Once Upon a Time: How Should the Tale End?

Once Upon a TimeIt’s ABC’s most successful new show of the season and currently ranks as the network’s second-highest rated show, behind Modern Family and just above Grey’s Anatomy. Once Upon a Time currently has an “A-” grade on our network report card.

It looks like Once Upon a Time will be on the air for quite awhile. Executive producers Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis have a “bible” to keep track of timelines and character histories. They’re giving themselves a certain amount of creative freedom to change their minds but also have specific goal posts to meet along the way. They also seem to know how they want to end the tale and who should get the final bit of resolution.

Kitsis recently told TV Guide, “We want to make sure that five years from now, whatever thoughts we have [now], they’re still relevant… There’s a curse that needs to be broken, and these characters have had their happy endings ripped from them. Emma [Jennifer Morrison] comes in there trying to help them find their happy endings. Ultimately, the last happy ending is for Emma.”

They say that, before that can happen however, Emma must become the true hero of the story. It’s exciting for the writers because, as Kitsis notes, “Emma is essentially a new fairytale character… Emma’s journey is just beginning and it hasn’t been written yet.”

What do you think? Have you had any thoughts about how you’d like to see the series close? A typical fairy tale happy ending? How long should Once Upon a Time realistically go on? Three seasons? Five? Seven?

Canceled and renewed TV show

30 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. mary says

    Two seasons the most, with a well thought out ending. I love the show but can already see hints of how it might be dragged out too long with a repetitive, weak script. It began strong and is maintaining those ratings, (so far), so I would love to see it end just as strong as it started, but that won’t happen beyond two seasons. I would hate to see this show go out like Kyle XY and Lost. If ABC minimizes the seasons everyone will be a winner.

  2. PeaceChannel says

    This is a very addicting show. However, I wouldn’t want to see it go beyond two seasons. I would really like to see that the spell is broken, and their memories and happily ever afters are returned to them. I think this is a parable about our own conscious awareness, that we forget who we are, where we really came from, and when we become “enlightened” and the spell of our egos are lifted, then we can have our happily ever afters, too. So, it is important to see it through to the “happily ever after”.

  3. Doug says

    I’d like to see if go at least 100 episodes, to keep it interesting in syndicated reruns for future generations. I want to see a happy ending, of course. But whether or not they have to break the curse to find it is another question. I mean, after watching the flashbacks, its clear their lives weren’t exactly a fairytale before the curse, either (not always, anyway). Then, as Kitsis states, there’s also Emma’s happiness to consider, as well as the fate of the Evil Queen. I just hope ABC doesn’t do like they did with “Lost” and start doing mini-seasons, with a nine-month hiatus in-between. Storylines lose momentum and viewers lose interest when a show just goes away for that long.

  4. Sara says

    Love the show right at the moment but it will get old FAST. The premise doesn’t afford it 5 years. 2, maybe 3; yes. But, not 5. The networks do tend to drag shows on way past the point of when they need to end, though and I don’t expect this one to be any different despite the fact I would rather have a couple of seasons of really good episodes that make it up as a series. It really can’t feasibly last longer than that without getting tedious & stupid.

  5. says

    This show is tedious. I watched it for the first few episodes but after she put on the badge and the cave-in happened with Jimminy Cricket and the boy I gave up. It just wore too thin.

    Cancel it now.

  6. Isaura says

    I really like the show and I find it hard to believe that they would drag the breaking of the course over several seasons. Like someone said, I can’t imagine Ringer and even Revenge to last more than two seasons, at some point things have to end or the viewer will stop watching. We need our happy ending too! Other than that, I am loving the show, the story, the costumes. So far I have all the episodes saved in my DVR to have a marathon when it takes the winter break. :)

  7. Marcel says

    This show started out pretty well, but has nowhere to go. It’s already getting boring, so my prediction: ratings will drop and the series will be cancelled, probably after one season.

  8. imoth says

    If the ratings continue to be great or if the show is otherwise really profitable, the network will air episodes no matter how bad they are (The Simpson, 2 1/2 Men). If one (or more) of the lead actors decides to leave, then they might cancel it if they can’t cast another actor. In any case, the decision to cancel the show will most likely be a financial one not a creative one.

    I like many shows in cable channels. They make less episodes/season, but the episodes are usually better than on networks. It is really difficult to write as many as 26 good episodes/season for several years. But what are you going to do? You can’t tell the producers that you want to write less episodes/season, because their quality is getting worse.

  9. Rebecca says

    Five seasons would be great if each episode was well done, but I’d be happy with one or two full seasons that are terrific. I don’t see this lasting beyond one season (same with Ringer, in my opinion), but if it’s a great show I’ll watch until it ends. I stuck with LOST, gave up on 24…but Once Upon A Time is fun and interesting and I’ll stick with it no matter what.

  10. bruce says

    I would like to see it go a couple of seasons, but, similar to another comment, “serial” type shows (those with a continuing storyline), seem to get played out. You can usually tell when this happens when everyone starts dating each other etc. ABC is still airing Grey’s Anatomy, which to me, was played out after season 3. Even shows with resolution every episode, like CSI are getting OLD.

    With all that said, if the ratings fall and they need to end it more quickly than planned, the best solution would be someone kill that damn Mayor. If she dies, I’m thinking the curse dies with her. I hope someone kills her every week anyway 😛

  11. KAB says

    I agree with The Rani two seasons with a swift story-line seems like the way to go. Realistically they are going to figure something out soon then pretty soon the Evil Queen will be defeated and the curse will be broken. They can’t drag something like this on forever pretty soon it will get boring.

  12. The Rani says

    Realistically speaking, Once upon a time can easily go on for four seasons, if the writers keep it the way they’re now ( jumping between fairytale and real world), but as we all know ABC has difficulties keeping a show interesting (I wanted to kill myself during season 3 of Grey’s Anatomy and I’m a huge fan.) So instead of having a lot of seasons and little development I’d prefer only two seasons but a swift story-line.

  13. David says

    I’d like Once Upon a Time to go 6 or 7 seasons. It would be cool to see in the
    season finale all the people of Storybrooke walking out of the town with portions of Arcade Fire’s “Rebellion (Lies)” and “Wake Up” heard in the background. The Evil Queen has been feeding the people lies, and now with Emma breaking the curse, the people have all “woken up” and are free to live their lives with meaning, true purpose, and hope for the future. The series in filmed in Canada, some of the actors are Canadian, so why not end the series with songs by the best band in Canada?



  14. Craig says

    Looking at Lost, Grey’s Anatomy, and Desperate Housewives that were popular ABC serials, I would look at keeping Once Upon a Time on for four to five years. During season five and beyond the other ABC serials started losing big chunks of viewers, which indicates writers have trouble keeping the story interesting longer than this, or viewers just start to get tired of the show.

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