ABC’s Once Upon A Time was a big breakout when it launched in fall 2011. The inventive fairytale drama from Lost alums Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis became an instant ratings and pop culture hit and fit right into the Disney wheelhouse, weaving into its narrative classic characters from the company’s library. Six seasons in, Once‘s ratings have slipped but it remains a DVR and digital viewing power, rakes in international sales for ABC Studios and is the epitome of Disney corporate synergy. As a legacy show, it will be given a proper sendoff by ABC, so a decision whether to end the series or keep going has to be made early — as in very soon.
“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,” ABC entertainment president Channing Dungey told Deadline at TCA today. “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.”
It will be after that meeting that Dungey and her team will make a decision whether there will be a Season 7 of Once Upon A Time. But “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.”
Dungey declined to comment whether that “next piece” would be a different incarnation of Once, a spinoff or a something else. But it’s clear that the series, which has reinvented itself a number of times, may be heading for its biggest reinvention yet as the show’s main storyline comes to an end this season. “There will be a little bit of closure in this particular narrative regardless of what happens with Season 7,” Dungey told Deadline.