Having served as executive producers on Lost, Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis are experts in alternate worlds, shocking twists and the battle between good and evil. As the creators of ABC's fairy tale-themed new hit Once Upon a Time, they found another way to spin those kinds of yarns. It's working: When seven days of DVR usage are included, Once averages 13.8 million viewers and a 4.8 rating among adults 18-49. In case you haven't checked it out yet (the show returns January 8), Horowitz and Kitsis answered our showrunner questionnaire in the hopes that you'll soon book a trip to Storybrooke.
TV Guide Magazine: I could sit at home and read a fairy tale. Why should I watch your show instead?
Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis: Because what we're attempting to do is not retell fairy tales but tell you the parts of them you never knew — to reinvent them through our own sensibilities and then mash them all up in ways we've never seen before and we hope the audience hasn't imagined.
TV Guide Magazine: What happens if we don't watch your show?
Horowitz and Kitsis: Then the show ends. And we are sad.
TV Guide Magazine: Give us an algorithm for your show.
Horowitz and Kitsis: We don't understand math. That's why we became writers.
TV Guide Magazine: What's the best thing anyone has said or written about your show?
Horowitz and Kitsis: That it made them happy to watch, that it transported them somewhere enjoyable for an hour.
TV Guide Magazine: Were they right?
Horowitz and Kitsis: We take them at their word. Who are we to judge?
TV Guide Magazine: ABC promotes your Lost credits. Which past credit should they avoid touting at all costs?
Horowitz and Kitsis: Hot Tonight. It was a public access sketch-comedy show we did in Madison, Wisconsin. We thought we were funny. We write drama now.
TV Guide Magazine: How are you using your power of TV for good?
Horowitz and Kitsis: We are trying to write about the power of hope in a time of uncertainty. Also, we use it to fight crime.
TV Guide Magazine: What's an alternate title for your show?
Horowitz and Kitsis: A Fistful of Fairy Dust.
TV Guide Magazine: Showrunner battles are all the rage these days. Pick a rival show, any show, to start a fight with.
Horowitz and Kitsis: 60 Minutes. We've watched your show. We've timed it. Without commercials, you're only 43 minutes.
TV Guide Magazine: Let's scare the network. Tell us an idea that didn't make it out of the writers' room.
Horowitz and Kitsis: We have a show with fairies, dwarves, talking crickets and dragons — we're not sure they're frightened of anything anymore.
TV Guide Magazine: Let's say you could do a crossover episode with any TV show in history. Which show, and what would the episode be about?
Horowitz and Kitsis: The Charmings. And it would be Snow and Charming confronting Snow and Charming. Fighting to the death over who is really... Snow and Charming.
TV Guide Magazine: Of your cast members, who would fare best on Celebrity Apprentice?
Horowitz and Kitsis: Rumplestiltskin. He drives a hard bargain.
TV Guide Magazine: Now that you're a hit, what sort of Hollywood-ish thing will you demand?
Horowitz and Kitsis: We don't think of ourselves as a hit; we're just glad to have the opportunity to tell more stories. That said, we've asked ABC for a dwarf entourage.
TV Guide Magazine: What would a Once Upon a Time ride at Disneyland look like?
Horowitz and Kitsis: You'd hop in Emma's Yellow Bug, race through Storybrooke, and escape the curse right before being deposited in Fairy Tale Land. That's where, of course, your picture would be taken in the Magic Mirror. And you'd have to walk through Mr. Gold's Pawn Shop in order to buy souvenirs. Or barter your children for the location of your parking spot, which you've long since forgotten because of the dizzying ride.