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With the second half of Season 6 of ABC's Once Upon A Time underway, fans may already be wondering what the odds are for a Season 7 of the series. If you've been following the behind the scenes talk, there could be some cause for concern, but right now nothing is known for sure. A lot of what happens for Once Upon A Time going forward will fall on these upcoming contract negotiations for a handful of key actors to the series.
Right now, Once Upon A Time is currently working on negotiations with Jennifer Morrison (Emma Swan), Lana Parilla (Regina), Robert Carlisle (Mr. Gold), and Colin O'Donoghue (Hook) for a potential Season 7. As TVLine points out, three out of those four have been with the series since its premiere and Donoghue hopped on in Season 2. In addition to that, Ginnifer Goodwin (Mary), Josh Dallas (David), Emilie de Ravin (Belle) and Jared Gilmore (Henry) all have expiring contracts as well. So why aren't they working with everyone to make sure we see a Season 7?
Apparently, the decision falls on creative and not money. Once Upon A Time will introduce two new characters to the series, Andrew West and Alison Fernandez, and is reportedly undergoing a reset for Season 7. While nothing has been officially confirmed, it would appear some of these contract renewals will lead to what decision Once Upon A Time and ABC have come to sooner than later. Could a casting shakeup bring in fresh or returning eyes to the series?
It's no secret that Once Upon A Time has waned in its popularity with each successive season. The latest episode of the series hit an all-time low of just 3 million viewers, and a .9 rating share. Those Season 6 viewership numbers are still beating out competitors like The Simpsons who are in the same time slot, but in terms of the demographic rating share, they're dead last. It's a far cry from the days where the series was netting around 9-11 million viewers just three seasons ago, something that I'm sure ABC would love to have back. The current leading show in that Sunday time slot is the new Steve Harvey led Little Big Shots which is currently pulling in the same types of numbers Once Upon A Time saw at its first season. Even with a casting shake-up and new story, it would be a tall order for the series to gain back an audience that large.
Even so, ABC seems content on working towards a Season 7 of Once Upon A Time provided all these contracts work out. No reason to worry too much as we wait for word one way or another, but we can assume you'll have an answer soon as to whether the series will officially return or not. While we wait for that answer, be sure to check out our midseason premiere guide for a list of shows coming up in March!