Once Upon A Time Is Losing A Major Star For Season 7

emma once upon a time jennifer morrison leaving the show

Across its six sometimes musical seasons, ABC's fantastical Once Upon a Time has put its characters through dangerous dilemmas and magical mayhem, though not without a thread of joy and happiness running throughout. (At least for most characters.) Unfortunately, that thread will soon run out for one Emma Swan, as actress Jennifer Morrison has decided against returning as a series regular should Once Upon a Time finally get renewed for Season 7. That means this weekend's finale could, appropriately enough, be the character's swan song.

Jennifer Morrison leaving Once Upon a Time is huge, since she's one of the handful of stars that have guided this wide-reaching ensemble since its debut in 2011. Emma Swan has been a major force in Storybrooke, with her story first embracing her familial roots within this universe. She went on to save Storybrooke from being destroyed by others, and then later formed her own villainous persona, thanks to Rumplestiltskin's devious intentions, and partly became the Dark One/Dark Swan. (No relation to Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan.) She is all set to live that newlywed life with Hook in the Season 6 finale, though we know that things are going to go as haywire as they always do. We shouldn't expect Emma to meet her doom or anything, as survival was implied by Morrison being asked to return to the show for Season 7, but don't expect the character to enter into a huge new plotline.

The actress herself announced the decision on her Instagram page, and it's hard to get too upset with her when she sounds so grateful.

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Maybe she wants to get more into comedy again with that How I Met Your Mother spinoff that's been kicked around for a while. Or maybe she just wants to live a fairy tale-free life. Either way, we hope for the best on all fronts.

At this point, ABC has been mum about Once Upon a Time's future, showing no signs of whether a renewal or a cancellation is more likely. (Check out our rundown of all the network shows' fates.) The dedicated fanbase of Oncers obviously want to see as much of this universe as they can, but the network likely wishes that fanbase was a little larger and a little more active in watching live on Sunday nights, since Once Upon a Time's ratings dipped lower than expected in Season 6, causing its on-the-bubble status. Will Jennifer Morrison's absence turn more people away from a potential seventh season, or will (presumably remaining) stars like Ginnifer Goodwin and Lana Parrilla keep viewers glued to their seats?

Once Upon a Time will bow out of Season 6 with its doubled-up finale, titled "The Final Battle," on Sunday, May 14, at 8:00 p.m. ET. To see what you can start watching in its place in the near future, head to our summer TV schedule.


Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.