Exclusive
Once Upon a Time Season 7 Reset

The Once Upon a Time 'Reset' Plan: How Do These New Characters Fit In?

Once Upon a Time could look a bit different if renewed for Season 7.

As ABC ponders a possible renewal, the numbers for Season 6 thus far tell this story: averaging 3.5 million weekly viewers and a 1.1 demo rating (in Live+Same Day numbers), Once is down 30 percent from this time last year, and currently ranks sixth among the network’s dozen dramas. As such — and with the contracts for Jennifer Morrison (read story) and other key cast members due for renewal this spring — there has been evidence that a “reset” of sorts is on the drawing board, should the show get renewed.

Having heard from series creators Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis some “interesting” potential ideas for the future, ABC entertainment president Channing Dungey recently told our sister site Deadline, “Regardless of what we decide to do … I think [Adam and Eddy] would put a little bit of a bow here” — what she later called “closure in this particular narrative” — “and then there is a ‘next piece’ that comes after that. So they are trying to figure out what that [next piece] is and how that works.”

Dungey similalry suggested that Season 7 could offer “a springboard in a new direction from a narrative standpoint,” in a talk with EW.com. “[That] doesn’t necessarily mean that we’re not bringing cast back, it’s just: How do you kind of hit the reset button in a way that gives you opportunity to expand the stories that we’re telling?”

Along those lines, TVLine now has a first bit of intel on how the series’ current run (resuming Sunday, March 5) will end, and in doing so tee up any possible Season 7.

Namely, the May finale will introduce a pair of guest stars, both of whom have the potential to join the ensemble as series regulars if the show moves forward. First up, the fantasy drama is casting a “strong yet vulnerable” leading man in his late 20s to mid-30s, a gent who was once optimistic and hopeful but now is a friendless, cynical recluse. That said, he still possesses a dormant, deep-seated spark of hope that waits for the right person to reignite it.

The other role being cast is a precocious 10-year-old with a “constant twinkle of mischief in her eye.” And though this girl comes from a broken home, those struggles have only made her stronger — something which will come in handy when darkness threatens “everything she holds dear.” And while the character breakdown notes that this lass “never lets the hard knocks of life get her down,” you would be wrong to guess that she is a certain little orphan named Annie.

What is your theory on Once Upon a Time’s tweaked narrative plan for any possible Season 7, and how these two noobs figure into it?

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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145 Comments
  1. Boriiiiing. Cancel the show already.

    • Jack says:

      “I don’t like it, so it needs to be cancelled” logic.

      • SallyAnne says:

        Actually ratings say that it should be cancelled.

        They have fallen 40% year after year since the end of season 2. And 30% from last season.

        Once the show went from being about Regina, Snow, Emma and Rumple and turned into the Captain Swan and Outlaw Queen show people just left and haven’t stopped.

        The show is terrible now, and badly written. Good riddance.

      • Nk8950 says:

        It’s getting old! They should renew it for one more final season! I stopped watching as well…hate Hook/Emma and I got tired of them. My excitement for the show also disappeared when Robin died. Isn’t the point of fairy tales that every person who deserves it gets a happy ending! Regina lost hers!

      • Nk8950 says:

        The logic and the ratings show that a lot of people don’t like it!

      • B says:

        Generally, I agree. If one doesn’t like a show, one doesn’t have to watch it. There’s no need to want the people who do like it to be disappointed. Although in the case of Supernatural, I like the actors and would be happy if the show were cancelled so they could be on better shows instead.

        • Ouat fan says:

          But many people who dont want to watch it are wating for a memorable ending like me we deserve it because before the shipping and frozen etc this show was big and its argumment was great but right now its just a show for children. We need something that can remind us of the season 1 potencial and the real story the producers want to tell

  2. “strong yet vulnerable” leading man is going to be Henry -time jump coming….

    • DL says:

      My thoughts exactly. Seems like the lowest common denominator for a soft reboot.

    • Nicky says:

      You don’t know that. If you looked and read carefully, they said two guest stars. None of them sound related to a grown up Henry. And since they were hinted to be new regulars for the possible s7, they be replacements for one or two regulars who either left or died off this season.

      • A “leading man” – as i carefully read – wouldn’t be a guest star. Its quite common that someone would be a guest star at the end of one season and then regular cast next season

        • Nicky says:

          You misunderstood me. I said that these two possible characters do not sound related to one of our regulars. They said new and that makes the male not sound related to Henry being an adult. And when it comes to being new regulars for next season, most likely they might be replacing two regulars we know who might have either got killed off or left. That’s what I meant.

          • Lauren says:

            However, this show does so much time jumping, that they could show a scene in the future quite easily. Or a scene from another land, or timeline, or universe. You never know!

    • Cordelia says:

      If these characters are potentially going to become regulars then the male can’t logically be a future version of Henry.
      There can’t be two versions of a character on the regular cast, it’s unstable to allow two versions of the same person to co-exist with each other and if the current Henry is killed off, a future version of him will never exist at all.

      • Jess says:

        Actually, it could happen. If you recall, this season there are two different versions of Regina existing in the same place and time. Also, this is Once Upon A Time where anything can and will happen. True, it wouldn’t make a lot of sense for them to being in a future Henry, but maybe he is there to help the younger Henry with some sort of task. (that’s assuming there will actually be a future Henry coming into the picture).

    • SallyAnne says:

      Wow. The show focusing on a male character. How original! /s

    • Teighlor Davis says:

      Yasss my thoughts exactly.

  3. Mark says:

    So, a new Henry and Emma.

  4. Tamara says:

    A terrible idea. Just cancel this show so it can go out on a…average level (i loved it once but it’s long past its high point). It’s ratings aren’t impressive and, most importantly, there’s no new story left to tell. Let it go.

  5. Michelle says:

    100% that’s Henry. He has a daughter he doesn’t know about and bam, story comes full circle.

  6. lastfrontier84 says:

    Every time a curse happens the show is “reset ” only to recover from it months later. How is this different?

    • Marc says:

      Yes. That’s the premise of this show. Like Alias (and the Arrowverse shows), it resets each season with a new story arc that is somewhat self-contained, sometimes more than once.

    • Paige says:

      I think it might be more the fact that they’re already saying that these 2 new people are potential series regulars that has people spinning. We get new recurring characters every half season, but never with an announcement that they’re intended new regulars. Personally, this doesn’t make sense to me.

  7. lastfrontier84 says:

    Are they actually going to kill Emma and have this person be a new Savior?

  8. Dasha says:

    This sounds like a really bad idea. If this idea is on the ‘drawing board’ at the moment, I hope it doesn’t go through. It’d be a disaster. Honestly, I’d much rather watch a Hook and Emma spin off or something.

  9. Sophie says:

    As long as Lana stays, it’s watchable.
    Given the series had the dramatic drop in ratings for season 5, which was definitely the weakest (started with 1.8 ended with 1.1 approximately), IMHO (not to mention it hemorrhaged viewers after Robin’s unnecessary death), they should be lucky the effect of S5 isn’t even worse on S6. The ratings are low but stable. I think it’s only thanks to Lana Parrilla’s BRILLIANT performance. So yeah, reset, do whatever you wish but keep Lana Parrilla at all costs.

    • Kevin says:

      They didn’t hemorrhage viewers because of Robin’s death. People like me finished season five because we started it, and given what they did to Dark Swan, we all knew better than to believe Split Regina would be about anyone or anything other than Hook, one way or another.

      • Sophie says:

        Whatever, but I know lots of peoople quit watching because of the destruction of hope with Robin’s death.

        • Nk8950 says:

          I did lose interest after Robin died! The storyline that followed was boring and I got angry every time they showed poor Regina. She turned her life around, became good, and got cheated out of a happy ending again!

    • SallyAnne says:

      They didn’t hemorrhage because of Robins death.

      They tanked because he was on the show.

      It’s no coincidence that since the show was transformed into the Captain Swan and Outlaw Queen show, ratings have collapsed.

      The Robin Hood plot-line was one of the worst things I’ve seen on TV, and totally degrading to Regina’s character. The only thing worse is Hook and Captain Swan, where Emma has been lobotomized and turned into a hook abusing apologist, stepford wife.

      As soon as the show deviated from being about women, mothers and families, and was all about dudes and turning the main female characters into heir boyfriends, the audience with any brain cells (which ratings show was most of them), just left in disgust.

      Nobody wants to watch a show that tells you to be happy you have to be shacked up to a dude, and that even if he treats you like crap (Hook sexually assaulted Emma and abuses her, Hood cheated with Regina on his frozen wife and had a baby with her sister) you just put up with it to “be happy”.

      Good riddance I say – long overdue.

      • Sophie says:

        Outlaw Queen show?? Seriously? In season 5? No way.
        That’s the reason lots of people quit, because of lack of development.

        Sorry but this is a show about one woman. I don’t see it as a show about women.
        I watch the show about everyone.

        Ah what’s wrong with shacking up to a dude, or to leave the rudeness of it – loving a man? Hmmmm.

        Hook didn’t sexually assault Emma. And his “frozen” wife turned out to be his abuser, literally.

        But if you say “good riddance” why even come here and bother …

        • Nk8950 says:

          This show was supposed to be about Snow White, Prince Charming, and Regina! Yes, Emma and Henry were revolving central characters because they’re Snow and David’s child and grandchild, not to mention Henry is Regina’s kid too. However, it was better when they focused on the people that started the whole thing! When they started focusing so much on Emma, it failed to hold my interest! Also, Jennifer Morrison’s acting went downhill and she seemed to look sick every week! Plus, I hate Hook and Emma and it became too much about them!

          • Debbie says:

            When the show came all about lovey dovey crap it just drove us away. I love love the show when everyone was fighting and trying to pull together to fight evil but then ya put in all this lovey dovey b.s. And that’s what u get. A failing show. Such a pity and a whole world of fairy tales I choose from too. Pity

          • …no, the show was and still is about the saviour and her family…

          • Ingrid says:

            Agreed!

      • Nk8950 says:

        I loved Robin and I loved Robin and Regina! He was her happy ending…the one she deserved after coming so far! They were a good couple and I was angry after they killed him off! I only watched a couple more episodes after that because the storyline was stupid! I hate Hook and Emma and I agree about them, but I pushed through for the Robin/Regina scenes! Robin fell in love with Regina when he thought his wife was dead. He couldn’t turn those feelings off especially when it seemed like he lost her again when she froze over. He did the right thing…he left with who he thought was Maid Marian. You can’t blame him for not realizing the woman he thought was his wife was really Zelena. It’s not his fault that he got an imposter pregnant!

    • Heather says:

      Yup. I stopped watching too after Robin died. He didn’t just die; he was literally destroyed. So much for stories about hope and happy endings.

      S5 took a dive for the worst and it’s the season with the biggest ratings dip from start to finish. Just bad.

      I would watch if Lana stuck around & she actually had decent story. But I stopped trusting this writing a long time ago. I generally only care for s1-s3. Some episodes in s4 are okay.

    • Ingrid says:

      I totally agree with you, Lana is the only reason I keep watching the show, she is BRILLIANT like you said <3

  10. Liz says:

    Seems like an obvious time jump for adult Henry. My first thought for the girl was Robin. This could be good/at least interesting, if they really commit to it.

  11. Jackie says:

    If the guy is Henry, I guess something awful happens to his family to make him that way. I won’t be surprised in the least if it’s Emma dying.

    No way will I be tuning in if that happens.

  12. ARTPOP says:

    that sounds like a male version of EMMA and a female version of HENRY omg. OUAT’s reverse gender reset is coming for season 7 i’m SHOOK

  13. Karen says:

    The current mains, especially Jen & Colin, are why I’m still watching. So why would I watch a new show without them?

    • ninergrl6 says:

      Agreed.

    • lenny1 says:

      Honestly i wish they would write an ending for them as closure from the show, in like a happily ever after with Emma and Hook, and also Snowing. To me thats a better ending then starting or rebooting something else.

    • Yvonne.Smith.Goritski says:

      I totally agree Jen and Colin are definitely my main reason for watching, asking with Anything to do with Rumple, and Regina.
      Them 4 truly make the show in my eyes.
      Not saying that I don’t love many of the characters, I’m just saying the ones I’d be lost without. Hook, Rumple, and Regina/Evil Queen are the 3 main characters to me, and Hook and Emma’s twoo luv is a delightful and poetic piece of the story.

  14. Mel says:

    This show needs to be cancelled already. The writers think audience is stupid and will see the same plot over and over again. Also the show died when they made CraptainSwan the main couple. Hook sucks and ruined Emma’s storyline.

    • Nk8950 says:

      I agree! I hate Hook and Emma! Although, Emma ruined him! She turned him into her weak, little puppy dog! If he stayed the same way he was in the beginning, minus some anger and the need for revenge, it would’ve been good! They didn’t have to turn him completely soft!

    • Nk8950 says:

      Also, I was a big fan of Neal and Emma!

  15. Marina says:

    Sound so repetitive!
    A young broken girl I never saw on that show!
    Anyway, without Emma and Killian I won’t watch anymore. I think for a lot of fans they still watch for their favorite character and a bland reboot will probably fail.
    They should do a final season with their beloved character.

  16. Alyse says:

    Could they be an adult Henry and and 10 year old Robyn?

  17. Amanda says:

    I agree if they don’t keep at least Jennifer, Colin, Jared, Lana, and at least half of Snowing since I always wondered if one of they could be killed off, I would wish they would cancel it. I do think Robert probably will leave and maybe Rebecca. It could go either way for Emilie. My guess on these new characters is the male being an adult Henry and we’re getting flashforwards, that way if the original cast stays it’ll be like when LOST switched to flashforwards. The little girl could be baby Robin, or even if Emma and Killian have a daughter as the article seems to imply she’s not an orphan. Maybe Henry left Storybrooke to live his own life but some bad things happened and now his baby sister, Robin, or whoever this girl is needs him to fix things. But I agree if they can’t get most of the main cast back there’s no reason to continue the show. They just need to end it and try to give everyone a happy ending and we already do know the finale will work as either a series finale or season finale depending on what ABC decides to do.

    • GemiGrl says:

      Henry doesn’t have a baby sister. He is an only child. Robin is Zelena’s daughter, so she would be Henry’s step cousin. That being said, yes, the new people coming on the show will probably be flash forward versions of both characters since flash forward was already introduced into the storyline during Season 5.

      • SallyAnne says:

        Well, latest set reports are that:

        Rumple dies, JMo is leaving, Ginny and Josh are leaving, Bex is gone. Most of the main cast is leaving. If Lana can’t renegotiate, it’s being cancelled.

  18. Vince says:

    The contracts are up. Trying to get the old cast even for final season would be expensive at those numbers.

    • Diane Stoddard says:

      They are talking reboot as so many of the main people are at the end of their contracts. Not so sure any want to sign on the dotted line again. The two new storybrookeites will be there so if they go for a season 7 they have something to work with. I hope they end it. I love once Have dressed as the queen for SDCC. I rather see it end than give us a different version that might be as bad as Once upon a time in wonderland

  19. Christina says:

    Lol! This show needs to END!!! I’m so glad I stop watching at the beginning of Season 6 I couldn’t take it anymore, writerts cast away Hook & Emma, cutting Jen and Colin’s screen time, completely abandoned Emma’s story for irrelevant plots! This reset will FAIL!

  20. Cosmin says:

    Once upon a time should end with season 6.

  21. Metalhead7777 says:

    As long as hook and emma are a big part of the story i’ll be here

  22. I love OUAT but would rather it end then there be a reset. Let the characters we’ve had all these yrs get their happy endings. I don’t want a reboot especially if there is chance these guest stars could become regs and become the focus. Plus those guest roles seem like descriptions for characters we’ve already seen.

  23. M says:

    Then they better end it now cause this sounds like a terrible idea. Let’s just remember what happened to glee in its last season. 🙊😱😱

  24. lenny1 says:

    For me Emma Swan (JMo) is the heart of the show. Its her journey & happyending I’m here for – which is Henry, Hook & her parents!!!

  25. winchestergirl1 says:

    Doesn’t sound interesting. I just want them to end this season with Hook and Emma having a fairytale wedding. We need a Happily Ever After for this fairytale show. Bad enough there has been so little Emma and Hook this season so far and it’s boring without them in my opinion.

    • Nicky Aiuto says:

      From the past bts filming of every episode, it doesn’t look like any wedding will come. Most likely never. But so what.

      Bad enough there has been so little Emma and Hook this season? That’s good because last season lost alot of ratings for that. And since Dark Waters lost alot of ratings, it’s because viewers were not interested and that is most likely one of the reasons they watched the world cup instead.

      And when we seem to be seeing little of them, this was just like Regina and Robin last season how they got little screen time. Most likely one of them might go like the other couple Regina/Robin did.

      Anyway, Snowing were the only ones who boosted numbers since Heartless. And even in Labor of Love (Snow Centric ep), it was the only one that boosted higher numbers. Those are signs that viewers want more focus back on Snowing. Most likely it might happen next season.

  26. Claire says:

    I don’t want a reset, I just want more of Hook and Emma. If they’re not significantly involved in S7, I don’t want to watch anymore.

  27. QueenB says:

    Give the series a shortened final season to properly end this once charming series with the original cast.

  28. Jack says:

    Man, these comments are far worse than the show. Another season would be harmless for me, plus I already had the idea of a grown up Henry before this casting news. A reboot would make sense if they want to continue because the current storyline is pretty much done.

  29. This NEEDS to be the last season, they’ve not only jumped the shark they are now buying the shark fancy dinners and dancing the tango. Even the shark has had enough. This show was amazing in seasons one through three, but those days are long gone and it’s getting truly embarrassing. When they started pandering to the ‘teen heartthrob’ crowd it was all over.

  30. Loli says:

    Likely they are jumping forward in time. With the guy they are casting as an older Henry. The girl probably the offspring of Emma and Hook.

    I would prefer they go the Swan Queen route instead. :(

  31. So maybe the 10 year old is Emma and Hook’s daughter, but the “broken home” bit worries me.
    Maybe they’ll just pull a Stephanie Meyer and rewrite the whole thing with genders switched around.
    I’ll stay as long and Jen and Colin stay

  32. Max says:

    Any time they bring in a new kid it means the show is really in trouble. Have they learned nothing from The Brady Bunch?

  33. SW says:

    If it’s a grown up Henry that might work. And keep Lana and Robert and Emilie. Let the others go and start from there.

  34. Patricia Adams says:

    I love love love this show and would be very disappointed if it were cancelled. I love the stories and creativity and it is one that the whole family can watch

  35. Jason says:

    Turning the show that the remaining audience is devoted to into something vastly different is not a great way to keep them interested. If they’re running out of stories for the characters we love, I would just as soon see them wrap things up.

  36. Ram510 says:

    Clearly ABC is really on the fence with those show is they need to see plans for next season already. Hope it gets another season

  37. Yvonne.Smith.Goritski says:

    Once Upon a time is an Amazing show and could go on for endless seasons, Givin so many… characters, ideas, directions, possibilities, and an endless amount of stories could most definitely keep this show running forever. And Even though the numbers are slightly down from this time last season and it’s currently 6th running at half way between the 12 shows, of the season… there is no doubt that they can’t come back in season 7 if fir nothing else but the amount of loving, dedicated, and loyal fans. I for one would be devastated if the show canceled, and the only way I see that happening is if the actors of the characters would not want to go on themselves. Which I hope is not the case.!!? Especially Hook and Rumple (;

  38. Sheri says:

    I think they are going to lean into Aladdin and Jafar, the red bird Emma sees is Jafar’s parrot and the oracle is already dead but he changed into her to give Emma a false Destiny… but rumples son is another savior just a polar opposite of Emma so thats why he wants to kill her.

    • Nicky Aiuto says:

      Give it up. There has been no filming of Jafar so far and the oracle bird was really the oracle’s. She was never Jafar as I logically figured before. She told Emma’s vision and it never lies. There is no escaping from destiny unless someone changes it in someway like how Aladdin did on himself.

  39. Kevin says:

    Adam and Eddy finally get a show with a woobie, Mary Sue male lead like they always wanted.

  40. cdody says:

    I just want to say I really enjoy the show once opon a time, I can’t wait to the next season

  41. Bree says:

    If this reset is anything to do with this all being someone’s dream and none of the events actually happened that would be the worst idea ever and if Jennifer or Lana are out so am I

  42. Maddie says:

    ANOTHER TIME JUMP FML

  43. ys says:

    homophobia again, thx ABC thx Adam, cancel the show.

  44. Katie says:

    Okay, I actually think this sounds interesting. For a few years now I’ve considered CS the weakest point of the show (Sorry, huge Neal fan here, still so mad about that) and it’s been sounding, lately, like Jennifer Morrison might want to move on after this year. I agree that the adult male sounds like a grown up Henry, and though I think the most obvious reason for his turnaround would be Emma’s death, I don’t think that HAS to be it. It could be that instead of dying, she wound up trapped in another world and they were never able to get her free. Hence adult Henry’s bitterness. I’d love to watch the show without the nightmare that is CS.

  45. missy says:

    Reset? God, I hate that word. It never ends well when you try to reset a series.

  46. Sade says:

    I have to say I don’t understand the constant Captain Swan hate that people spew 24/7. For me that’s the only reason I’m kind of still watching this show. What I can’t stand is the constant focus the show puts on Regina and Rumple. I’m tired of everything being about Regina and her “sad” life or her stupid decisions. I haven’t really watched all season because of the focus on her this very reason.

    Also the storylines are often stupid or just don’t make sense. And I’m tired of there being a reset every single season. It’s not a formula that works for this show if the ratings are anything to go by. There are better avenues for this show and I don’t think the showrunners know what to do anymore. I would be happy with them being replaced if the show were to move forward with a final seventh season.

    • Amy says:

      I agree with everything you said! I would also like to add that I am so sick of the shoehorning in of Neal for no reason, ie that ridiculous painting in the Wish World. I mean, the guy’s been dead for 3 SEASONS NOW. I’m still not over the Charmings naming their son after the man who framed and abandoned their under-aged daughter to jail for HIS crime…..
      I wish we could hear about Graham once in awhile instead of the 95th mention of how Neal was the Greatest Character to Ever Be Great Ever…:P

  47. They lost during the whole “Dark Swan” storyline, and I haven’t missed it. What was once a good show just isn’t anymore. It’s time to just let it go.

  48. lily says:

    THIS IS THE BEST SHOW EVER AND ILL BE SOOOOO SAD IF THEY CANCEL IT!!! OUAT IS MY LIFE!

  49. Dawn says:

    I dearly love once ..pls do not cancel 😭 I beg you.. please do not

  50. Stephanie says:

    Well quit it with the LONG breaks between seasons and I will watch instantly!