        The Oz story is in open domain, so anyone can use it. However the red slippers were done by MGM, they have the rights to red shoes in Oz-land. They are copy written.

      • alistaircrane says:

        Yeah I know, and the silver slippers are ugly as sin. The ruby slippers are the ones that dominate the public consciousness.

  6. Well, we’ll see this later. For the moment it’s Neverland not another world. And yes there is a lot of characters but at least we don’t have the uninteresting parts of the main characters life.

  7. Alice says:

    There were a lot of characters in Lost, too, but that didn’t turn people away. I think maybe because other fairytale characters make brief appearances and everyone wants to know more about them and be part of the main cast and they struggle to realize that this show is actually about Snow, Charming, Emma, Regina, and Gold (I love Hook, he’s a main character, but the show isn’t about him). I hope the show refocuses on these characters instead of finding all these plot devices and going all over the place and we get to see the emotional payoff of things happening. I’ll be excited for Oz once they get there, but hopefully not for a while.

  8. MDS says:

    Any idea what happened to The CW’s and NBC’s Wonderland pilots Matt? NBC’s sounded pretty great

  9. A says:

    How about they just not tackle it at all and leave it be? There are many other fairy tales that haven’t redone to death like Oz has.