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Once Upon a Time Exclusive: Supernatural Patriarch Cast as Ariel's Prince

Once Upon a Time Prince Eric Gil McKinneyOnce Upon a Time has found Ariel’s soul mate.

The ABC drama has tapped Gil McKinney (Supernatural, Friday Night Lights) to play the pivotal role of Prince Eric in a multi-episode Season 3 arc, TVLine has learned exclusively.

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Prince Eric is, of course, known for being the love interest of mermaid Ariel, who will be portrayed by JoAnna Garcia Swisher (Reba, Privileged). Both characters will debut in this season’s sixth episode, appropriately titled “Ariel.”

Though little has been confirmed about Once‘s wrinkle on Ariel’s fish tale, the smart money says that our Storybrooke travelers bump up against the lass while braving the island of Neverland — perhaps cuing up a flashback to the “trouble” Regina once had with a certain mermaid. (Is the Evil Queen also Ursula? Discuss.)

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McKinney played Dean and Sam’s paternal grandfather on Supernatural. He also appeared on the final season of Friday Night Lights as Julie’s T.A./love interest.

Once Upon a Time returns Sept. 29 at 8/7c.