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Georgina Haig Joins ‘Once Upon A Time’; Kyle Massey Moves To ‘Gotham’

By | Thursday July 3, 2014 @ 3:00pm PDT

Georgina Haig Joins ‘Once Upon A Time’; Kyle Massey Moves To ‘Gotham’Australian actress Georgina Haig (Fringe) has been tapped to play the coveted Frozen character Elsa in Season 4 of ABC’s fantasy drama Once Upon A Time. Elsa was introduced in the Season 3 finale and is expected to appear in the premiere episode this fall. She will play opposite Elizabeth Lail and Scott Michael Foster, who will play Elsa’s younger sister Anna and Anna’s love interest Kristoff, in the heavily recurring role. Paradigm-repped Haig can currently be seen on CBS’ Reckless.

Kyle Massey has booked a recurring role on Fox’s Batman prequel Gotham. Based on DC characters from the Batman universe, the hourlong drama series explores the origin stories of Commissioner James Gordon (Ben McKenzie) as an idealistic rookie detective in Gotham City, along with Bruce Wayne and the villains who made Gotham City famous. Massey, repped by Untitled and The Osbrink Agency, will play Macky, an abused and neglected kid who lives on the streets. Massey can next be seen in indie feature Senior Project.

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Andrew Chambliss Inks Overall Deal With ABC Studios

By | Monday May 5, 2014 @ 5:58pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

chambliss copyOnce Upon A Time co-executive producer Andrew Chambliss has signed a two-year, seven-figure overall deal with the series producer ABC Studios. This marks the first overall pact for rising writer-producer Chambliss, who will continue as co-exec producer on the fairytale ABC drama next season while also developing new projects. Chambliss, who started as an assistant at NBC, previously worked on CW’s The Vampire Diaries and Joss Whedon’s Fox drama Dollhouse. He is repped by ICM Partners and Bruce Gellman.

Related: Kat Likkel & John Hoberg Re-Up Overall Deal With ABC Studios

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Bob’s Burgers’ & ‘Once Upon A Time’ Rise, ‘The Mentalist’ & ‘The Simpsons’ Down

Bob's Burgers April 27There were no awards shows and no sporting events nationally on the networks in primetime last night, but it was a full house of originals across the board on the first Sunday of the May sweep. With everyone fielding a team for the first time in two weeks, on Fox the animation-heavy night started on fire. Coming off a series low on Easter Sunday last week, Bob’s Burgers (0.8/3) had a massive surge of 83% in the adults 18-49 demo. That remarkable rise was followed by American Dad (1.2/4), which grew 9% from its last original April 13. The Simpsons (1.5/5) unfortunately did not get the same benefit, suffering a 12% drop from its last original two weeks ago. There were young lovers on the run on last night’s Family Guy (2.1/6) and the not-always best of pals Jerome and Peter had to find them; the episode was even with its last original. Tied with Once Upon A Time for the night’s highest-rated show, Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey (1.4/4) was also even week-over-week.

The winner of the night among Adults 18-49 with a 1.7/5 rating, ABC had a pretty good start to its Sunday too. America’s Funniest Home Videos (1.6/6) was up 23% from it last new show on April 13. The good time weren’t just limited to unscripted TV for ABC as Once Upon A Time (2.1/6) flew 24% from its show last week. That’s a 3-week high for Once, … Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Believe’ & ‘Cosmos’ Rise, ‘Once Upon A Time’ & CBS Lineup Slip

By | Monday April 21, 2014 @ 9:54am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

believeThe ABC series that shares a title with the Easter holiday, Resurrection, was off last night, but two other shows dealing with spiritual and cosmic themes, NBC’s Believe and Fox’s Cosmos, got ratings bumps. Coincidentally, both air in Resurrection‘s 9 PM time slot and benefited from the benching of the midseason for a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie. Believe (1.2 in 18-49, up 20% from last week to match a regular-slot high since the premiere) also was helped from a stronger lead-in from Dateline (0.9, up 13%) as NBC moved in to swap underperformed reality series American Dream Builders and the newsmagazine. In its first airing at 7 PM, Dream Builders (0.6) was down 14% from last week’s 8 PM episode to a new low. (NBC was pre-empted for an NBA game in Portland from 7-9 PM, so ratings for Dream Builders and Dateline may undergo adjustments.) At 10 PM Crisis (0.9) retreated 18% after a 10% bump the previous Sunday to a new low. Both midseason dramas have been considered very long shots for renewal. UPDATE: The Portland NBA game went into overtime, spilling beyond 9 PM to also pre-empt Believe and part of Crisis in the market, NBC just said in a note. That could explain the .2 rise for Believe, which will likely be adjusted down in the finals tomorrow.

CosmosDespite following American Dad, The Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: Soft Start For ‘Believe’ & ‘Crisis’ As NBC Reintroduces Drama To Sundays, ‘Resurrection’ Slips But Still Solid

By | Monday March 17, 2014 @ 10:18am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

If ABC last week was hoping for a little bit of luck crisis-s1-keyartwith new drama Resurrection, which was sandwiched between established Sunday dramas Once Upon A Time and Revenge, NBC was praying for nothing short of a miracle last night, launching two new dramas, Believe and Crisis, with no original lead-in on a night on which it had no recent drama tradition. The last time NBC attempted to premiere a new drama on Sunday was five years ago with the short-lived Kings, with only two brief drama runs (Law & Order: Criminal Intent and Harry’s Law) since then on the night, which NBC has been filling up with reality programming post-football. Following a The Voice repeat (1.4), new drama Believe made its time-slot premiere at 9 PM with a 1.4 in adults 18-49 and 6.5 million viewers. At 10 PM, believenew drama Crisis opened to a 1.6 in 18-49 and 6.5 million viewers. Neither showed a breakout potential but, given the circumstances, neither tanked either. Believe‘s premiere rating was a little more than a half of what its preview behind Voice did on Monday (2.7), but those samplings rarely boost series debuts unless the pilot wows the audience. For instance, CBS’ midseason drama Intelligence logged a 2.4 in its preview behind NCIS but only a 1.1 in its regular slot debut on Monday. It’s been a rough midseason for new dramas, with no show besides ABC’s Resurrection debuting to more that 1.7 in 18-49. (Crisis and Believe still finished ahead of the premieres of ABC’s three other midseason entries, Mind Games, Killer Women and The Assets.) Crisis also managed to build on its lead-in, a rare feat for a 10 PM drama, and it finished only a tenth off No. 1 in the hour, beating CBS veteran The Mentalist.

Mostly positive news for ABC. Breakout Resurrection (3.0) was down from the its fast national last week (21% from the final) but still delivered a potent number to finish as the top program of the night in 18-49 and total viewers (10.8 million), more than doubling the rating of its 9 PM drama competitors, Believe and The Good Wife. In my book, the network’s MVP last night was Once Upon A Time (2.3), which not only has provided a strong launching pad for Resurrection but also has found a new momentum with its new witch storyline, matching last week’s midseason premiere fast national rating. On the flip side, Revenge (1.7) at 10 PM slipped 11% from its midseason debut last week, barely edging NBC’s Crisis. ABC still won the night comfortably in adults 18-49 (2.1) though the total viewer crown went to CBS this time. Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Once Upon A Time’ & ‘Family Guy’ Rise, ‘Home Videos’ Hits High

By | Monday December 9, 2013 @ 9:41am PST
Nellie Andreeva

afvABC’s Once Upon A Time finally wrapped the Neverland-set storyline that had received mixed reaction and resulted in a string of three series lows over the last few weeks. The downward ratings trend was reversed last night when action returned to the show’s original Storybrook setting. Once logged  2.2 in 18-49, up 16% from last week’s series low. Let’s hear it for America’s Funniest Home Videos. The series, which just marked its 24th anniversary, logged a season high in 18-49 last night with a 1.5. Despite airing at 7 PM, the low-cost clip show matched the performance of high-end ABC dramas Revenge (1.5 even with its last original 3 weeks ago) and Betrayal (0.8, down 11% from 2 weeks ago to tie a series low).

Following a football overrun, The Simpsons (3.0) matched the 18-49 result for its most recent original. Bob’s Burgers (2.1) perked up 31% from last week when its lead-in, The Simpsons, was a repeat. Ditto for American Dad (2.1), up 24% following an original Family Guy (2.6, up 18% from its last original 2 weeks ago.) Family Guy seems to be benefiting from the Is Brian Gone? mystery, helping Fox’s animated block to post its best rating (2.5) in over a year.

CBS’ fast nationals will undergo adjustments as its primetime was delayed 27 minutes by a football overrun in 11 markets, including Top 10 markets Philadelphia,Washington DC, Atlanta and Houston. For now, … Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: Football Wins Night For NBC & CBS On Slow Sunday, ‘Once’ Flat

By | Monday December 2, 2013 @ 9:32am PST
Nellie Andreeva

Giants Redskins FootballLast night was a big letdown on broadcast TV following last Sunday’s blockbuster ratings for the Patriots-Broncos thriller on Sunday Night Football and the American Music Awards. NBC is still on track to win the night with SNF, but last night’s Giants-Redskins game posted a 12.1 overnight household rating, down 29% from last week. ABC’s lineup came nowhere near the 4.5 18-49 rating for last week’s AMAs. Once Upon A Time (1.9) was even with its last original two weeks ago, tying a series low. The Hallmark Hall Of Fame movie Christmas In Conway (1.1) was down 39% from last year’s HHF holiday movie Christmas With Holly and matching HHF’s lowest rating to date with this year’s The Makeover. Read More »

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Ratings Rat Race: ‘Almost Human’ Solid In Debut, ‘Revenge’ Rebounds, ‘Once’ Hits Low

By | Monday November 18, 2013 @ 9:56am PST
Nellie Andreeva

Almost Human Ratings Premiere FoxDramas’ strong fall continued last night with the debut of Fox’s Almost Human. Boosted by NFL overrun on the East Coast but facing a highly rated Sunday Night Football game on NBC, Almost Human drew a 3.1 in adults 18-49 and 9.1 million viewers. It follows the strong fall debuts of ABC’s Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. (4.6 in fast nationals), NBC’s The Blacklist (3.8) and Fox’s Sleepy Hollow (3.4). Fox is on somewhat of a drama streak with three consecutive solid launches: The Following (3.1) last January, Sleepy Hollow and now Almost Human, which will be paired with Sleepy Hollow starting tonight. Fox’s abbreviated 9-10 PM Sunday animated comedy block featured veterans The Simpsons (1.8, even with last week when it aired at 8 PM) and Family Guy, (2.2), which benefited from the stronger lead-in, up 10%.

NBC is set to win Sunday night in all key measures with the Kansas City Chiefs-Denver Broncos game, which averaged a 16.7/27 in metered-market households from 8:30-midnight ET, the highest rating for a November primetime NFL game in 17 yearssince November 25, 1996. Most of ABC’s Sunday shows were actually up against the big game. America’s Funniest Home Videos (1.4) was up 8%, while Revenge (1.5) and Betrayal (0.9) both rebounded from last week’s series lows, up 15% (0.2) and 13% (0.1), respectively. But Once Upon A Time (1.9) was down 10% to a series low. Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: Sunday Starts Slow With Declines, Low Debut For ‘Betrayal’

By | Monday September 30, 2013 @ 9:10am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Last night was chock-full of premieres on the broadcast networks, HBO and Showtime, and yet it was a finale that stole the spotlight — the closing episode of Breaking Bad. No numbers for the AMC drama yet but it is certain to set one more and final series high. As for the broadcast networks, they kicked off Sunday night of the 2013-14 season on a low note.

Related: Walter White’s Odyssey Completed In ‘Breaking Bad’ Finale

The ratings for CBS are scrambled because of a 15-minute football overrun in several East Coast markets including New York, but the network’s series are looking at double-digit year-to-year drops and new premiere lows for The Amazing Race, The Good Wife and The Mentalist for a second consecutive year. ABC and Fox too logged double-digit declines across the board with premiere lows for Once Upon A Time, Revenge, The Simpsons and American Dad. The third-season premiere of ABC’s Once Upon A Time (2.6/7 in adults 18-49) was down 33%, while Revenge (2.4/6) was down 25%. ABC’s struggle to launch a Sunday 10 PM series continued with new drama Betrayal which opened low with a 1.5/4, 29% below the debut of the now defunct 666 Park Ave and tying fellow cancelled Red Widow for ABC’s lowest in-season Sunday debut ever. Fox’s The Simpsons (2.8/8) was down 26% from last fall’s opener, recently … Read More »

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TCA: ABC’s ‘Once Upon a Time in Wonderland’ Teases John Lithgow, Roger Daltrey Roles & Sebastian Stan’s Mad Hatter

By | Sunday August 4, 2013 @ 12:45pm PDT

Diane Haithman contributes to Deadline’s TCA coverage.

At today’s TCA panel on ABC’s new drama series Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, the producers said the initial order of 13 episodes will “tell a complete story.” If the show returns, said executive producer Adam Horowitz, “we will come back with another adventure.” In describing the relationship of Wonderland to the series Once Upon a Time (which introduced some elements that are part of the new series), Horowitz said Wonderland “exists in a Once universe but stands on its own. The pilot hits the ground running, [new viewers] can come right in.”

EP Edward Kitsis called the new drama a “psychedelic romance.” The new show begins filming this week on the same set as Once, producers said. The cast of characters that Alice (Sophie Lowe) might meet in Wonderland naturally lends itself to guest stars doing voices. The producers confirmed that John Lithgow’s White Rabbit of the pilot will be a regular character, not a cameo. The Who’s Roger Daltrey will be the voice of the hookah smoking Caterpillar and producers are seeking a Cheshire Cat. As the series progresses other characters will “pop up with great voice actors behind them,” producers said.

Read More »

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UPFRONTS 2013: TV Spinoffs’ Almost Perfect Year

By | Monday May 20, 2013 @ 11:36am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

As movie sequels dominate the box office with more than 30 slated this year alone, including Iron Man 3, Star Trek 2 and Hangover 3, television too is increasingly relying on expanding TV franchises. In a symbolic move, as the last CSI spinoff, CSI: NY, bowed out this season, a record three new spinoff series are joining the broadcast schedule for next season: The Once Upon A Time spinoff Once Upon A Time In Wonderland, The Vampire Diaries offshoot The Originals on the CW, and Chicago Fire‘s Chicago PD on NBC. They will join returning spinoffs NCIS: LA and Law & Order: SVU. Of the four spinoff projects that were in consideration for next season, only one, CBS’ NCIS: Red, didn’t get a series pickup. “Sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t,” CBS entertainment president Nina Tassler said last week about the decision. “Protecting (the NCIS franchise) was really important.” She indicated that the network is open to trying the spinoff again. Indeed, I hear there is talk about revisiting NCIS: Red with a new cast.

Once a staple in comedy with All In The Family, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Cosby Show, Cheers and Family Guy among the slew of hit series to launch spinoffs, offshoots are primarily limited to drama these days. NBC tried … Read More »

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ABC To Air Some Dramas In Two Batches Of 12 Episodes Next Season

By | Tuesday May 14, 2013 @ 9:32am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

ABC is changing things up in scheduling some of its serialized dramas. Taking a page from the cable model, the network will air what ABC president Paul Lee called “a selected group” of dramas in two uninterrupted runs, one in the fall and one in the spring, bridged by limited series. The series that will follow the new scheduling pattern include Once Upon A Time, Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and likely Revenge, with others TBD. So far, the network only has set up a bridge series for Once, new adventure reality series The Quest. Lee said such bridge series won’t necessarily be all unscripted. Two cycles of 12 episodes would bring the total orders for the shows to 24, which is hard on a complex, serialized drama, but Lee indicated that number has not been set in stone. He said that the network is looking to further shake up the traditional broadcast scheduling model with “quality launches” throughout the season. Lee also said that new fall drama Betrayal is designed as a limited series, airing 12-13 episodes a season. The same applies to midseason drama Resurrection, which will replace it in the Sunday 10 PM slot in midseason.

Related: ABC 2013-14 Schedule Read More »

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PILOT SEASON: The Rise Of Limited Series

By | Tuesday May 7, 2013 @ 12:47pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Days after last year’s upfront in New York, History‘s Hatfields & McCoys burst onto the scene, shattering ratings records and reviving the limited-event series form. Over the last 12 months, event series have continued to gain momentum, with History launching another blockbuster in The Bible, and Fox, FX and Spike announcing big pushes in the arena. The genre also has been factoring into the network’s ongoing pilot discussions and may have presence at the upfronts next week. “It seems to be the du jour concept these days,” one industry insider said. “If you call a drama a limited event series, you maintain series options on the actors while at the same time maintain the project’s international value. And if you market them well, they bring in audience.”

One of the highest-profile drama prospects for next season, ABC’s Once Upon A Time spinoff, has been developed as a limited series to air 13-episode arcs every season in the vein of FX’s American Horror Story. Such a potential scenario also has been mentioned for a number of other serialized/high-concept drama pilots should they get a series order: ABC’s Gothica and Big Thunder, Fox’s Sleepy Hollow and CBS’ Hostages. CBS already is branching into the genre this coming summer with Under The Dome, originally developed as a regular series. The CW, whose president Mark Pedowitz last season was among the first to embrace the concept, did midseason entry Cult as a limited-type series and is looking to do more next season, with The Selection among those considered for a limited run. Fox’s The Following and ABC’s Red Widow too had been conceived with cable-style shorter seasons in mind. Read More »

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ABC’s ‘Once Upon A Time’ Spinoff Casts Alice, Gets Title

By | Thursday March 28, 2013 @ 5:45pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

English-born Australian actress Sophie Lowe has landed the lead in ABC‘s Once Upon A Time spinoff project, which now has a title, Once: Wonderland. Also cast in the presentation, from Once Upon A Time creators Eddy Kitsis and Adam Horowitz is Brit Peter Gadiot. Once: Wonderland is set  in pre-curse Wonderland. The story is told through the point of view of Alice (Lowe) who has a generous heart but carries the scars of a long hard life. She is joined by two other characters, Cyrus (Gadiot), Alice’s love interest with a background shrouded in mystery, and the Knave of Hearts (Michael Socha), a sardonic adventurer, a man of action, a loner and a heart-breaker.

Kitsis and Horowitz are writing the 15-20-page, four-scene presentation with input from Zack Estrin and Jane Espenson. Production is slated to begin April 7 in Vancouver, immediately following the season wrap of Once there. If the project goes to series, Estrin is expected to run it with Kitsis and Horowitz, while Espenson, who has been a key member of Once’s writing staff since after the pilot, will likely return to the flagship drama, which Kitsis and Horowitz will continue to run.  Also executive producing the ABC Studios-produced spinoff is Once Upon A Time executive producer Steve Pearlman. Lowe is with CAA and Australia’s Shanahan Management.

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Michael Socha Cast In ‘Once Upon A Time’ Spinoff

By | Thursday March 28, 2013 @ 1:00pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Michael SochaBritish actor Michael Socha has landed one of the three leads in ABC‘s Once Upon A Time spinoff presentation. The project, from Once Upon A Time creators Eddy Kitsis and Adam Horowitz, takes place in pre-curse Wonderland. The story is told through the point of view of Alice, who is surrounded by two major characters, The Knave of Hearts (Socha), a sardonic adventurer, a man of action, a loner and a heart-breaker; and Amahl, described as exotic, soulful and optimistic. Kitsis and Horowitz are writing the 15-20-page, four-scene presentation with input from Zack Estrin and Jane Espenson. Production is slated to begin April 7 in Vancouver, immediately following the season wrap of Once there. Read More »

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Eddy Kitsis & Adam Horowitz’s ‘Once Upon A Time’ Spinoff Set In Wonderland Takes Shape, Zack Estrin & Jane Espenson Join

By | Tuesday March 19, 2013 @ 6:00pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Once Upon A Time creators Eddy Kitsis and Adam Horowitz are bringing in top-notch writer-producers to help them mount a proposed Once spinoff for ABC and ABC Studios. The studio is closing overall deals with Prison Break alum Zack Estrin and Once consulting producer Jane Espenson that would cover their services on the spinoff. Details about the spinoff are being kept under wraps but I have learned that it takes place in Wonderland. While the original idea was to use Once‘s character of Mad Hatter to transition to the new world, that plan was ultimately dropped. I hear the story will now be told through the point of of view of Alice, who has not appeared on Once, surrounded by several new characters. According to a casting breakdown released last week, they are Amahl, described as exotic, soulful and optimistic; and The Knave, a sardonic adventurer, a man of action, a loner and a heart-breaker. The spinoff takes place in a post-curse world, though, like on Once, there will be flashbacks, so we could potentially see familiar faces, including Barbara Hershey’s recently departed Cora, who was the Queen Of Hearts in Once‘s Wonderland.

I hear the idea is to air the spinoff in 13-episode season arcs with a beginning, middle … Read More »

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Ratings Rat Race: ‘Red Widow’ & ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ Soft In Debut, ‘Once’ Hits Low

By | Monday March 4, 2013 @ 9:26am PST
Nellie Andreeva

Red WidowABC‘s Red Widow arguably had the biggest marketing campaign of any midseason series, including plum spots during the network’s Oscar broadcast last Sunday. For all that promotional blitz, the two-hour premiere of the mob drama fell short, extending the underwhelming track record of this year’s crop of broadcast midseason replacements. Red Widow drew a 1.4/4 among adults 18-49 from 9-11 PM and 6.9 million viewers. That was down 36% from last midseason’s debut of GCB and this fall’s opener for 666 Park Avenue. Both Sunday 10 PM ABC dramas had hourlong premieres and both have been cancelled. On the bright side, Red Widow saw very little audience erosion throughout its two-hour debut, indicating a possible future cult following. Leading into Red Widow was Once Upon a Time (2.1/6), which didn’t benefit from the Oscar exposure either, down 13% from its last original two weeks ago to a series low. Read More »

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‘Once Upon A Time’ Teases Peter Pan Season Finale At PaleyFest

By | Sunday March 3, 2013 @ 4:10pm PST

Paleyfest 2013 Once Upon A TimeOnce Upon A Time may be wrapping up its sophomore season in Neverland. Ahead of tonight’s new episode, the cast and showrunners of ABC‘s fairy tale drama revealed that the first episode in their season-ending two-parter will be titled “Second Star To The Right” followed by the finale “And Straight On Til Morning”. A new character will be teased but not revealed until the third season, which show creators Eddie Kitsis and Adam Horowitz also promised would include the backstory of fan favorite Captain Hook (Season 2 regular Colin O’Donoghue).
Read More »

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ABC’s ‘Once Upon A Time’ Recasts Mad Hatter Role With An Eye Toward Spinoff

By | Friday February 22, 2013 @ 5:20pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE UPDATED: The Mad Hatter may get his own series. I’ve learned that ABC brass are mulling spinning the character from fairytale drama Once Upon A Time into his own series. I hear ABC’s original plan was to do it with Sebastian Stan, who has played the character in six episodes. But he was not available for the potential series commitment, so the network has quietly put out feelers to recast the role. (Stan is finishing a run in Picnic on Broadway, segueing straight into training for his role in Captain America.)

I hear one scenario has ABC filming a short presentation with the character, with a 13-episode commitment to the project also bandied about. Once creators Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis are involved. It is also possible that the Mad Hatter returns to Once for a guest stint later this season. If the character and his storyline pop (as they have done in the past), that would serve as a backdoor pilot and ABC will consider launching a spinoff centered on the Mad Hatter. If he appears on the show, the new Mad Hatter would be cast as a guest star with a series option behind it. This is not an unusual practice for Once, which casts many guest stars with series options, allowing the network to make them regulars. Actors who have been upgraded to regulars on the show from guest stars include Emile de Ravin … Read More »

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