Once Upon a Time in Wonderland will air the final episode of the series next week. ABC has decided not to give the series a shot at a second season.
Doomed from the start, ABC’s Once Upon a Time in Wonderland airs in a competitive time slot of Thursday night television. The hopes that the show’s success as a lead-in to the popular ABC dramas, Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal, did not pan out for the network.
Creators Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz originally purposed the show to serve as a one-season only spinoff. However, the hope always exists that the show’s success may lead to a second season order. In a winter press tour interview, the creators took the blame for agreeing to air the show on Thursday nights. Perhaps the bigger mistake of the show’s tenure is opting to take the two month hiatus.
For a show already short-ordered for 13 episodes, allowing a significant amount of time to pass between episodes opens up the possibility that viewers will forget the story lines from the end of December. Unlike its parent show, Once Upon a Time, the show did not have the benefit of two distinct stories to carry the season through the winter hiatus. After a great deal of success promoting the show prior to the premiere, efforts to bring fans back to Wonderland appeared to disappear entirely prior to the spring premiere.
Does this story speak to a larger issue for shows looking to get in on the spinoff game? Perhaps sticking to a one season only story arc is the right way to approach the topic, but choosing to air it during the summer or even during the long winter hiatus is a more successful route.
Regardless of the fate of Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, the show took another series of stories and retold them in an interesting new way. And who knows, you may seem some of your favorite characters pop up in Storybrooke or the Enchanted Forest! (Really, who knows how time works in these worlds? Anything is possible!)
Watch the series finale of Once Upon a Time in Wonderland on Thursday, April 3 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.