Fall TV Preview

Once Upon a Time Ups Sean Maguire, Rebecca Mader to Series Regulars

Once Upon a Time Season 5 Maguire Mader

ABC’s Once Upon a Time has promoted both Sean Maguire and Lost alum Rebecca Mader to series regulars for Season 5, TVLine has learned.

The news comes just hours after TVLine revealed details on three new characters being cast for the coming half-season: Merlin, King Arthur and Guinevere.

Maguire made his debut as Robin Hood in Once‘s Season 3A premiere, and over two seasons gradually secured his place as Regina’s one true love.

Mader first popped up as the Wicked Witch aka Regina’s half-sister Zelena in a coda to the Season 3A finale, before proceeding to wreak havoc throughout 3B. After seemingly being vanquished in Season 3’s penultimate episode, Zelena surprisingly resurfaced this spring, having had (apparently!) traveled back in time with Emma and Hook and used a glamor spell to pass herself off as Marian.

Currently carrying Robin’s child, Zelena last was seen being locked up by Regina for — how do we put this nicely? — “safe keeping.”

Which of these promotions delights you most, Once fans?

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114 Comments
  1. StephonJS says:

    HAPPY DANCE!

  2. SK says:

    Really? Where is Meghan Ory? She should have been back as a regular since Intelligence was cancelled.

    • Steve H. says:

      Kind of depends if SHE wants to come back and if she’s available…

    • DF12398 says:

      its also possible that Meghan Ory does not want to be back/want to be a regular.

      • Rebecca says:

        Why would she want to come back to a show that shoved her aside for a useless pirate.

        • Brigid says:

          You’re blaming the addition of Hook when the actress left the show on her own accord? LOL, yes the waitress added so much to OUAT.

          • Rebecca says:

            Hook is literally useless as a character. What does he do that’s helpful? Let’s recap…… In the Sorcerer’s house/library when EVERYONE was reading/researching….. Hook was sitting there doing nothing. (Totally helpful!) Even his AU self was useless….. He ended up getting stabbed! (Super helpful!) But yeah….. Ruby didn’t add anything. Even though SHE was the one who tracked down Belle when she was missing….. SHE was the one who found clues in S1 when helping Emma to track down Abigail. SHE was the one that saved AND talked Whale out of his suicidal tendancies at the docks….. But yeah…. She was SUCH a useless character! Give me a break.

          • Joey says:

            It is completely logical to blame it on Hook (and A&E, more accurately) since they admitted that they were working on a story for Red but when they got permission to use Peter Pan and Neverland, they threw it out the window.

      • Lauren says:

        Or the showrunners don’t want her back. She was a series regular yet he chose to star in another show. Her bad luck it got cancelled.

        • Rebecca says:

          If that’s true, then it really is true that A&E just don’t appreciate potential for actually interesting storylines. (*coughs* Frankenwolf) But apparently CS is ‘good’? (Newsflash writers….. It’s not. It’s lazy and boring as hell.

          • Marissa says:

            CS is the only good thing left on the show. But a random ass relationship between Ruby and Whale that was hinted as a possibility in one episode in season 2 is apparently…an interesting storyline? That was just stupid. And Meghan Ory left because producers apparently stepped in to make the writers bring Emma and Snow back sooner from the EF which meant the story for Ruby and David in Storybrooke was scrapped and they then got the rights to Neverland and she realized she wasn’t getting much to do so she left. It had absolutely nothing to do with Hook who was already a regular by this point and who was barely in the second half of season 2 anyway.

          • Theo says:

            As we have seen with the emphasis on OutlawQueen and CaptainSwan the ratings have taken a nose dive. I guess they really want to be at the bottom of the ratings barrel

          • Oh wow you are cute zelena thank you so much

      • Vari says:

        I honestly dont know what the need to bring in Hook in this article by someone who keeps repeating this crap of hook this and that. He is good character and i like him.

        Please give me a break from your hate – Rebecca. Useless person

        • prish says:

          He’s the best eye candy on TV, plus a very good actor.

          • Jess says:

            True but his character is very flat. In the case of Hook, it’s the writing that sucks.

        • abz says:

          Yeah, this Rebecca is constantly bringing Hook hate in every OUAT-related article from what I’ve noticed. He’s been on for three seasons. He’s clearly not going anywhere at the moment. Find something about the show you like and stick with it at this point or move on already.

          • Buttercup says:

            I’ve noticed that, too. It’s like Rebecca has an obsession with hating Hook. Why? He’s an interesting character, and he and Emma are adorable together. I don’t see what Hook has to do with Ruby. Did they even have any scenes together?

  3. Sam says:

    ouat needs less regina related things not more of them. can’t be bothered with these two.

  4. Love this news!! Great day for Once fans.. Awesome actors

    • Vari says:

      I just dont think Sean is that great esp considering actors like Robert, Josh and Colin. (these guys are good esp RC and Colin)

  5. Dennis says:

    Isn’t she the wicked witch? I’m confused lol

  6. Vari says:

    I had a feeling Sean (not one my faves esp in acting wise) would be regular as he is Robin Hood and for Regina but didnt think Zelena would be regular

    • Whatevah says:

      I wish Zelena wasn’t a regular. How often am I going to have to watch her over-acting? She’s good in small doses. Really small doses…

      • Brigid says:

        Agreed! Unless she changes dramatically, her character is the same in every scene.

        • Kris says:

          Agreed! She overacts and is kind of annoying..

        • tvjunkie says:

          Then blame the directors. You don’t think the director(s) would make her do her scenes again if he didn’t like they way she was doing them? The director(s) probably told her to do the character that way. Rebecca isn’t a big enough name in the industry to dictate how she will play a particular character.

      • Like micro small doses. I just can’t stand her. Watching her makes me cringe

      • Deena says:

        SO relieved people agree with me. I can’t watch her. I couldn’t wait for the whole Wicked Witch arc to end and then she came back. And now she’s a regular.

  7. Zach says:

    If history is any case, becoming a series regular on OUaT is a death sentence. Either that, or their storyline gets totally dropped. Remember when Archie stopped being used in the second half of season 1? Then Ruby’s story was completely dropped in season 2. Belle is still pretty much useless. Neal = dead. Will = barely used. Weren’t they supposed to develop him?

    Here’s to hoping this reverses the trend.

    • Azerty says:

      I was actually thinking “ho good they are pretty one dimensional characters, with a regular gig they might be developped more” until I read your comment and realized how right you are.

    • Rebecca says:

      “Here’s to hoping this reverses the trend.” That’s like hoping that the Kardashian’s will go away. Lord knows it won’t make a difference.

      • Zach says:

        “That’s like hoping that the Kardashian’s will go away. Lord knows it won’t make a difference.” Lmao. Yeah, I probably should’ve known better.

        • Rebecca says:

          Let’s be real here…. These writers are a bunch of morons who don’t know how to write interesting storylines. I feel like it’s always the same thing over and over again. Rumple/Malcom’s storyline was identical to Bae/Rumple ‘daddy issues’ (they just switched the names). Everyone’s related to everyone, etc. This show doesn’t know how to break their boring formula.

          • LADY_in_MD says:

            Then why do you keep watching it and commenting on the articles?

          • JimC says:

            Newsflash, Rebecca….LOL,it’s a friggin TV show and you call the writers “morons”. Hey, there is this button on your remote…it actually changes the channels for you…you might want to try it.

          • Pasdevos Affaires says:

            I agree with you 100%. Lost started as a fantastic innovating show that soon hit the wall because the writers are moron Impulsive ADD that dont take time to read back their crap to sort out inconsistencies. Same story with OUAT. A&K have freaking LOST it again! OUAT did I just say? Yeah LOST IT too! Not watching any of A&K crap shows ever again.

    • Zach, Why do you even watch ? Sounds like you don’t like any of it.

  8. LADY_in_MD says:

    Ok so on the other thread about the new characters being added people are complaining that there isn’t enough focus on the main characters but on here people are complaining that it’s too much Regina it’s a show people just sit back and enjoy it!

    • Rigerty says:

      The OUAT fandom isn’t happy unless there’s something to complain about. ;) There’s a lot of negativity on that online fandom.

      • Lizo says:

        Hahahaha! Truth. I’m a fangirl to the core (convention-going, fanfic-writing weirdo), but the OUAT fandom is one of the most poisonous fandoms right now. The brutality people throw at one another instead of celebrating this awesome thing they all love, it’s vile. I’ve been around these communities for almost two decades and there’s always been disagreements, but there was a general respect for people; the adage of ‘your kink is not my kink and that’s okay’. That is sadly not the case anymore and it’s disgusting.
        .
        Sherlock is equally as vile, just in different ways

      • graze says:

        It could just be the vocal minority that posts their opinions. But even those are confusing. Love Regina say many, less Regina say some…Hook is destroying the show, if only they focused more on Hook and Emma the show would be great….focus on core characters, need new characters otherwise the show will implode…

        Honestly, reading through the OUAT comments for the last 4 years, it’s clear people watch or read the same thing but for whatever the reasons see a very different show. I think most of us really do want the show to be good, but some “fans” just love to complain no matter what. And please does anyone else feel like pulling their hair every time they see that “haters gonna hate” line!

        • kgm says:

          Yes, but I’m usually rolling my eyes at “haters gonna hate”, “rape culture”, “sexual abuse” “Hook & Hood are beards”, “homophobic ” and every other hateful and slang term people seem to apply at fictional characters and unbelievable sometimes the actual/creators/writers/actors themselves. Swear they are going to boycott but then they are back the next week, knowing everything that happened during the show in which they were going to boycott to complain all over again. I don’t know about anyone else, but I do not waste my time watching shows which I do not enjoy or waste my time berating someone online who does enjoy the show in which I dislike.

          • merwordup says:

            Maybe you should just take your own advice. If you don’t like people’s comments, then why “waste your time”?

      • LADY_in_MD says:

        It’s too much sometimes! :-)

  9. Emma says:

    How about Will Scarelt? Is he still a series regular or was he already downgraded?

    • Ken says:

      Yeah I was interested in how they would incorporate Will (after Wonderland was canceled). I kept waiting for his story to kick in and we would find out what happened to Anastasia. And they didn’t do anything with his character or explain her whereabouts. Shame that an entire season went by and they didn’t absolutely nothing with his story.

      • emily says:

        They said they didn’t have “time” to do that. Which is ridiculous. They didn’t have time, bc they didn’t make time for it. Its pure laziness. People who left wondering why Will is even on the show..

        • Elijah says:

          Really they’re lazy? Have you ever walked in their shoes before? No you haven’t. So you don’t have the right to call them lazy. They could be up till 5:00 in the morning or not get any sleep for weeks bc they’re working on scenes from the show or they could be working on multiple shows!!! That’s not laziness, that’s commitment and dedication. So before the next time you call someone lazy, think about what they might be doing other than evolving a characters story.

  10. Nan says:

    I can’t stand either of them, so I doubt I’ll even watch the coming season. IMO they’ve driven the show off a cliff in the style of Lost. Pass.

  11. Mikazuki says:

    Ugh. Neither of these promotions “delights” me. Nothing against the actors, but Robin is a totally dull and unlikable hero, and Zelena just ruins every story she touches because she’s so over the top. I was looking forward to season 5 of Once, but now I’m kind of dreading it. Hopefully, these two characters won’t get much screen time like poor Will Scarlet this past season.

  12. VJ says:

    Yeah for Seasn Maguire… less yeah for Rebecca Mader. I think she is great, but I was over the Zelena story when it ended and I really didn´t liked it that she came back. And: they have a new series regular that they barely used, I want to know why Will is back from Wonderland! It´s the same thing with AoS: they have so many regulars, but not enough time to give them storylines. So what do they do? Add MORE regulars.

  13. brandydanforth81 says:

    love Zelena so I’m happy there but UGH at Robin

  14. SANDY says:

    All of them I like to keep updated. Thank You

  15. TopHat says:

    No more Regina flashbacks. I know all there is to know about her, and I’m bored with the Mills family drama story line. There are other characters who have very few flashbacks in comparison or would make for more interesting stories to follow.

    • ninergrl6 says:

      Agreed. I’m over the Snow/Charming flashbacks too. Unless there’s some compelling backstory that connects them in a vital and clever way to a new character’s arc, I know all about their EF history that I care to.

  16. Eran says:

    Oh HEEELLL to the yes! Rebecca Mader’s Zelena is a revelation. There is SO MUCH the writers could do with this fantastic character. Could not be happier over this

  17. Fred says:

    I really hoped they would upgrade Kristin Bauer van Straten or otherwise Agnes Bruckner to series regulars. They bring a different taste to the show, one that I really like, more of the Sleeping Beauty tale. But if we’re lucky they’ll just be recurring. (I hope they don’t give them a quick and stupid exit like they did with many other characters). And I want Mulan back in season 5

    • kgm says:

      I hope Kristen makes a recurring role also, I’m a huge fan of hers due to True Blood, I know she was not available to film the Season 5 finale due to being in pre production with Kingmakers??? It was to be a ABC show but I was told it had been cancelled? But I’m not sure if that is correct information

  18. awaywithpixie says:

    There is some pretty ordinary acting on this show, but Rebecca Mader has to have been the worst of them all. Her storyline was bloated and so over the top, she is going to be a factor in my not watching it now. Ugh. Let’s stop focussing on the core characters, and get to the interesting ones we’ve had added, but who seem to be nobodies any more. More Will, less Snow. ugh, she’s as bad as Mader. Merlin I’m interested in, Arthur and Guinivere? … ok… let’s watch them ruin another fictional world.

  19. Dana says:

    Does this mean another season without giving Belle/EdR a proper storyline? *sigh*

  20. Me says:

    And the actor playing Will scarlet suddenly gets a buddy to hang out with so he can have screen time.

  21. Marissa says:

    Oh lord…I was expecting Sean Maguire as a regular even though I hate Robin but Zelena too??? The most pointless character to upgrade to regular but of course they’re both connected to Regina’s story so we’ll have even more of Regina in a show already filled with too much Regina!

  22. Nic says:

    So this confirms it, Rumple, Belle and Will going to disapear during almost all season bc they dont have any connection to the main family now appears, bc bet that Hook will pretend was henry father or something, bc now is Emma family( with the mascot included) and regina family. Well bye OUAT, you wont be missed by me and i will make sure no one in family and friends see it, even Disney channel is more worth seing than this.

  23. Cheryl says:

    I vote Samuel Anderson , he played Danny Pink on Dr. Who, for Merlin. British. Or, not that they could get him, Howard Charles. In case you don’t know he’s Porthos on The Musketeers.

  24. Dominique says:

    maguire i can understand. mader on the other hand… wonderful woman, but zelena should be long gone. i was happy they (seemingly) killed her in season 3, but now she’s back for good? ugh,

    • jerrired says:

      Same. Robin I understand, and nothing against Mader, she seems like a sweet heart but I can’t stand Zelena. In fact, she’s my least favorite of all the characters/villains. I just get so annoyed by her as a character. I rather they just let her stay dead and made August or someone (Lily, Mal, Cruella, heck even Isaac) a series regular instead. I’m hoping who ever they cast as Merlin can make up for having to deal with Zelena full time.

  25. Happy about Sean, not very happy about Bex. Her character disgusts me and i hoped they would get out of this baby sl in a easy way, either killing her off or the baby being of some random guy not Robin’s.

  26. Raven says:

    Does anyone really want Zelena around? I don’t mean Bex who is lovely and has a lot of fans. I mean the character of Zelena who is just godawful. If I could go back in time and change things so that one TV character never existed, it would be her.

    • Ken says:

      Yes, i want her around. The entire wicked witch storyline and Rebecca Mader’s performance is what solidified the show to me. I was a casual viewer until her introduction. Love the character and the actress.

    • brandydanforth81 says:

      Yes, I do as do a couple other posters here .Just you don’t like her doesn’t mean everyone hates her

  27. emily says:

    Why in the right mind would they want Zelena on the show fulltime? Awful character and storyline. As for Sean, its about time!

  28. Ally says:

    Very happy about this news. I adore both actors and the characters they play. That being said, the show made a huge mistake with this pregnancy storyline and it will take a lot of hard work to salvage this mess. I hope the show focuses on the relationship between Zelena and Regina instead of this nonsense baby stuff. Watching Regina and Zelena try to form a relationship despite everything Zelena did to Regina would be interesting. Watching Zelena manipulate Robin and Regina by using that baby would be awful.

    • Elijah says:

      I agree with you. Seeing Regina and Zelena try to form a relationship even after everything Zelena did to Regina would be interesting, rather than Zelena using this innocent baby to manipulate Regina and robin

  29. Eva says:

    Sean Maguire is an excellent actor. If people can’t see this, their bad.
    His promotion to a regular has been long overdue. I want to see more Regina (she’s been sorely missed in 4A) because one can never have enough of her. Also more of Outlaw Queen, of course.
    As for Zelena, I am fine to see her relationship with Regina develop but that baby needs to go. It’s just too sick to have the baby as the result of rape. Commited by your own sister.
    Disgusting.

  30. Rigerty says:

    Congratulations to both of them. I really like Sean Maguire as Robin Hood and I’m glad he’s gotten the series regular promotion this year. I admit I’m no fan at all of what the wriwters have been doing with Zelena, but I like Rebecca Mader and maybe they’ll find a way to tweak the writing for her. Even though I still think the show also really, really shouldn’t add another baby.

  31. Theo says:

    Great. We now get to see more bad acting from these two. Sean Maguire and Rebecca Mader are some of the worst acting on the show. Will Rebecca Mader still do her bug-eyed acting? Will Sean Maguire still make faces like he’s smelling cauliflower? Belch..Also, Matt Robin is Regina’s soulmate not true love. They only said it about a thousand times in the dialogue of the show, especially in Season 3. Get it right.

    • Rigerty says:

      Matt’s hardly to blame for your bad mood. Soulmates and true loves are essentially the same thing on this show and the Robin Hood/Regina dynamic has been described with both terms by writers and actors alike.

      • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

        Seriously. FTR, my opinion is that Robin was introduced/touted in Season 3 as her soul mate, but by the end of Season 4 had established himself as Regina’s OTL (at least as far as canon is considered). Your mileage may vary! #Internet

      • merwordup says:

        Actually I believe it was at a con, when someone asked A&E during season 3 what was the difference between true love/ soul mate, they were stomped. It was obvious that they didn’t calculate people thinking that there was a difference. Maybe now they have figured out their answer. It is still a very unconvincing relationship.

  32. Haliwell Manor says:

    Great news for Rebecca, I hope they give her a bit more to do and flesh out her part a lot more. Her character is very one note as is. The character’s whole arc has been she is jealous of her sister thus far.

  33. No! I cannot STAND Zelena. Ew No No No No. I mean she is probably a lovely actress but Ugg I cannot stand the character.

    • graze says:

      Agreed. Couldn’t have said better myself. I hope Robin Hood is given better material and directing, there’s still some hope for him, I think…

  34. Katie says:

    I’m sorry to say that I really hate the idea of Zelena returning. I have nothing against the actress, but I don’t find Zelena interesting at all, and her being alive and sticking around really just reminds me how completely pointless Neal’s death was. I don’t think I’ll be watching either.

  35. Liza says:

    Yay for Sean!!!!

  36. robin says:

    I wish new characters would be part of current storylines or twist them as these two have done. I don’t like it when a whole different show seems to be running parallel to ouat.

  37. Sheila says:

    Ugh, I can’t stand Zelena!

  38. Jimmy says:

    Rebecca Mader, yes! Sean Maquire, zzzzzzzzzzz.

  39. bob kaznica says:

    got to meet both actors recently at ACBC2015 Both are very fan friendly glad to hear we will see more of them

  40. bob kaznica says:

    Got to meet both Sean and Rebecca at ACBC2015 very fan friendly ..Glad to hear we will see more of them

  41. eric says:

    Yes! Now if they can only find a way to bring back Elizabeth Mitchell and Meghan Ory – that would round up the cast real nicely!

  42. Ram510 says:

    Great for Sean McGuire, he deserves it.
    I don’t know how Zalena is going to play into the entire season

  43. Rose Nguyen says:

    Yesssss, finally Rebecca come into the series regulars. I’m so ecited about Zelena’s baby

  44. kirads09 says:

    Thanks for confirming that that I will NOT be watching S5. A weakened, powerless Gold/Rumple? Can’t get into Robin. Would prefer Mader as a hero – hello – grown up Merida ! Zelena is a turn off for me. I want Meghan Ory (Red) back and what have they done with Archie? Seems such a waste of a talented actor and Storybrooke needs a conscience and psych person to guide them – they’ve all been through a lot!! He should be a main/central character!! I want a trip to Agrabah, Aladdin and Jasmine. Not really keen on their version of Camelot. OUAT has completely lost its way IMO.

  45. buttercupscarlett95 says:

    I think I’m one of the few people happy about both additions. I really like Sean as Robin Hood, and Bex is amazing as Zelena. Since Robin is Regina’s soul mate, Sean being promoted to regular was a long time coming. I’m not a huge Regina fan, but her scenes with Robin Hood are sweet and romantic. As for Zelena, the show needs a full time villain. Regina and Hook are reformed, and Rumple is powerless now. Zelena is the perfect choice to wreak havoc in Storybrooke. I wonder if she might team up with Isaac to try to get revenge on Regina and the rest of the town?

    • ninergrl6 says:

      I was thinking the same thing about the show needing a true villain again (besides Emma, who we all know will be saved from darkness eventually). With the on-going redemption arcs of Regina, Hook, Rumple (to varying degrees), and even Maleficent and Ursula in 4B, who’s left to cause real trouble? Zelena is a good choice to fill that void without adding yet another character or mythology to the already-crowded show. She has connections to the “core” (Regina, Rumple), and after the Marian switcheroo & subsequent rape pregnancy, she’s pretty much the baddest of the bad. If not Zelena, who?

  46. H says:

    Am I the only one who’s excited about Merlin, Arthur, and Guinevere? Since David and Snow had the episode with fake Excalibur, I’ve been hoping this world will come back in OUAT, and here it is! And while I’m not the biggest fan of Robin (he’s okay, but I’d like to see more from him as himself, not just Regina’s love interest), Zelena could be very interesting in Season 5. It would be nice to see her wreak all kinds of havoc before she gets her real happy ending.

  47. Pasdevos Affaires says:

    The whole is a waste of time, A&K have introduced so many irritating characters, supposedly honorable and fierce only to badly developing the character. E: Mulan, Aurora, Philip and Zelena so forth…Not to talk about that Ridiculous Pan. Now we are to believe Merlin will be wise beyond his years… another flop that I wont waste time to watch. TV attendance rtings are going down consistently. This wont last past a fifth season.

    • Pasdevos Affaires says:

      I cant stand Zelena, Robin Hood, Will, Hook. Even Swan has no substance to the character. She will be the Dark One only for the Hiatus and once season 5 comes about on the first episode they will already have found a ready mix instant pouding solution to rid her of Darky. Quite a stupid show. Naught to do with the fantastic epic first season. Youcan tell by looking at Robert Carlisle’s acting that he is bored to his wits!!!

  48. Am I the only one who found the arc about Zelena being Marion completely absurd? I mean I can believe she didn’t die, but then she traveled back in time to the same time as Emma posing as Marion hoping Emma would rescue her? How could she even know what time Emma would travel back to? What made her think Emma would change the past by rescuing her? Why Marion at all?

  49. That’s great news on both topics!!

  50. rebquist says:

    Shut up with the crap everyone! We all know the haters and the lovers are gonna watch to see what happens and it could be entirely different than what you all think. Just sit back shut up and let the story unfold! By the end of the season they may have their mess all cleaned up and it’ll be back on track like it should be!