Can 'Once Upon a Time' compare to 'Lost'? ABC's ambitious new drama

once-jennifer-morrison.jpgAt the 2010 Upfront presentation, ABC invited "Lost" alum Matthew Fox on stage to introduce two dramas that it referred to as "event television," suggesting that they would fill the space left behind by the beloved island castaways.

Those two dramas were "My Generation," which was canceled after two episodes, and "No Ordinary Family," which was not picked up for a second season.

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At this year's 2011 Upfront press conference on May 17, ABC Entertainment Group president Paul Lee once again made the "Lost" comparison - this time with "Once Upon a Time," an ambitious new drama starring Jennifer Morrison and Ginnifer Goodwin.

The series will tell the story of Emma Swan (Morrison), a rough-edged bail bonds collector who is sought out by Henry, the son she gave up ten years ago. When they return to his home of Storybrooke, Maine, he tells her that he believes she comes from an alternate universe where she is actually the missing daughter of Snow White and Prince Charming.

"It's a place where magic has been forgotten, but is still powerfully close; where fairytale characters are alive, though they don't remember who they once were," reads the press release. "The epic battle for the future of all worlds is beginning, but for good to win, Emma will have to accept her destiny and fight like hell."

"We had a story there with 'Once Upon a Time' that was brought in by the writers of 'Lost,' that was simply so ambitious and so interesting," Lee says of his decision to pick up the show. "It's completely unlike 'Lost,' but in some ways it's like 'Lost,' because it's about a group of people who are trapped. In 'Lost's' case, it's an island, in this case, it's in a small town in Maine. And the sort of flashbacks that 'Lost' used to have - in this case, they're flashing back to the fantasy world that they came from."

We'll see the characters both in their modern setting, where the story will revolve around Emma's reconnection with her son, and in the fairy tale realm, which Lee describes as a "powerful cinematic world."

Photo/Video credit: ABC