Once Upon a Time will end after its current season, as ABC decides to cancel its long-running fairytale drama.
The series, which first premiered back in 2011 sees Mary (Ginnifer Goodwin) drawn to the small Maine town of Storybrooke, where elements of the fairy tale universe seep into the modern, real world. That, it turns out, is because the Evil Queen Regina (Lana Parrilla) has sent everyone from the Enchanted Forest to the Land Without Magic after wiping their memories with a curse from – yes – Rumplestiltskin (Robert Carlyle). Stories unfold through flashbacks to characters’ former lives, which tend to parallel action in the present day, gradually piecing together the whole mystery of each person’s identity.
Channel 5 broadcast the first two seasons in the UK, but then dropped the series in 2013. Luckily, Netflix UK stepped in to stream the programme exclusively – a sign of how popular the series has become. It’s currently in its seventh season, with Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz still exec-producing, but Deadline confirms that ABC has decided not to renew it for any further episodes.
The decision follows a soft reboot at the end of Season 6, when a number of original cast members exited the show. Only three of the Season 6 regulars returned: Lana Parrilla’s Evil Queen, Robert Carlyle’s Rumplestiltskin, and Colin O’Donoghue’s Captain Hook. Also switching to a quieter Friday night slot in the USA, the seventh season has seen lower ratings and mixed reactions from fans, leading ABC to end the fairytale once and for all.
ABC Entertainment President Channing Dungey said in a statement: “When we first heard Adam and Eddy’s pitch for Once Upon a Time, we knew it was something incredibly special. For seven years, they have captivated us with their creativity and passion while reimagining some of our most beloved Disney fairytales, creating an undeniable global hit. Saying goodbye will be bittersweet, but Once Upon a Time will forever be part of the ABC legacy and we can’t wait for fans to join us in this epic final chapter.”
“Once Upon a Time has been an amazing journey for all of us at ABC Studios and for fans around the world,” added Patrick Moran, president of ABC Studios. “We’re so proud and appreciative of the hard work and creative talent that Eddy Kitsis, Adam Horowitz and their cast and crew brought to this show for seven magical seasons.”
“Seven years ago, we set out to create a show about hope, where even in the darkest of times, a happy ending would always be possible,” commented Kitsis and Horowitz. “But we never imagined the happy ending that was actually in store for all of us — years and years of adventure, romance, magic and hope. We’re so grateful to our brilliant collaborators – the cast, crew, and writers — as well as our partners at the studio and network for making this journey possible. But most of all, we want to thank the fans. Their fierce loyalty and devotion was the real magic behind Once Upon A Time. We hope they join us for these last few hours as we journey to the Enchanted Forrest for one more adventure.”
That one more adventure starts in March, when Season 7 returns for its second half, leading to a finale in May.