Fairytales are coming back bigtime. NBC just announced the addition of the modern fairytale procedural Grimm to its schedule, and now as expected, ABC is adding its own take on modern fairytales with Once Upon a Time.
ABC unveiled its 2011-2012 fall schedule this morning, scheduling the new series from Lost's Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis on Sundays before Desperate Housewives at 8 p.m. ET.
The network also announced that the Amazon horror series The River will join the schedule in midseason as a replacement show. It comes from Steven Spielberg, the producers of Paranormal Activity and Michael Green (Kings).
According to ABC Entertainment president Paul Lee, Once Upon a Time is "completely unlike Lost. But in some ways it's like Lost ... because it's about a group of people who are trapped." While the new series will use flashbacks like Lost, those flashbacks will be of the fairytale world the characters come from, he said.
Lee also said he thought The River would be a good show to have for midseason.
Here's ABC's descriptions of the new shows:
ONCE UPON A TIME — "From the inventive minds of Lost executive producers Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis comes a bold new imagining of the world, where fairy tales and the modern-day are about to collide. And they all lived happily ever after - or so everyone was led to believe. Emma Swan knows how to take care of herself. She's a 28-year-old bail bonds collector who's been on her own ever since she was abandoned as a baby. But when the son she gave up years ago finds her, everything starts to change. Henry is now 10 years old and in desperate need of Emma's help. He believes that Emma actually comes from an alternate world and is Snow White and Prince Charming's missing daughter. According to his book of fairytales, they sent her away to protect her from the Evil Queen's curse, which trapped the fairytale world forever, frozen in time, and brought them into our modern world. Of course Emma doesn't believe a word, but when she brings Henry back to Storybrooke, she finds herself drawn to this unusual boy and his strange New England town. Concerned for Henry, she decides to stay for a while, but she soon suspects that Storybrooke is more than it seems. It's a place where magic has been forgotten, but is still powerfully close... where fairytale characters are alive, even though they don't remember who they once were. The epic battle for the future of all worlds is beginning, but for good to win, Emma will have to accept her destiny and fight like hell. Once Upon a Time stars Ginnifer Goodwin (Big Love) as Snow White/Sister Mary Margaret, Jennifer Morrison (House) as Emma Swan, Robert Carlyle (The Full Monty, Trainspotting, SGU Stargate Universe) as Rumplestiltskin/Mr. Gold, Lana Parrilla as Evil Queen/Regina, Jamie Dornan as Sheriff Graham, Jared Gilmore (Mad Men) as Henry, Josh Dallas as Prince Charming/John Doe and Raphael Sbarge as Jiminy Cricket/Archie. Once Upon a Time was written by Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz, who are also executive producers, along with Steve Pearlman (ABC's V). The pilot is directed and executive-produced by Mark Mylod (Entourage). Once Upon a Time is from ABC Studios."
THE RIVER — "The River follows the story of wildlife expert and TV personality Emmet Cole. Emmet set course around the world with his wife, Tess, and son, Lincoln, while filming what would become one of the most popular shows in television. After he goes missing deep in the Amazon, his family, friends and crew set out on a mysterious and deadly journey to find him. Famed explorer Dr. Emmet Cole (Bruce Greenwood) went looking for magic deep in the uncharted Amazon and never returned. The shocking truth about his disappearance is out there, somewhere, just waiting to be discovered. To the millions of kids who grew up watching his nature show, Dr. Cole was a hero. To his own son, Lincoln (Joe Anderson), he was more of an enigma. Now, six months after he vanished, Lincoln is finally ready to bury the past when Dr. Cole's emergency beacon suddenly goes off. At the urging of his mother, Tess (Leslie Hope), Lincoln reluctantly joins her on a search for his father. To fund the rescue, they agree to let Dr. Cole's cagey ex-producer, Clark (Paul Blackthorne), film the mission documentary-style. The mixed crew of old friends and new acquaintances includes the sexy and resourceful Lena (Eloise Mumford), loyal mechanic Emilio (Daniel Zacapa) and lethal bodyguard Captain Kurt Brynildson (Thomas Kretschmann). The River stars Bruce Greenwood (Star Trek) as Emmet Cole, Joe Anderson (The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Parts 1 and 2) as Lincoln Cole, Paul Blackthorne (Lipstick Jungle) as Clark, Paulina Gaitan as Jahel, Leslie Hope (24) as Tess Cole, Eloise Mumford (Lone Star) as Lena, Shaun Parkes (The Mummy Returns) as Adjay, Thomas Kretschmann (King Kong) as Captain Kurt Brynildson and Daniel Zacapa (Resurrection Blvd.) as Emilio. The River, from Amblin's Steven Spielberg, Daryl Frank and Justin Falvey, showrunner/executive producer Michael Green (Heroes, Kings), is also executive-produced by Oren Peli (creator of Paranormal Activity), Zack Estrin, Jason Blum and Steven Schneider. Teleplay by Michael R. Perry and Michael Green, story by Oren Peli & Michael R. Perry and Michael Green. The pilot is directed by Jaume Collet-Serra and produced by ABC Studios."
ABC's fall prime-time schedule is as follows (all times listed are Eastern); new shows are in bold:
8:00 p.m. Dancing With the Stars
10:00 p.m. Castle
8:00 p.m. Last Man Standing
8:30 p.m. Man Up
9:00 p.m. Dancing With the Stars the Results Show
10:00 p.m. Body of Proof
8:00 p.m. The Middle
8:30 p.m. Suburgatory
9:00 p.m. Modern Family
9:30 p.m. Happy Endings
10:00 p.m. Revenge
8:00 p.m. Charlie's Angels
9:00 p.m. Grey's Anatomy
10:00 p.m. Private Practice
8:00 p.m. Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
9:00 p.m. Shark Tank
10:00 p.m. 20/20
8:00 p.m. Saturday Night College Football
7:00 p.m. America's Funniest Home Videos
8:00 p.m. Once Upon a Time
9:00 p.m. Desperate Housewives
10:00 p.m. Pan Am
As was previously announced, No Ordinary Family, V and The Gates have been canceled.
Will you watch Once Upon a Time or The River?