Television station ABC, which is host to multiple hit TV shows including prime-time hits Castle and Grey’s Anatomy, confirmed via a promo that it ran for its series Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, that it has been canceled after a thirteen episode run. The show, which was a spinoff of the ongoing Once Upon a Time, lasted only one season long and was created by the same people behind the original series. It was reported that the creators, Adam Horowitz and Eddy Kitsis, had first envisioned the spinoff to be a miniseries, with hopes that it would succeed and there would be more stories and spinoffs in the future, ideally taking place in the same world, and “hopefully with the same cast,” as said by Horowitz.
The canceled spinoff series focused on a more adult Alice, played by Australian actress Sophia Lowe, heading back down the rabbit hole to Wonderland in order to save her true love Cyrus, played by Peter Gadiot.
Once Upon a Time in Wonderland occupied the evening 8:00 pm hour time-slot on Thursdays, which ABC has long had a problem with, with past shows in the same time-slot suffering the same fate of being canceled. These shows included Last Resort, Missing and My Generation. There has been a severe lack of viewership for ABC in the time period ever since hit show Ugly Betty was bumped from the time-slot in 2009.
The premiere of Once Upon a Time in Wonderland started last year on October 10, and drew over 5.8 million viewers. It has since struggled with ratings and viewership, with the most recent episode garnering only 3.5 million viewers.
Unfortunately, the first plan for the canceled spinoff series was to run it during the breaks in between Once Upon a Time‘s fall and spring runs. An executive for ABC mentioned that they regret the decision and admits that if they had stuck to the original plan, Once Upon a Time in Wonderland may have performed much better than it did.
When the series finally ends in a special finale that is marked for April 4th, ABC has plans to place Shark Tank, which is a hit reality TV competition show, to test its performance in the seemingly cursed time-slot for a week as a special. Following that, Grey’s Anatomy reruns will take over.
This season has been noted to be particularly difficult for ABC, as it just recently canceled freshman series Mind Games in addition to Once Upon a Time in Wonderland. The only remaining television shows that are currently being considered for renewals include Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Mixology, Resurrection, The Goldbergs, Trophy Wife, and upcoming mini-series The Black Box.
There are no current news of any other upcoming spinoff series for Once Upon a Time, however it is expected that the original show will be renewed for further seasons, as it continues to draw in millions of viewers. The most recent episode, which aired on March 25, attracted 6.9 million. Once Upon a Time in Wonderland‘s finale airs on ABC on Thursday, April 4.