Once Upon a Time went in a radical new direction for its current seventh season after the Season 6 finale departures of almost the entire main cast. Season 7 has felt almost more like a spinoff of Once Upon a Time than a new season of the same show, not least because it was moved to Friday nights. Unfortunately for fans who have enjoyed the show's new direction, Once Upon a Time is officially ending after Season 7, and series creator Adam Horowitz had this to say about the decision to wrap things up for good:
It wasn't like it was a shocking phone call. We've had conversations for a while about what this year would be, and whether it would go on or not, and if this could be the end, so we've been prepared for this for a while. The network has been incredible partners with us the whole way, as has the studio. Ultimately, it's also a business, so it becomes about, 'Is it financially viable to keep going forward?' so there's all that kind of stuff, stuff that we generally don't deal with because we're just focused mostly on the creative. We reached that point where it's like, 'Okay, now it's time to wrap it up. This has been an amazing 156 episode-run, and let's all be proud of what we've done and try to wrap it up.'
While the cancellation is undoubtedly a bummer for fans who were expecting the new era of Once Upon a Time to continue for at least one more season after the current batch of episodes, creator Adam Horowitz was not taken by surprise by the decision to bring the show to a close. In fact, judging by his comments to EW, he and the others behind-the-scenes at Once Upon a Time were prepared to wrap up the story that's being told in Season 7, which hopefully means that the show won't end on a killer cliffhanger.
Any fans who have been paying attention to the show's ratings probably weren't especially surprised by the cancellation. In Live+Same day calculations, Once Upon a Time Season 7 has been averaging only 2.48 million viewers and a 0.55 rating in the key 18-49 age demographic. To compare, Season 6 (which aired on Sunday nights) averaged 3.15 million viewers and a 0.94 rating in the key demo. Even for Fridays nights when ratings are generally expected to be low, Once Upon a Time has been underperforming.
Sadly, the cancellation does mean that we won't get to see all the new characters go on journeys similar to Snow White and Prince Charming and the rest from the first six seasons. We certainly won't get much of the newly-cast Prince Naveen, and there may not be time for many familiar faces to return. Only time will tell how many loose ends will be tied off by the end of Season 7 and the series as a whole.
Once Upon a Time is currently on a break, but new episodes will return to the airwaves starting on Friday, March 2 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. For more viewing options now and in the coming weeks, be sure to swing by our midseason TV premiere guide.