Once Upon a Time Premiere Draws Fairy Tale Ratings for ABC

ABC’s new fantasy series Once Upon a Time premiered to better than expected ratings on Sunday, giving the network its first number one show on Sunday night in years. Once Upon a Time was ABC’s highest rated show of the evening and the highest rated non-sports show of the night.

Drawing in 12.8 million viewers last night, the Once Upon a Time premiere was the best rated drama debut this season so far. The show, from the creators of Lost also scored highly with a 3.9 in the 18 to 49 demographic. According to Media Life Magazine, the new fairy tale inspired show was the highest-rated show for ABC in the 8PM time slot for the past three years.

Once Upon a Time launched last night with a new imagining of the wedding day of Snow White (Ginnifer Goodwin) and Prince Charming (Joshua Dallas). The Evil Queen (Lana Parrilla) crashes the wedding to proclaim a powerful curse is about to strike the happy couple.

Worried about the curse, Snow White visits Rumpelstiltskin (Robert Carlyle), who reveals a prophecy that the terrible curse will transport them all to a place with no happy endings for anyone but the Evil Queen. However, Snow White’s unborn daughter, Emma, will eventually come to rescue them all in a final battle with the Evil Queen.

When the evil curse strikes, Prince Charming hides Emma in a magical cupboard so she will be safe from the terrible magic. The Evil Queen is triumphant as Prince Charming and Snow White are transported away to “someplace horrible.”

Moving to present day Boston, Emma Swan (Jennifer Morrison) is a lonely bail bondsman and bounty hunter. Swan is confronted by a ten-year-old boy who claims he is the son she gave up for adoption as a teenager. He carries a fat book of fairy tales he claims are all true. Swan does not want to get to know the boy and sets out to drive him back to his home in Storybrooke, Maine.

The boy, Henry, tells Swan when they arrive that everyone in the town is really a fairy tale character exiled there by an evil curse. None of them remember their former fairy tale lives. Naturally, Swan doesn’t believe any of this and returns Henry to his adopted mother, the town Mayor (and the Evil Queen). When Henry runs away again, however, Swan decides to stay in Storybrooke for a while and try to figure out what is going on exactly in this strange little town.

Once Upon a Time airs on ABC on Sunday nights at 8PM EST.