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Looks like the spin-off is gaining some steam. Sounds somewhat interesting, actually.



Eddy Kitsis & Adam Horowitz’s "Once Upon a Time" Spinoff Set in Wonderland Takes Shape, Zack Estrin & Jane Espenson Join
Tuesday March 19, 2013

"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 and end, similar to FX’s "American Horror Story", possibly bridging the fall and spring portions of "Once".

Kitsis and Horowitz handpicked Estrin and Espenson to help them with the spinoff after the two pitched the idea to ABC topper Paul Lee and got a thumbs-up. Kitsis and Horowitz are currently writing a 15-20 page, four-scene presentation with input from Estrin and 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.

It is not clear how the "Once" spinoff would affect NBC’s modern-day "Wonderland" pilot from Anthony Zuiker, which was pushed off-cycle before ABC’s plans for a Wonderland-set "Once" spinoff surfaced.

"Once Upon a Time" is one of ABC’s top series and a big DVR performer.

Season to date, the fairytale drama has averaged 2.98 rating among adults 18-49 in Live+Same Day and 4.34 in Live+7, a 43% jump.
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