Because Disney owns ABC, and Disney has also appropriated just about every fairy tale out there, they take a handful to create the misguided new fantasy “Once Upon a Time” (ABC, 8 p.m.), which makes its premiere tonight.
It’s all about a strange town named Storybrooke, Maine, where a gaggle of fairy tale figures are stuck and time has stopped and the modern day daughter of Prince Charming has the key to unlock their fate.
It seems a little silly, and the reliance on storybook characters – one of two dramas premiering on network TV this week to do – seems more lazy than classic. Not quite for kids, of little interest to adults it seems a waste of talent for a cast that inclues Ginnifer Goodwin, above, as Snow White and Jennifer Morrison as the central character. Poor Robert Carlyle gets the worst of it, having to play Rumplestiltskin (this after already portraying Hitler).
For all the hubbub last week about zombies, the best thing on TV was likely the initial chapter of “Case Histories” on “Masterpiece Mystery!” (PBS, 9 p.m., check locallistings).
The sophisiticated, well-wrought weaving together of several simultaneous cases keeps the detective on hand, played by Jason Isaacs in one of his best roles, quite busy in the second of the feature-length episodes, shot in beautiful Edinburgh. The series wraps up next week.
But if you must have your zombies, on a new episode of “The Walking Dead” (AMC, 9 p.m.) , Sheriff Rick finds a possible safe spot. Last week’s record breaking premiere reruns at 7:30 p.m.
Elsewhere, the returned prisoner of war becomes a political trophy on a new “Homeland” (Showtime, 10 p.m.).
A key witness commits suicide on “The Good Wife” (CBS, 9 p.m.).
One of the most grisly creations on “Dexter” (Showtime, 9 p.m.) makes its debut.
They’re still in Thailand on “The Amazing Race” (CBS, 8 p.m.), maybe for the food. But on “Pan Am” (ABC, 10 p.m.), it’s off to Monte Carlo.
The second half of the “Real Housewives of New Jersey” (Bravo, 10 p.m.) is here, and there’s been no overturned tables yet.
In Game 4 of the World Series (Fox, 8 p.m.), it’s St. Louis at Rangers (Fox, 8 p.m.) from Arlington. Cardinals lead 2-1.
In Sunday Night Football, it’s Colts at Saints (NBC, 8:15 p.m.). Earlier, it’s Chargers at Jets (CBS, 1 p.m.), Redskins at Panthers (Fox, 1 p.m.), Steelers at Cardinals (CBS, 4 p.m.) and Packers at Vikings (Fox, 4:15 a.m.).
The terrific month-long Sunday night salute to Buster Keaton continues with more of his silent features and shorts: “College” (8 p.m.), “The High Sign” (9:15 p.m.), “Go West” (9:45 p.m.), “The Frozen North” (11 p.m.), “Battling Butler” (11:30 p.m.), “The Saphead” (12:45 a.m.), “Doughboys” (2:15 a.m.), “Parlor, Bedroom and Bath” (3:45 a.m.) and “The Passionate Plumber” (5:15 a.m.).
ABC: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Sen. John McCain. CBS: Rep. Michele Bachmann, former Sen. Rick Santorum. NBC: Clinton, Rep. Ron Paul. CNN: Clinton, Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Mitch McConnell. Fox News: Clinton, Sen. Lindsey Graham, Bachmann.