Executive producers Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz wrote the first draft of the upcoming fairy-tale drama Once Upon a Time eight years ago, but it didn't go anywhere. It wasn't until they found work as writers on Lost and a mentor in series mastermind Damon Lindelof that they resurrected the idea for a show blending the worlds of fairy-tale characters with the everyday.
"Damon has been a godfather to us," Kitsis said Sunday during ABC's fall TV preview. "When we first sold the show to ABC, they said do an outline ... and we immediately went to our coach."
"And started crying," Horowitz added.
Lindeloff was a consultant on the pilot episode, and Kitsis and Horowitz said they continue to go to him periodically for advice. "His name isn't on the show, but his DNA is in it," Horowitz said. "He helps when he can, and sometimes he gives us tough love," Kitsis continued.
In Once Upon a Time, a woman in the real world (Jennifer Morrison) learns her parents are Show White (Ginnifer Goodwin) and Prince Charming (Josh Dallas), who have been cursed by the Evil Witch (Lana Parrilla) and live not knowing who they really are.
The producers said they love the "mishmash" of writing scenes for the dual characters. For example, in the real world, Rumplestiltskin is Mr. Gold (Robert Carlyle), the most powerful man in Storybrooke. The show will spend equal time in both the fantasy and real worlds.
Disney, which is producing the show, has been open to producers' reinterpretations of classic fairy-tale characters. "They've given us license," Kitnis said. "I could be wrong, but I think this is the first time anyone's shown Snow White with a sword, or pregnant."
Check out the trailer:
Once Upon A Time premieres Sunday, Oct. 23 at 8/7c.