But once upon a time, one of the giants of showbusinessland posed a challenge to the series even before it made its debut.

The show's executive producers, Robert Sternin and Prudence Fraser, told a preseason press conference that before the first episode aired in the middle of last season, they received a letter from Disney Studios saying "we've seen your pilot and there are these 4 million areas of copyright infringement we'd like to talk to you about," said Sternin.

Well, not quite 4 million. And the Grimm Brothers' fairy tale is now in public domain. But the Disney folks had some concerns, said Sternin and Fraser, about a number of similarities in the look of their show to that of the Disney classic.

So there was a meeting of lawyers from the two kingdoms to make clear the differences between the animated and ABC versions. During the meetings, Sternin recalled, the Disney lawyers were surprised to hear "The Charmings'" attorneys refer to the series' female lead as "Snow," the same way she's referred to on the hip sitcom.

"'Snow?' gasped a shocked Disney attorney. "You actually call her 'Snow'?"

A "Charmings" lawyer acknowledged sheepishly, that, yes, they do call her that.

A Disney lawyer, Sternin recalled, was indignant. "Well," he huffed and puffed, "We've dealt with this character for 50 years, and we've always referred to her as 'Miss White'!"