Fables on TV

The web is all abuzz with news of a possible Fables TV Series from ABC. It should be noted before everyone gets ahead of themselves, that ABC has OK’ed the production of a pilot. The writing team will be producers Stu Zicherman and Raven Metzner who were behind Six Degrees, a show notable to me only for featuring Michael K. Williams. Thankfully, it seems that Mark Steven Johnson is not involved in any way.

This isn’t the first time Fables has been up for development. NBC took a go in 2006, but it didn’t go anywhere, and was never actually shot.

I suppose now is as good a time as any to begin your speculation and casting wishlists.

Either way, let’s hear it for Bill Willingham.


  1. I love HBO’s Rome, so it’s hard to see anyone besides Ray Stevenson as Bigby.  Titus Pullo crossed with a werewolf?  Sign me up. 


  2. I’d really like this to work.  

  3. This just came to me as well: Nathan Fillion as Prince Charming.  Parts of his performance in Dr. Horrible make me believe he could be a good fit. 

  4. mmm Well this could work, but I dont know if it would work in a major broadcasting channel.

    Yes ABC has bizarre shows like Lost and Pushing Daisies (the latter being really fantasy-like), but I dont see them doing a full on series where ‘fables’ come to live. I’ve never read the comics, so I wouldnt know how bad or good the stories could get on here….Although judging from everyone on here, it’s definitely more good then bad in the comics.

    It’s all speculation right now and we’ll have to wait and see if they actually do shoot a pliot….but I have a very good hunch that this wont work.

  5. As much as I would love for this to work out, I predict a colossal failure on the level of "The 10th Kingdom" if it does happen. Remember that atrocity?

    As far as casting, Simon Baker as Charming, and maybe one or two other semi-big names, but going with mostly unknowns would probably be best. Remember how good "Tin Man" was with a cast lightly dusted with names?

  6. But then again, it could be a success like SciFi’s "Eureka!". I think if it had a similar format to that, then it could be awesome. The only real problem I foresee is the lack of any normal, relatable character for a viewer who isn’t versed in fantasy or comics to latch onto. On Eureka, Sheriff Carter serves that role well, but who could be that character in Fabletown?

  7. People may hate me for this suggestion, but I kinda want to see DJ Qualls as Flycatcher for some reason.

  8. I second Nathan Fillion.  I have never read Fables.  But i would definitely watch it if Nathan Fillion was on the show.  

  9. This seems like it will be a very expensive series to produce (assuming it isn’t animated, and it doesn’t sound like it will be).  Regardless of cast, I would think the "special" effects, sets, and costuming that would be necessary to do anything like the more recent Fables storylines would be rather large.  They could pull of the first arc with relatively few effects, but some of the later storylines need some convincing costume and effects work.  If they aren’t going to spend the money to make it beautiful, I don’t want them to do it.

  10. I’m very skeptical about this, but would love for it to be a success.

  11. I’m surprised there haven’t been more TV shows made from comics.  The formats seem like a natural fit.  I guess it’s the question of expense and of taking them past cult appeal.  I’m not deeply invested in ‘Fables’ (and thus have no casting ideas) but I’d like to see this succeed. 

  12. I love me some Fables, but I’m not for sure how it would work on TV. It’d probably cost a lot to CG talking animals and do the homeland sets. That’s assuming they’d use the stories from the books and not just the concept.

  13. The home land scenes would be real expensive.  If they do get it going and it’s is horrible we still got the awesome books and those will never go away.

  14. It arrived too late. Sticking peanut butter in the mouths of animals is abuse nowadays…It’s doomed to fail.

  15. @Ron –

    Let’s hear it for Bill Willingham and Mark Buckingham. Buckingham’s ability to adapt the fantastic aspects of Fables to a romantic/realistic asthetic is one of the major reasons for the amazing success of Fables as a book.

    I would love to see the show’s producers invite Buckingham to serve as a consultant.

  16. They’d have to be very picky about what storylines they do, and with being such a large cast they could really only pull of one notable actor if any. 

    One ray of sunshine is that this show just begs for some stunt casting.

  17. You *know* that ABC will put this show in the Wed 10pm death-slot.

  18. Oh sorry – @Josh, not @Ron

    @IroncladMarc – isn’t Wed 10 pm the slot that Law & Order (not Law & Order: Watching People Talk About the Ongoing Trial or Law & Order: Someone Made a Sexist Comment to Mariska Hargitay – the original one) one of the longest running shows in TV history on NBC?

  19. Wouldn’t it make more sense to make this into a movie instead?

  20. I hope its good maybe it will air after Scrubs

  21. @robbydzwonar – I would rather see it as a movie, but there is probably a question of who it is marketed to.  The material is generally too mature for children, but the fact that it is fairy tale creatures may make it hard to market to adults.  Movies like Shrek and Lord of the Rings are able to successfully appeal to both, but I am afraid this one is may not get that kind of marketing budget.

  22. @stuclach and robbydzwonar-No no no sirs, a tv show is the way to go.  This series has so many stories and so much packed into it.  Trying to fit it into a 2 hour movie, or a trilogy, would not do it justice.  Plus, what story arc would you do a movie about?  I think if people are introduced to the characters, get attached to the characters and then slowly over a few seasons they build to the climax that we saw in issue #75, then we would have a winner.  I totally agree that the marketing for a movie would be difficult to pin down. 

    I think this would do better on HBO or Showtime.  The adult themes, the violence (at times) would just be better suited than any of the networks.  Still, I’m happy that it is getting the shot at the small screen and really hope it does well.

  23. @drakedangerz – I agree.  HBO show > Movie, but what I meant in my post was Movie > ABC show.  Therefore, HBO Show > Movie > ABC Show.  (Yay for Transitivity.)

  24. @stuclach-hahaha, I see now.  Totally agree with you there.  Now if FX would pick it up, that way we can get shots of Bigby’s ass every 5 minutes and they would make Flycatcher into a heroin addict

  25. To me, this news sorta makes up for ABC cancelling Pushing Daisies.  I like the premise of Fables but I have yet to pick up the trades.

  26. I feel compelled to note that this is just a pilot order.  It’s the same as when THE CW ordered the pilot about Dick Grayson that never ended up getting made.  If we’re ever going to see this show: First, this pilot has to actually get made.  Second, it has to be good enough for ABC to order a series.

  27. @Coltrane68 – Ron?  Also, the reason I didn’t specify Mark Buckingham is that while his contribution is apparent and mighty, I don’t think he’s an owner of this creation.  It’s Willingham’s.  He’s listed as creator.  As far as I can tell Bucky is sort of just really talented hired help.

  28. @Josh,


    Good point, and sorry for the Bozo error on my part. Next time you’re in New Haven, I’ll buy you a glass of good Scotch.

  29. i LOVE fables i cant wait to see this…im very intrested to see how its going to turn out

  30. It would be sweet if they put the Fables borders around the screen.  changing them depending what was happening.


  31. I really hope this happens, but I’m not going to get my hopes up.  I think it could be great, but it would also be tough.  And casting a good Bigby would really be key.

    I do agree with whoever said DJ Qualls should be Flycatcher–he’s talented and suitably awkward.

  32. @doddzilla – I was thinking the same thing. The borders around live action would be really cool.

  33. I’d rather see this as an HBO or Shotime series, but here’s hoping it works out!

  34. Bruce Campbell for Prince Charming! (if only this was 10 years ago…)


    I actually think that this can work because of the layered nature of the series. There are so many characters and backgrounds, especially considering 1001 nights of Snowfall, that they could work it out like Abrams does Lost (I’ve admittedly only seen Season 1 of that). The Pilot would be the hardest sell, but they have the advantage of the first issues being so street level. Also, the budget wouldn’t be a huge problem, as they could make due with Buffy/Angel-level effects for the most part.  The biggest positive would be all the buzz that they could create around launch about the Israel parallel. I could see that getting several cycles on the crappy entertainment shows if the series caught enough pre-release buzz. 


    For serious picks, I’m in for Nathan Fillion as Charming, but I also think he has the chops (and the age) for Bigby, and his lighter side would be a better changeup than a constant. I’d want the blonde chick from Grey’s Anatomy for Cinderella; Julia Louis Dryfus for Snow White (sadly, she may be too old and too expensive — it may work well if they need to cast a middle aged, grizzled guy for Bigby, though); Frankie Muniez as Pinocchio (good for some lol on concept alone); Chris Evans (Johnny Storm in FF movies) as Jack; Shawn Ashmore (X-Men’s Iceman) as Boy Blue; and Jack McBrayer as Flycatcher. 


    And holding the show together in an Alec Baldwin-esque surprise cast… Steve Martin as King Cole.  

  35. I think many of your forget the first few arcs of the book, before they got up to the farm.  This was a murder mystery first, and then morphed into other genres as the title went on.  If this did become a tv series, I think you could bet that the first arc would be the basis for the character design, tone, and type of plot that would follow, and I wouldn’t hold my breath for any big battles of fabletown or the homeland, but rather sexy intregue as Snow White, played be Eva Longoria, tries to figure out her relationship with BBWolf, all the while Cinderella (Katherine Hiegle) makes trouble for her, something like that.

  36. LOL @ Julia L-D as Snow White, "You mean, I’m pregnant with BB’s kids?  GET OUT!" Shoves king cole to the ground.  I hope you weren’t serious with that suggestion dude, I mean, what’s next, Jason Alexander as Cole, Sienfeld as Charming, and a very Racist Richards BB Wolf?