Though contract negotiations — with only some cast — have gone down to the wire,
provide closure where needed and won’t leave any storylines “incomplete,” the series bosses tell TVLine.
Once Upon a Time on the Bubble: Should ABC Keep or Cut?
As previously reported, original cast members Jennifer Morrison, Lana Parrilla and Robert Carlyle, as well as longtime series regular Colin O’Donoghue, had been invited to extend their expiring pacts with the fairytale-based drama, while others (including Ginnifer Goodwin and husband Josh Dallas) might only guest-star as needed in any possible Season 7.
Rumors have swirled in recent weeks about who in fact
re-sign, but ABC isn’t confirming any extensions (or exits). “We have the answers to that, which we can’t share, but the story has been designed around it,” co-creator Adam Horowitz affirms.
Although filming on the two-hour finale (airing Sunday, May 14, one week after the series’ musical episode) wrapped earlier this month, “Any changes that we have to accommodate have been accommodated,” adds co-creator Eddy Kitsis. “We planned this finale from the beginning of the year, so whoever stays and whoever goes… all those questions have already been dealt with. The audience does not have to fear [anything feeling] incomplete.”
VIDEOSOnce Upon a Time: Tiger Lily Comes to Hook’s… Rescue?
The significant cast change is part of a “reset” of sorts for the series, to steer things in a new direction as well as make the ratings-challenged series more attractive for renewal by ABC. Part of that shift includes the finale’s introduction of a young man/cynical recluse (played by
‘s Andrew J. West) and a precocious 10-year-old girl (
‘s Alison Fernandez), both of whom would stay on as regulars if Season 7 is a go.
Those arrivals will coincide with Emma Swan aka The Savior engaging in a recently foretold “Final Battle,” which is also the finale’s title. “We wanted to be able to complete this chapter,” Kitsis says of the season ender’s two-pronged mission, “and yet set up the next one.”
, or for any other show? Email InsideLine@tvline.com and your question may be answered via Matt’s Inside Line.
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I can totally understanding wrapping up the current arc (or chapter) which has been going on for 6 seasons. The Dark Curse i assume and so on, and it seems going into a new chapter into a the show.
I just hope some of the current cast will be in. More so i hope Emma Swan is there for sure, she is that bridge into a old story and new story. And i adore Emma/Hook coupling but also as individual characters so i am happy to see them more if we get them. Will be sad to see Josh and Ginny as Snowing go but hopefully we still see them time to time IF season 7 is a go.
I agree. Emma is the center of the show. It can work as long as she’s still around.
Since Josh and Ginny were not invited to stay, I doubt we will see Snowing again. I can’t imagine what kind of happy ending Emma could have without her parents? Hook and Emma are not enough to keep me watching.
According to this report, Snow & Charming (or other characters) could appear on recurring status. They don’t necessarily have to write Snowing out of Emma’s life.
As far as I understand it Josh & Ginny want to step back, they want to concentrate on other things.
I don’t see two actors of that calibre sitting around, waiting for this show to call them to come back. They’ll be looking for new projects to work on and assuming they find something it’s very optimistic to assume they’ll come back to OUAT whenever the writers decide they could use them again.
Emma and Hook IF married would be living their life together and whatever come their way in terms of villains and so on which they kinda have been doing. Snow and Charming leaving doesn’t not mean they are separated from Emma, it could just mean they are living their own lives with their son and we do hear about them occasionally if they do it like that. Sure Josh and Ginny would look for other projects (that’s what most guest stars who come on do so they aren’t any different) and if the show wants them in a some episodes they can do that as well. As far as I see after Snow/Charming couple, the next couple to take the reign as central would be their daughter and her true love – Emma and Hook. From a story pov that works and makes sense. For me Emma Swan has always been the protagonist.
I’m really not interested in seeing a version of this show in which Snow and Charming are separated from Emma for an extended period, as that family dynamic has always been the most interesting part of the show to me. Although I typically love the show, I have found myself getting bored with this season and for the second time this season have a pile of episodes stacked in my DVR waiting for me to find the motivation to watch them. As a legacy show that has been on a long time, it would be sad to see the show put out to pasture prematurely, but I think it might be time for the writers to begin plotting an endgame with, instead of a reset intended to go on indefinitely, perhaps a mini-final season with the current cast to give everyone proper closure and wrap this up. Since this show used to be one of my very favorites, I’m sad to say this, but it’s been a slog to get through lately and I’m not terribly excited about any kind of reboot.
I feel the same way, have just caught up this week for the second time. Just finding this season hard to engage in, kinda like the Neverland storyline from a few seasons back – was okay for a few episodes, but after half a season was ready to quit! I wonder if the sleeping curse was a way to cut back on actors screen time for Snow and David, with only one or the other about at a time they may be saving money? Don’t know how they work out their pay, if it’s by screen time or lump sum for being in the episode, even if it’s just for a scene.
I really hope those 4 named will actually return, though I feel Rumple might be killed off in the finale. I can see them writing off Snow and Charming and getting away with it, but if they only end up with like 2-3 mains in the end, I don’t see how the audience will be receptive to that change.
This probably means that Emilie has not been asked back, which makes me sad and yet makes my blood boil at the same time.
Belle needs to get away from Rumple. If I had to choose, I’d rather her stay than him, but the writers apparently love Rumple. I’d rather Belle leave the show with some dignity & self respect than have her stay just to be subjected to the mess that is Rumbelle.
I really hope it returns. Several websites seem to predict OUAT will get renewed, but what are the actual odds?
Deadline reported that a renewal is contingent on the 4 named signing new contracts, which means they’ll only renew it if those 4 are locked in for another year or so. But the ratings are already as low as they can be without cancellation being inevitable, and don’t they understand losing half the cast means losing half the audience? And there audience is already a fourth of what it used to be. If season seven goes ahead, I guarantee it will be cancelled and probably end on a cliffhanger because Adam & Eddy got greedy and even though they had a six season plan they don’t want it to end now that we’re here. The story should dictate the end, I LOVE the show from the beginning which is why I want it to end now. I want it to end when the story ends and now that we’re at that point it’s very exciting as a viewer. Bittersweet because I’ll be sad to see it go but nothing lasts forever and I can’t wait to see how everything ties together in the end.
Uhh A&E have ALWAYS said they had a 7 year plan.
Well if they ever had a plan it went out the window as soon as they started pandering to the various ships they created for ratings, And the people that are leaving are doing so because they are tired that the story has become a soap opera and not what it started out as. A reset is needed, reset back to before Neverland…. And most of the fans would be happy as thats when I started to DVR the show instead of watching live. If Hook is back next season I doubt I will be, just saying…
Yawn. Reset? Please. Continue the story organically or end it now!!!
I think it’s just time to say good bye. The story never reached its full potential and Disney, in film, is in its own Renaissance of sorts. The live-action aspect of the story is superfluous now that we’re getting live-action retellings of our favorite stories on the big screen (with a bigger budget.) Either way, I’ll miss what this show could have been but never quite became.
THIS. I think it was great the first season or two, but really really lost its way.
I completely agree. As we saw with Lost, the show runners are great out of the gate and then as the seasons go on the storylines get a bit ludicrous. I’m hanging on because of some of the actors and having gotten invested in characters, I would like to see how everything plays out but this show should definitely be put out of its misery.
Getting tired of this show, lets wrap it up!
TBH don’t think you can compare this to Lost. LOST whole different ballgame and level. I don’t think Lost ever got off track and everything played out as envisioned from beginning to end with whether fans appreciated it or not. The mistakes I feel happened here: OUAT let the Charmings lose their “I will always find you” mojo and become a boring (often arguing) married couple. Regina and Rumple went from being pure evil to just being guilt ridden shells of whatever. They stopped doing imagined backstories of beloved Disney characters. They got way too much into the “ships” especially Hook and Emma (which I always felt Neal and Emma were the true loves). I don’t see how they can say nothing will be left unfinished when I don’t think they even know where they are now. Sadly some great talent such as Robert and Lana end up being tremendously wasted. And they put someone like Raphael Sbarge on the back burner completely – Archie should be a regular weekly presence having sessions with the main characters and residents of Storybrooke. Oh, and don’t even get me started on Red, who was a phenomenal character.
I agree with you about the Charmings completely, they’re the same age as Emma & yet they made them so vanilla during season 3, they dulled the spark that everyone liked from season 1.
I only hope they don’t do that to Emma & Killian once married.
@kid rad. Emma and Hook have always been the build up story since the beanstalk and showrunners confirmed that.
@22bsam. I think Emma and Hook are also such good individual characters that I feel even if they get married we should not lose what made them as individuals. I like them together and as individuals and their growth
I also just want to add one thing: what Disney (or even non-Disney) property that ‘Once’ has not covered do you think was really missing in the 6 seasons we got? And if you can name one, is it one that you trust this show to handle with the sensitivity it deserves (i.e. if you say Pocahontas I’ll scream)
All good things must come to an end. The last two seasons we just not strong. I wish they would have just ended the show this season and let everyone “live happily ever after”
I’ve enjoyed the show for its entire run and have never missed an episode, but I wish they would have just approached this season as the last when they knew that the cast may not all re-sign. It won’t be the same without everyone and it’s going to be really sad if the show reinvents itself and is then cancelled. Of course it may be brilliant but right now I’m skeptical.
Don’t they get it? The problem here has nothing to do with the actors. It has everything to do with the writers. Why don’t they fire a few of them instead?
I fell in love with Once Upon A Time from the teaser at Comic Con before the pilot even aired, if season 7 goes ahead, I believe that Adam & Eddy can pull off more stories to draw me in. This news has me very pleased! Jennifer is the show & Colin became it too with his introduction in the second season, as long as they’re happy to continue, im happy to keep watching.
The rumour I’ve heard is Storybrooke will be no more, people in the town it’s filmed told some fans, so where might it be set now, New York again..?
no offense but the only ever non Netflix successful reboot was Doctor Who. Xena reboot? not happening. Heroes? Cancelled after one season. X-files? cancelled. Twilight Zone in the early 2000’s? cancelled. Munsters reboot? One episode, and it was a disaster. Cancelled.
OUAT has done things to try to get the audience back before (frozen and evil queen return) and none of them have really worked. Rumple treats belle like garbage, and that has driven the viewers away. It just has not been able to re-capture the good storytelling that first season had.
X-files wasn’t cancelled and actually broke viewing records for any show in its 10th season. It’s a far superior show.
No offense to you but Rumple treating Belle like garbage is not what is driving viewers away, CS is, ever since Hook was pushed front and center with Emma the show has tanked and that is a cold hard fact whether you like it or not and as for Belle, she’s not a perfect snowflake of human frailty she’s done wrong to Rumple as well and not once has she even uttered an apology for any of those wrongs most recently the situation that Gideon is in is entirely Belle’s fault. I would rather see Rumple leave this show than be stuck in an unequal relationship with Belle for one second longer. Belle never had a purpose of her own in the show except to try and make Rumple “as good as she is” which turned out to be laughable because she’s one of the biggest hypocrites in the show.
The worst thing Rumple ever did to Belle was lie to er when he was out of his mind with grief and fear in season 4 and tried to protect from his enemies during her pregnancy – the same enemies that she is so willfully ignorant of.
They basically blew off half their cast and we are supposed to be happy. What if my favorites are not on the list of cast invited to stay?
“others might only guest-star as needed in any possible Season 7”
I support this decision because, lets face it, many characters/storylines are left unresolved as it is. If there were a smaller core cast with opportunities for other characters to pop in and out as needed, maybe the storylines will be more organic and less forced, fewer filler so-in-so-needs-something-to-do episodes. That might be wishful thinking, but… Consider a long-running show like Supernatural that has a very small core cast (2 mains with 2 other “regulars” who aren’t even in every ep) but a strong ensemble of recurring characters that have emerged throughout the series. 12 season in, SPN is still fruitful genre show with creative storylines and expanding character development. I’m not saying OUAT is SPN, but a smaller cast could lead to tighter storytelling, which I’d appreciate.
Couldnt agree more with you, smaller cast is the key, but also a change of writers would be nice, sometimes you just dont know what theyre thinking… Looking back scripts of season 1 and 2 and even 3 were…. EPIC
All they have to do is bring Neal back and I will be a happy camper =)
I will consider this season finale a series finale and no longer watch. I was actually going to stop watching anyway, so this is good news for me.
Let’s face it, Snow & Charming’s story has played out, tonight looks like yet another look at an event in the past they had a hand in we didn’t know about. Which I’m sure people will be complaining about here later, I’ll still watch without these two, they’re hardly in it now if you think about it..?
The Snowing flashbacks have been stale for years. The writers basically invent things in their past to force them into being somewhat relevant. How about no flashbacks? Focus on the current timeline and all of the dropped characters/storylines.
The clip ABC just posted makes it look like Snow & Charming knew how terrible things were for their daughter & let it happen anyway. In season four the lengths they went to to make Emma turn out good & she forgave them, it would be unrealistic to think she wouldn’t be deeply hurt by these further revelations/actions. Emma is not who she was in season 1.
They didn’t raise her, they don’t get her & that has gotten clearer & clearer.
Snow White will never play out. They just need to use the dwarfs, more.
So, just to be clear, the show that was *about* Emma reuniting with her parents is considering writing them out? That is just so infuriating, I can’t take it. It kind of breaks my heart a little bit that they’ve decided that the familial love that the show was built around is nothing compared to Emma’s love for Hook! God, this show has lost its way. End it now.
I’m confused about this reaction to Ginny & Josh’s sidetracking, Emma is an adult, she has a family of her own now in Henry & Killian, is this not how it’s supposed to go? I love my Mum & Dad but if I had to see them everyday I think I’d go nuts! Poor Emma, she can’t even get a cup of coffee without the possibility of running into them, her Father is her deputy! I welcome this, it’s what adults do, it doesn’t mean she doesn’t love them or need them but they are always around & often interfering. They hated Killian to begin with, even though he risked his life & took them to Neverland! Emma was his only champion to begin with for the good in him, they see in black & white, good & bad. Emma has had a really crappy life which has given her perspective, she sees the grey. I think this is a natural evolution of the dynamic & I welcome this change.
Yes, dear, but you were RAISED by your parents. Emma has only had hers for a few years. Just the typical CS-tunnel vision that those that ship them have.
Emma has her own life and home which she shares with the man she loves and her son. Obviously her life would mainly be with them.
And yet you’re not offended by the lack of ‘Henry’ in the semi-confirmed cast…?
The new cast member is speculated to be an older Henry I believe, thus he would still be part of the ongoing story.
I want it to end just because this fandom is so toxic, I mean just look at all these comments. It’s disgusting. Fans attacking other fans based on ship, or their favorite character. That is NOT what a fandom should be!
Forget it bring the kid out, this show seems to bring the ‘tween’ out.
I just hope Emma Swan/ Jennifer is back. To me she is the show as in has been the protagonist of the show. Colin as Hook is excellent so I love to see him back. Also Henry as Author would be essential.
I also think Emma and Hook are good as a couple and popular so I love to see them together and their life. After Snow/Charming as THE couple, I think their daughter Emma and her true love Hook are the couple too. I do love Charming Family but I think it could work us hearing about them occasionally in the show if we don’t see them in season.
precocious 10-year-old girl = Cousin Oliver Syndrome. The show is doomed.
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