Once Upon a Time, 8 p.m., ABC
Debuts Oct. 23
Jennifer Morrison leaves House behind to take on a different kind of insidious evil, playing a hard-nosed bail bonds collector who just might also be the daughter of Snow White and Prince Charming. Yes, the 10-year-old son she gave up for adoption years ago is convinced that she, along with many others in his hometown, are fairy tale characters stuck in mortal form who don't remember their past lives thanks to an evil witch. And yes, the only way this could be more complicated was if they set it in the 1960s.
TiVo or Ti-NO? This show's plot sounds awfully similar to a 2002 comic book about fairy tale characters hiding out in a modern world called Fables, uncredited as an influence. For that bit of imitation alone, I'm going to Ti-NO.
Pan Am, 10 p.m., ABC
Debuts Sept. 25
Remember the days when air travel was glamorous and stewardesses wore white gloves and got inspected before flights like Miss America contestants? ABC hopes you'll overlook the fact that 1963 wasn't the best of times for everyone — there are no stewardesses of color in the Pan Am jet fleet, at least not yet — and connect with its gauzy look back at the start of the Jet Age. The series unfolds as the story of women reaching for independence through a special job, back when there was ample legroom and the only security check was making sure you didn't bring liquor onboard.
TiVo or Ti-NO? The cast's biggest name, Christina Ricci, isn't even the star of the pilot, and one plot line involving a stewardess helping the CIA feels like an outtake from a bad Tina Fey movie. Ti-NO.