It appears that “Once Upon A Time” will stand alone as the only ABC show to play around with the tales and fables of old.  ABC announced early April that it’s spinoff “Once Upon a Time in Wonderland” would not be renewed for an additional season. The spinoff, which was based off Lewis Carrol’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” was not seeing a very sustaining viewership in its looking glass.

Though it had the prime time spot, the spinoff still did not receive as many viewers as the original series.

In the usual fashion of “Once Upon A Time,” the spinoff takes the story of Alice in Wonderland and gives it a twist. Alice (played by Sophie Lowe) is no longer the naïve, inquisitive little girl who donned the blue and white dress. In this universe, she is now a woman being held in an English asylum due to her tales of traveling to a world of magical mushrooms and talking caterpillars. In Wonderland, she claims to have fallen in love with a genie named Cyrus (Peter Gadiot), and had a close encounter with a talking white rabbit (John Lithgow).

After witnessing her beloved die, she vows never to return to the magical land. When the white rabbit returns to her world, he bears the news that Cyrus may still be alive. Along with Will Scarlett (Michael Socha), also known as the Knave of Hearts, Alice returns to Wonderland in hope of reuniting with her true love. While in Wonderland, they must steer clear of the ruthless Red Queen (Emma Rigby) and the mischievous sorcerer Jafar(Naveen Andrews) who both seek to use Cyrus’s wish-granting abilities.

“Once Upon A Time in Wonderland” ran for 13 episodes.

Why didn’t the show work?

For one, Wonderland ventured off into unfamiliar territory.

Unlike its counterpart, the spinoff did not utilize source material from Disney’s Hans Christian Anderson or the Brothers Grimm inspired animated films. Wonderland, instead, focused on the works of Lewis Carroll, an author that formed his own mythology.

The viewers apparently were not feeling it.

Once Upon A Time gained its popularity because of familiar source content and, of course, strong writing. Viewers were more receptive to the popular fairy tales and myths of Snow White, Cinderella and Red Riding Hood. The elder show, also based a large majority of their characters off of their Disney counterparts; characters that most viewers could relate to or easily recall from their memories. Even though Disney popularized Caroll’s work, most viewers were not familiar with the mythology of Wonderland and simply did not find it interesting.

Also, it was the competition between both series. “Once Upon A Time” had its loyal following on Sunday, leaving Thursday virtually untouched. According to, the season had a 1.0 in the 18-49 demographic. By the end of the series, it had an average viewership of 3.76 million.

It is a rarity to have a show and a spinoff on the air together. When Fox’s “ The 70s Show” was in it’s fifth season, they tried to also release a show of the same nature titled “ That 80’s show”. It also met demise when it received low ratings and was cancelled after its their freshman season. Like Wonderland, the show only ran for 13 episodes.

What lies next for the Once Upon A Time universe? They have covered Neverland, Agrabah and now the current season has visited Oz. Though, the portal to Wonderland has been permanently sealed there are still many realms that the show has not covered according to a source from

Cue the original series:

Even though Will Scarlett has made his final debut in Wonderland, the creators are not done with him just yet. Though “Once Upon A Time” has yet to be renewed for a fourth season, they have already added Socha to their roster.

“Once Upon A Time” airs every Sunday at 8 p.m on ABC.

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