Fall 2011 TV: ABC’s Once Upon a Time and Charlie’s Angels

Hey there…

As the studios begin marshaling their forces to show us what’s on the Fall 2011 slate for their lineups, I’m always intrigued by what the writers choose to reinvent. Some years the original shows are more prevalent than the shows retooled for modern audiences, but there’s usually a mix of good and bad regardless. This year ABC has announced two big shows already – Once Upon a Time and Charlie’s Angels – and they’ve offered a video peek as well as some background for each.

Once Upon a Time

The preview of Once Upon a Time really caught my attention. Let’s take the stable of fairy tale stories from Disney and put those characters into the modern world with a twist from two of the writers from LostEdward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz. The premise is simple – what if fairy tales were real?

It has a great cast of people I’ve liked in other shows:

  • Robert Carlyle (TV’s Stargate Universe) as Rumpelstiltskin
  • Jennifer Morrison (TV’s House M.D. and How I Met Your Mother) – Emma Swan
  • Josh Dallas (Fandral in Thor) as Prince Charming/John Doe
  • Jared Gilmore (TV’s Hawthorne and Mad Men) – Henry
  • Ginnifer Goodwin (HBO’s Big Love) – Snow White/Sister Mary Margret Blanchard
  • Lana Parilla (TV’s Miami Medical, Swingtown, and Lost) – Evil Queen/Regina
  • Raphael Sbarge (TV’s Dexter and The Secret Life of the American Teenager) – Archie/Jiminy Cricket
  • Jamie Dornan – Sheriff Graham

Watch the preview and see what you think… As a fan of urban fantasy these days, I have to admit I’m looking forward to this matchup between Haven and fairy tales. If they kick it off with a bang in the season premiere and then do a slow reveal throughout the season, the merger of magic and storytelling in our world may capture more than a few fans along the way. If it’s too heavy handed, I worry that it will seem standoffish.

Short synopsis: Welcome to a world where fairy tales are real. Anna Swan is like any other 28 year old, until she discovers she’s a lost princess destined to save her world from darkness. Experience the passion project of executive producers/creators Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz (Lost, Tron: Legacy). Once Upon A Time is a thrilling twist of our most beloved stories.

Charlie’s Angels

Now, though Charlie’s Angels managed to get three gorgeous ladies to step into the limelight as a new trio of Angels – Annie Ilonzeh, Minka Kelly, and Rachael Taylor – I don’t know that I’ll be watching. With Smallville‘s Alfred Gough and Miles Millar producing the action with Drew Barrymore, I was hoping for a bit more. But the setup is the same as it was in the 1970s, minus the Farrah Fawcett hairdo.

Here’s the synopsis:

Get ready for the knockout hit of the year. Charlie’s Angels is back and hotter than ever. Meet three ex-bad girls who are earning their wings by busting the really bad guys. Together with legendary producer Leonard Goldberg and Drew Barrymore, Smallville‘s Alfred Gough and Miles Millar re-imagine the popular 1970’s series with more action, more eye candy and more heart than ever before.

Abby (Taylor – TV’s Grey’s Anatomy plus Transformers and See No Evil) was a spoiled Park Avenue princess who became a world-class thief. Kate (Ilonzeh – TV’s General Hospital, Melrose Place) was a Miami cop who fell down the hole of corruption. And Eve (Kelly – TV’s Parenthood and Friday Night Lights) who has a talent for stealing and driving fast cars. The three work together with Bosley (Ramon Rodriguez, TV’s The Wire, Battle: Los Angeles and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen) and Charlie (voiced by Robert Wagner – TV’s NCIS, Two and a Half Men, and Hart to Hart) recruit the ladies to take out the “really bad guys.”

Though I know ABC wants to join in the remake success CBS had with Hawaii Five-O this year ABC is riding high on the reboot of Hawaii Five O this year, I’m not sure they’re going to have the same luck with Charlie’s Angels for a couple of reasons. First, though there are beautiful women kicking butt, we’ve seen it before. And yes, I know that we’ve seen Hawaii Five O before as well, but the state of Hawaii hasn’t featured that prominently on TV since Lost, and on Lost the island didn’t exist! We’ve already seen many successful shows with a similar structure, such as Burn Notice and Covert Affairs, both of which are getting ready to kick off their new seasons this summer.

Here’s the preview for Charlie’s Angels:

So what do you think? Though I’m hoping that Once Upon a Time succeeds, somehow I suspect that Charlie’s Angels will probably succeed despite itself. ABC’s been on a roll with shows like Castle and Grey’s Anatomy, and Hawaii Five O, so maybe their knack for finding good shows will continue into the Fall? We can only wait and see.

Leave me some comments below after you watch both previews… I’m curious what you think!

–Fitz

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