ABC Passes on New Series From One Upon a Time Creators

The next potential series from Once Upon a Time creators Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis is officially dead at ABC. Late last week, it was confirmed that Epic, a Disney-themed anthology series executive produced by Horowitz and Kitsis, will not be moving forward at the network. According to The Hollywood Reporter, executives were excited about the pilot script, but the finished product, which was initially ordered in January, “didn’t come in strong.” The project reportedly filmed in Ireland, and Horowitz and Kitsis were unable to be on location due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Epic would have starred Brittany O’Grady (The White Lotus) as Luna, Sarah Hyland (Modern Family) as Rose, and Eleanor Fanyinka (The Sandman) as The Seer. The pilot was executive produced alongside Brigitte Hales, who worked with the duo both on Once Upon a Time and Apple TV+’s Amazing Stories revival. The project was part of Horowitz and Kitsis’ four-year overall deal with ABC Signature, which began the same year that Once Upon a Time concluded after seven seasons.

“Listen, we love this show, we were happy to continue going on, but collectively they felt that, after seven years and 156 episodes, it was time,” Kitsis said in an interview when the final season was announced. “For us, we’re like, ‘It’s a hell of a run.’ We never thought we’d get to seven episodes, let alone seven years.”

“It wasn’t like it was a shocking phone call,” Horowitz admitted. “We’ve had conversations for a while about what this year would be, and whether it would go on or not, and if this could be the end, so we’ve been prepared for this for a while. The network has been incredible partners with us the whole way, as has the studio. Ultimately, it’s also a business, so it becomes about, ‘Is it financially viable to keep going forward?’ so there’s all that kind of stuff, stuff that we generally don’t deal with because we’re just focused mostly on the creative. We reached that point where it’s like, ‘Okay, now it’s time to wrap it up. This has been an amazing 156 episode-run, and let’s all be proud of what we’ve done and try to wrap it up.'”

Horowitz and Kitsis are continuing to work within the Disney family, creating the recently-confirmed Beauty and the Beast prequel series for Disney+. The series will see Luke Evans and Josh Gad reprising their roles from the live-action Beauty and the Beast remake.

What do you think of Epic being passed on by ABC? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

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