How The ‘Once Upon A Time’ Musical Episode Came Together – Emmys Podcast


The musical episode for ABC’s Once Upon A Time, “The Song In Your Heart,” was a long time coming.

Over the past few San Diego Comic-Cons, fans would line up and rally creators Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis to have their favorite Storybooke characters do what they’ve been born to do: sing in a Disney production.

Michael Weiner, left, and Alan Zachary, the songwriters behind the “Once Upon a Time” musical episode. Deadline/David Janove

Songwriters Michael Weiner and Alan Zachary heard fans’ call, and lobbied their manager Richard Kraft to get them in the door at ABC, so they could pitch their concept for a musical episode. Horowitz and Kitsis had always made it known that musicals weren’t in their creative bandwidth. For some time, Weiner and Zachary had been looking for TV shows that could lend themselves to a musical episode. The duo, who have been a songwriting and screenwriting team since their high school days as drama jocks at Oakwood in North Hollywood, were lifelong fans of Disney musicals. The first song they ever sold was for Hanna-Barbera’s A Flintstone Family Christmas, which ultimately led to other projects such as their musical First Date on Broadway, a comedy about a first-time romantic encounter in real-time. Next up, Weiner and Zachary are writing songs for Airplane cocreator Jerry Zucker’s satirical musical Intermission! 

In today’s Crew Call podcast, Weiner and Zachary take us behind the scenes as to how the Once Upon A Time musical episode tuned up.

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