We Shine the Spotlight on ONCE UPON A TIME Co-Creator Adam Horowitz

For six seasons, writer Adam Horowitz had what many might characterize as the best education money can’t buy. As one half of a writing duo (alongside Edward Kitsis) on LOST, Horowitz got all the benefits of learning under LOSTerminds Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse, with absolutely none of the pressure. Yet this Sunday October 23rd at 8PM all of that will change when the eyes of what will hopefully be upwards of 10-15 million viewers will suddenly find themselves Googling “Storybrooke Maine” as ABC unveils their much-anticipated fairytale series ONCE UPON A TIME. So just how does Horowitz feel about stepping up to the plate as one half of the showrunning duo responsible for what is being billed as the Fall’s most ambitious new series? theTVaddict.com recently had the chance to find out just that, see for yourself after the jump.

As much as we enjoyed the ONCE UPON A TIME series premiere, we found ourselves scratching our head as to just how on earth you’re going to turn this into a weekly series… Care to elaborate?
Adam Horowitz: If you have any ideas please tell me… I kid, sort of! That was the thing with the show which was if it wasn’t something that was really scary and challenging for us as writers we didn’t want to try it. So the fact that we walk into the office every day kind of terrified with how we’re going to keep this up is what kind of fuels us in a very masochistic way.

Will there be a procedural aspect to the show, or much like LOST, will viewers be asked to start from the beginning and pay very close attention?!
There’s not a procedural aspect, the show really for us is ultimately a character show and all the kind of mythological and fantastical elements to it we tried to design to be built around who are these characters and what are they going through. We wanted to spend each episode really exploring the characters and the world that they find themselves trapped in.

While we can completely appreciate that character is of paramount importance to you as a writer, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention a certain segment of the audience who latch onto these types of shows for the mythological aspects. How do you balance those two masters?
That’s the trick. You want to have an element of the show that rewards you for looking closer and yet will you can also enjoy the episode week to week without having to worry about that. But if you are looking for that, just like we tried to do on LOST, we are trying to put in those things that will carry on through the show week to week and build to a much larger story.

Do you have an overall plan for the series?
No, it’s hubris to have a plan at this stage. Right now we’ve been given 12 episodes and our approach is to make the best 12 episodes. Of course, we have ideas of where we’d love to take the show if given the opportunity but first we have to give it to the audience and say if you like what we’re doing let us unfurl a bigger plan.

Have you sketched out an endgame?
Do we know what the finale of a potential series would be, no, we can’t know that now. What we do know is who these characters are and where we would love to take them.

Yourself and your co-creator Edward Kitsis just came off spending six seasons working under Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse. In terms of writing, what was the most important lesson that you took away from your time on LOST?
I would say it’s the character aspect of it, which is that if you can ground a show in human relatable characters who you want to get to know and explore, all the other mysteries and all the other fun of the mythology and that stuff that you lay on top has a real place to exist. Because without the characters at the heart of it then you’re just trying to tell puzzles and puzzle solving is only so rewarding. The coolest mystery for us are the mysteries of who characters are and why they do the things they do. Ultimately on LOST when we would approach any episode, we would take the character we were focusing on in an episode and say what does Jack or Hurley want in this episode, why are they doing this and then once we had that we can say, “Okay this is going to fit into the bigger picture in this way.” And it’s that kind of a approach that we really tried to ingrain in ourselves when we went to ONCE.

Now that you’ve moved on to running your own show, is being the face of the show something you welcome with open arms?
It is usually terrifying and intimidating but incredibly gratifying. Because you guys and everyone here are why we’re doing this, which is we’re not telling stories in a vacuum were trying to tell stories for all of you. Some of you may love them, some of you may hate them, but ultimately we want to put this stuff out there and be able to get a reaction and it’s these kind of events where you realize this is how you connect with an audience. You guys have your massive audience of readers, viewers or listeners who really look to you and this becomes the conduit for us to say here’s what we’re trying to do, we hope you like it, give us a shot and take a chance.

ONCE UPON A TIME premieres Sunday October 23 at 8PM on ABC (7PM on CTV in Canada)

For all the latest TV news and reviews