Fall TV Preview

Once Upon a Time Season 3: JoAnna Garcia Swisher to Make a Splash as Ariel

Once Upon a Time Cast Mermaid ArielThings just got a lot better under the sea, with the casting of JoAnna Garcia Swisher as Once Upon a Time‘s Ariel.

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An ABC rep confirms for TVLine that the Reba/Privileged alum will play the mermaid with moxie in at least two episodes, starting with the sixth installment of Season 3. TV Guide Magazine first reported on the casting.

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Although Ariel’s appearance on the show — and often with Swisher’s name loosely attached — has been rumored since Season 1, the character’s Season 3 debut was confirmed at last month’s Comic-Con, in a teaser reel that showed a mysterious being sneaking up on a dwarf, stealing the fork (!) out of his lunchbox and vanishing into the ocean. Then, with the flick of a glistening fin, the redhead revealed herself and swam away.

Yet despite the context of the teaser (a la the previous Comic-Con’s misleading glimpse of Captain Hook), Ariel will not surface in Storybrooke but in another realm.

Once opens Season 3 on Sunday, Sept. 29.