It's already been a topsy-turvy year for ABC's #OnceUponATime. Undergoing several major changes, including the departure of Jennifer Morrison, and then four more main cast members, the show must now fight for survival in a dramatic shift that has left many fans wondering exactly how much faith the network has in the beloved fairy-tale drama. Now actress #JamieChung may have added more fuel to the rumor the show is heading toward extinction.
ABC recently announced their new fall schedule at upfronts this week. This new schedule included series to debut, cancellations, and a few unexpected moves, including bumping Once Upon A Time from its long-standing Sunday night timeslot. Coupled with the mass amount of changes the show will see moving forward, and the latest from Jamie Chung, things are not exactly looking great for the #Disney-inspired series.
Jamie Chung (May) Have Dropped The Ball
During an interview with Huffington Post, Chung, who plays swordfighting legend Mulan on the series, kind of let it slip the show might be ending at the end of its next season. The actress, currently starring in FOX's upcoming X-Men series, #TheGifted, wasn't what you'd call firm in her statement so, though it is disconcerting, it should still be taken with a grain of salt.
"They’ve gone seven years, that’s a long time. But there are a couple of cast members coming back for the final, final season."
Now remember, Chung is only a guest star, occasionally recurring. She may be just as much in the dark about the series' future as the rest of us are. It's possible she's just relying on what she's heard and what the creators may be preparing for in case these new moves don't quite work out the way they expect. Chung added,
"They keep calling it the final season, but it’s just going to keep on going.”
See what I mean? If anything, Chung's words only add the already heavily-stacked amount of evidence that suggests the series' end.
ABC Is Playing A Dangerous Game
In an effort to rebrand Friday nights, often referred to as the death slot, ABC has moved Once Upon A Time, Marvel's Inhumans, and Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D, to a new sci-fi/fantasy block. But Friday nights are not exactly the place you put a series when you want to appear invested in its longevity.
So little faith was given to Emerald City that it was buried on Friday nights before it even had a chance to show if it could succeed any other night. Simply put, Friday nights are where networks send shows to die. However, given Once's reliance on next-day DVR ratings these past few years, it may not make too much of a difference to the network how it plays out now.
Regarding the cast members leaving, even those these characters have all had their fare share of stories told, are fans truly ready to just let them go? In Henry's case, yes, now we know the character has only been recast with an older actor to fit with the new timeline established at the end of #OnceUponATimeSeason6. But for the rest, are these goodbyes going to be met with cautious optimism for the new season or a mass exodus of fans who've already bid their goodbyes?
I suppose we should feel lucky that even though the majority of the main cast is shaking off their series regular status, most of them have said they'd be open to returning in the future when the time is right. Even better still, Lana Parilla, Robert Carlyle, and Colin O'Donohue have all signed on for the seventh season and are rumored to play pivotal roles in the newest chapter of this enchanting story.
Adam Horowitz and Eddie Kitsis explained the new direction of the series as a soft reboot of the show. It will feature new and returning characters and as the show goes on, likely introduce more series regulars that are brand new to the franchise. Hopefully this takes the show in a better direction than has been the norm for the past few years. I suppose we'll have to play wait and see as the creators are unlikely to unveil any other Season 7 secrets for at least a few more months.
Here's hoping this reboot works out for the best.