I recently had the chance to watch trailers from two new television series to debut on ABC this fall. Once Upon a Time and Charlie's Angels, both featuring strong female characters, were announced by the networks at the annual Upfront presentations in New York.
Of the two, Once Upon A Time seems to have the more interesting starting premise. Emma Swan, played by Jennifer Morrison of House, M.D. fame, is a bail bond collector contacted by the 10-year old son she gave up for adoption when he was born. Emma travels with son Henry to his New England town called Storybrooke. She soon finds herself drawn into the problems of the town, which is populated by fairy tale characters trapped in a modern setting with no recollection of their collective past. It appears the Evil Queen, who also happens to be mayor of the town, has cast a spell on them all.
Featuring Ginnifer Goodwin, Robert Carlyle, Raphael Sbarge and Lana Parilla and created by Lost producers Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis, Once Upon A Time looks like it could be a thoughtful and twisted journey into the world of fairy tales, though I don't think it is going to push the envelope too hard in terms of violence or overtly sexual story lines since it is going to air on Sunday nights at 8:00 p.m.
However, given the relative lack of success for other high concept shows like this on network television in recent years, I am still a little pessimistic about its chances long term. There have been many fans burned following a wonderfully constructed shows that play with the tropes of a genre. Occasionally one makes an impact and has a relatively long run, but those series must get a strong following almost from the beginning.
But perhaps the star power both in front of and behind the camera can help this series succeed in the long run because it certainly seems like it would have the makings of an entertaining show.