According to reports from Deadline, we may not have seen the last of the mystical fairytale world that is Once Upon A Time. ABC/Disney is hinting that there may be an seventh season, or even a spin-off series following the end of the sixth season.
Jennifer Morrison (Emma), Lana Parrilla (Regina), Robert Carlyle (Mr. Gold) and Colin O’Donoghue (Hook) are the four actors that ABC has named as potentially joining in a Season 7. ABC did not mention the return of original cast members Ginnifer Goodwin (Mary), Josh Dallas (David) and Jared Gilmore (Henry), who have also been series regulars since season one, suggesting that they will be moving on to other work. Upon the end of this season, the contracts for the original Once Upon A Time cast will expire, and so they will be free to pursue other projects. Goodwin and Dallas, who in real-life married and had two kids during the course of the series, have been rumored to be planning for season six of Once Upon A Time to be their final season, so that they can focus on their family.
Given the closure of the primary storylines, this new season or spin-off series will have to be a departure from what has already been covered in the last six seasons. Since Lost writers Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis launched Once Upon a Time in 2011, it has been great vehicle for ABC/Disney to promote and reinvent classic Disney characters such as Snow White, Hook, Belle, Peter Pan, and many more. Although ratings in the last few years have fallen, the series still continues to be a financial success for ABC/Disney, especially for international audiences.
ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey had the following to say in an interview with Deadline in January:
Eddy and Adam came in and talked with me right before the holiday about what some of their potential ideas might be for Season 7. There was some interesting stuff, we gave them some feedback, and they are now working and are going to come back and sit with me in a couple of weeks. I think that, having had worked on Lost, they have a very good sense of the engagement with fans and wanting to end the story in the right way… regardless of what we decide to do at the end of this season, I think they think they would put a little bit of a bow here, and then there is a next piece that comes after that, so they are trying to figure out what that is and how that works.
The series has been nominated for six Primetime Emmys, including three nominations for costume design, two for make-up/prosthetics, and one for special effects. In 2013-2014, there was a one season spin-off series Once Upon A Time in Wonderland, which focused on Alice in Wonderland characters in Victorian-era England.
Once Upon a Time returned last Sunday on ABC, and will finish this sixth season by the end of the year.