'Once Upon A Time' EPs to oversee series to completion
Fantasy Island” and continued on to the Ryan Murphy drama “Popular,” which aired on the WB but was produced at Disney. It took Horowitz and Kitsis nearly a decade to see their idea for “Once” — putting a new spin on classic Disney characters such as Snow White — to completion. They first came up with the concept for “Once” while working on the WB drama “Felicity” and kept it alive through six seasons together on another ABC hit, “Lost,” where they served as exec producers. It was on “Lost” where the duo — under exec producers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse — received their showrunning tutorial. The lesson: The job has no days off, with practically no down time in between seasons. Said Horowitz: “What we learned from Damon and Carlton is that it’s about commitment to the vision, and that becomes your life. We took those lessons to heart. We knew what intellectually what the job is about but you don’t know what it’s like until you do it.” Added Kitsis: “It’s not a job but a lifestyle. When we wrote the pilot, we didn’t think it would get picked up, and then it debuted vs. the World Series and NFL football. If it got canceled, we could say we did it the way we wanted.” Kitsis and Horowitz have also pitched in on Disney’s theatrical side as screenwriters of “Tron: Legacy” and are attached as exec producers for animated spinoff “Tron: Uprising” on Disney XD, though they have handed off writing duties on that project. They’ve also penned “Ouija,” the Universal pic based on the Hasbro property. Their new deal will allow them to continue working across platforms at Disney, but the immediate plan is to remain focused on “Once.” They each understand the pressure of keeping the bar high. Said Kitsis: “That’s what keeps us up at night. We want to make the show better than season one.” Kitsis and Horowitz are repped by WME and attorney Jared Levine from Morris, Yorn, Barnes, Levine, Krintzman, Rubenstein & Kohner.