ABC’s Once Upon a Time is moving away from the split-season storytelling template it has followed since Season 3.
Season 6 of the fairytale-inspired drama will spin “a 22-episode story as opposed to breaking it up into two [11-episode] halves,” co-creator Adam Horowitz shared on Saturday at an ATX Television Festival panel for their upcoming Freeform series, Dead of Summer, EW.com reports.
Meaning, as co-creator Eddy Kitsis put it, “It’s not going to be ‘Hyde comes to town, we fight with him for 10 episodes, and then in the winter finale he dies and we move on.’ We are… going back to that Season 1 mentality of small-town stories and smaller arcs.”
Once Upon a Time Season 3 opened with a trip to Neverland, while its back half focused on the Wicked Witch of Oz aka Zelena. Season 4 started off with a Frozen riff, then turned to the Queens of Darkness (aka Maleficent, Cruella and Ursula). Season 5 told the tale of Dark Swan, before traveling to the Underworld to battle Hades.
In Once‘s Season 5 finale, the Charmings, Hook and Zelena accidentally traveled to the realm of Untold Stories, where they bumped up against Mr. Hyde and Dr. Jekyll — both of whom eventually found their way back to Storybrooke, with the former set to take Rumplestiltskin’s place as the resident pot-stirrer. Aspiring hero Regina meanwhile extracted and vanquished her evil side, which unbeknownst to her actually survived and is now existing separately from her.