Some Storybrooke residents are renewing their lease — and some might not be.
Once Upon a Time stars Jennifer Morrison, Lana Parrilla, Robert Carlyle and Colin O’Donoghue are currently in negotiations to extend their contracts for a potential Season 7, TVLine has learned.
Morrison, Parrilla and Carlyle have been with the series since its premiere; O’Donoghue joined the ensemble in early Season 2.
The status of cast members Ginnifer Goodwin, Josh Dallas, Emilie de Ravin and Jared Gilmore — all of whom also have expiring contracts — is to be determined.
The shake-up, sources say, is largely creative-driven (in keeping with recent reports of a Season 7 “reset“) versus a Castle-like cost-cutting measure. As part of the tweaked creative direction, two new characters/potential series regulars have been cast to appear in the May finale: Andrew J. West (The Walking Dead) will play a “strong yet vulnerable” leading man who was once optimistic but now is a cynical recluse, while Alison Fernandez (Jane the Virgin) will appear as a precocious 10-year-old with a “constant twinkle of mischief in her eye.”
Having heard from series creators Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis some “interesting” potential ideas for the future, ABC entertainment president Channing Dungey said in January, “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.”
Once debuted in fall of 2011 as one of that TV season’s highest-rated launches, but the fantasy drama’s numbers have steadily waned over the years, with this past Sunday’s Season 6B opener hitting series lows of 3 million viewers and a 0.9 demo rating.