Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline’s TV coverage.

While Once Upon A Time is yet to get officially renewed, the producers and cast members of the freshman ABC hit already have their sights set on next season. That is understandable given that the fairytale series is the top-rated new broadcast drama series this season and its renewal is considered a formality. “We have some ideas for Season 2,” Once Upon A Time co-creator/ co-showrunner Edward Kitsis admitted during a PaleyFest 2012 panel discussion today moderated by TVLine’s Matt Mitovich. One element of a second season will be the addition of the Little Mermaid character of Ariel, who was alluded to on the show a few weeks ago. “It’s been challenging to pull off (this show) every week because we’re trying to balance two worlds and thematically link them,” said Kitsis, who co-created the show with Adam Horowitz. “We were never interested in just retelling the old (fairy) tales. Kitsis also revealed that all Once Upon A Time cast members were the producers’ first choice for the roles. “Everyone that we asked (to be on the show) said yes.”

Beyond ratings, Once Upon A Time also has had an impact on pop culture. During the Q&A portion of the session, an older woman stood up and addressed co-star Josh Dallas, who plays Prince Charming on the show. “I want to personally thank you for moving my almost-12-year-old granddaughter on from Justin Bieber,” she said, drawing a laugh.