May 14, 2013

THE SKED 2013 UPFRONTS: ABC Trailer – “Once Upon A Time In Wonderland”


ABC has had no success at all in the Thursday 8PM slot for years, which is doubly frustrating now that 9PM and 10PM are humming along beautifully with the Grey’s Anatomy/Scandal duo.  The network is trying something familiar and yet new next season:  the spin-off ONCE UPON A TIME IN WONDERLAND, which in theory will start with a certain presold audience.  Here’s the trailer

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Wonderland faces some challenges.  It doesn’t share any of the Once Upon A Time characters, not even The Mad Hatter (played as a recurring guest star in Once by Sebastian Stan, who presumably wasn’t interested in making it a full-time gig).  Its “real world” setting is Victorian England, not as relatable as modern-day Storybrooke.  It seems to be at least as dark as Once has become this season, with a teen Alice being kept in a madhouse and threatened with lobotomy.  And it will be airing (presumably) directly opposite The Vampire Diaries, which aims very successfully at the same demographic.  That doesn’t mean, though, that the show doesn’t look promising.  The latter portion of the trailer, with Alice escaping from the asylum with the help of a CG White Rabbit (voiced by John Lithgow) seems quite exciting, there’s more romance than Lewis Carroll provided, and series creators Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz have shown an impressive ability to spin stories around classic tales.  At the least, Wonderland should let ABC avoid the embarrassment that shows like Charlie’s Angels have brought to early Thursday, and whenever there’s quality, there’s at least a chance that a show can catch on.


About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."