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Once Upon a Time

Once Upon a Time

Photo Credit:  ABC/Eike Schroter
  • Premiered: 
    October 23, 2011
    (Click date to see TV listings for that day)

  • Network: ABC
  • Category: Series
  • Genre: Drama
  • Type: Live Action
  • Concept: 
    Created by Edward Kitsis & Adam Horowitz 
  • Subject Matter: Fantasy
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  • Season 1
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  • Season 2 [Blu-ray]
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  • Season 3 [Blu-ray]
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  • Season 6
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  • Season 7
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Plot Synopsis

Ten-year-old Henry tracked down Emma, his biological mother who was a bail bondsman with a troubled past, and convinced her to come to Storybrooke, Maine because he was confident that she was Snow White and Prince Charming's missing daughter. She reluctantly came to Storybrooke and decided to stay for a while, but she soon suspected that the small town was more than it seemed because all its residents, except Henry, were under the spell cast by Evil Queen Regina. Because of the Queen's spell, Storybrooke was populated by characters from children's fairy tales who were unaware of their true identities, and they'd languished there for the past 28 years. The Evil Queen is a beautiful woman who is the mortal enemy of Snow White and Prince Charming, and she's determined to have vengeance on all of the town's inhabitants. Just like the fairy tale, Snow White has dark hair and pale skin, and she's brought back from a living death by Prince Charming. Rumpelstiltskin is still an expert in black magic, but this time he's willing to help Snow White and Prince Charming counteract the Queen's evil curses -- for a price, of course. In Season 1, as Emma explored Storybrooke, she found that she may hold the secret to unlocking the town as well as the mysteries of her own past. Over time Emma came to understand that she herself was the progeny of fairy tale characters -- Snow White and Prince Charming -- and having begun to see cracks in Regina's curse and her hold on Storybrooke, set about breaking both. Season 2 opened with reality and myth beginning to merge, as the fairytale characters awakened from Evil Queen Regina's broken curse and remembered who they were. But to their dismay, they weren't transported back to Fairy Tale Land. To make matters worse, Rumplestiltskin, in an effort to gain the upper hand in his power struggle with Regina, introduced magic into the town. In fairytales magic has its place, but in the real world it can have unfathomable consequences. But Mary Margaret and Emma were sucked into a portal that transported them to what was left of Fairy Tale Land, where they met Mulan and Aurora, who helped them back to Storybooke, reuniting them with Emma's father, David. Cora and Hook found a different portal back to Storybrooke, where they both aspired to kill Mr. Gold, who found his son, Bae/Neal, the former love of Emma and the father of Henry. Greg Mendell and his partner, Tamara, planned to eradicate magic and kidnapped Henry, believing he was the key. With the aid of Hook and his ship, Emma, Mary Margaret, David, Mr. Gold and Regina used the last magic bean to follow Henry, Greg and Neverland. ABC debuted Season 3 of ONCE UPON A TIME on Sunday, September 29, 2013 at 8pm ET/PT, immediately following the one-hour special, JOURNEY TO NEVERLAND, which is a series recap that included Mary Margaret and Emma's separation from their new-found family, Regina's plan to become The Dark One, and Henry's kidnapping. In Season 3, Henry must be saved, but Neverland is a much darker place than most people know, as unfriendly mermaids threaten those searching for Henry. Meanwhile, Henry and another escapee from Peter Pan's encampment go on the run. ONCE UPON A TIME returned for its fourth season on Sunday, September 28, 2014 at 8pm ET/PT on ABC, immediately following a one-hour special, "Storybrooke Has Frozen Over," which brings viewers up to date with the story, while taking a look at the role that family plays in the show and never giving up on the ones you love. In the season opener, "A Tale of Two Sisters," a scared and confused Elsa finds herself in Storybrooke and, fearful of the intentions of its residents, creates a powerful snow monster for protection. With Robin Hood's wife, Marian, back in the picture, Regina wonders if her happily ever after with the former thief has been completely quashed; while on their honeymoon, Mr. Gold finds an intriguing object that makes him question whether or not he should officially give Belle control over the dagger that makes him The Dark One, and Hook is dismayed to discover that Emma seems to be avoiding him while she tries to help comfort Regina after being the one responsible for bringing Marian back from the past and into Storybrooke. Meanwhile, in Arendelle of the past, as Elsa's sister Anna's wedding to Kristoff nears, Anna discovers that their parents -- who died on-ship during a violent storm -- were heading to a mysterious destination in a quest that may have held the secret to containing Elsa's out of control Ice powers. And against Elsa's wishes, Anna wants to finish their journey to find out what they were looking for. In the mid-season finale, Regina has to make a difficult choice as others pick up the pieces in the aftermath of the Snow Queen's spell. Hook's fate hangs in the balance as Gold's quest for power threatens everything he holds dear. And, in the Enchanted Forest flashback, an intrusion during Belle's stay at Rumplestiltskin's dark castle will wreak havoc in both the past and the future. In the Season 4 Spring premiere, "Darkness on the Edge of Town," with Gold banished from town, the residents of Storybrooke attempt to resume their normal lives. Hook and Belle search for a way to release the fairies from the Sorcerer's hat, while Emma, Henry and Regina continue to look for clues that could lead them to the Author. But when a terrifying darkness descends on the town, Emma and Regina are forced to confront the true nature of evil. Meanwhile, in New York, Gold and Ursula enlist Cruella De Vil to join their cause. Guest stars include Merrin Dungey as Ursula, Victoria Smurfit as Cruella De Vil, and Kristin Bauer van Straten as Maleficent. Immediately before this new episode, ABC debuted "Secrets of Storybrooke," a one-hour special, narrated by Jennifer Morrison, that reveals secrets about the series, including visual effects, costumes, and cast interviews. ONCE UPON A TIME returned for its fifth season on Sunday, September 27, 2015 at 8pm ET/PT on ABC, immediately following a new one-hour special, "Dark Swan Rises: A Once Upon a Time Fan Celebration." The special (7-8pm) explores what will happen next as Emma Swan becomes the Dark One and will highlight the characters fans love, including the incredible stories that have created an extraordinarily passionate fan base. Cast members answer fan-submitted questions and discuss favorite moments as voted on by fans, giving viewers an authentic perspective as they dish on various characters, relationships and backstories. The special also features interviews with executive producers Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz with exclusive insights about Season 5. Then, in the season opener (8-9pm), "The Dark Swan," Emma, immediately after becoming the Dark One, disappears and the heroes must band together to save her, but first they have to find her, which will require the help of an unlikely ally. Meanwhile, in the Enchanted Forest, Emma struggles to resist her dark urges as she searches for Merlin in the hope that he can stop her transformation. Along the way to Camelot, she gets help from the plucky and brave warrior princess Merida, as well as King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table. Season 6 of ONCE UPON A TIME premiered on Sunday, September 25, 2016 at 8pm ET/PT on ABC, immediately following a new one-hour special. The special (7pm), "Once Upon a Time: Evil Reigns Once More," features interviews with Executive Producers Edward Kitsis & Adam Horowitz, while exploring the show in a way that will bring new viewers up to date -- but which current viewers will also find illuminating -- in anticipation of the sixth season premiere. The special takes a look at the role that family plays in the show and never giving up on the ones you love, the show's heroes' journey from breaking the curse to the ramifications of magic in our world, travelling to Neverland to save Henry from an evil Peter Pan, their battle with The Wicked Witch of the West upon their return, the presence of Elsa, the Ice Queen from Arendelle, in Storybrooke, the Savior becoming the Dark One and our heroes trip to the Underworld. Then, in the season opener, "The Savior," the show's heroes set out to stop Hyde, Emma develops a mysterious side effect, and Storybrooke becomes a haven for people from the Land of Untold Stories. Meanwhile, Regina and Zelena embrace their newfound sisterhood by becoming roommates, while Rumple tries to free Belle from the sleeping Curse with the help of a stranger. In flashback, Jafar confronts an afflicted Aladdin in Agrabah, and a secret about the Savior is revealed. Oded Feher guest stars as Jafar and Deniz Akdeniz as Aladdin. Season 7 of ONCE UPON A TIME premiered on October 6, 2017 on a new night: Fridays at 8pm ET/PT on ABC. The seventh season focuses on a grown-up Henry and his daughter, Lucy, while the Evil Queen, Hook, and Rumplestiltskin take the duo on an epic quest to once again bring hope to their world and ours. Along the way, fairy tale characters new and old search for true love, find adventure and once again take sides in the struggle of good against evil, as classic tales are once more twisted and reimagined. In the season opener, Henry leaves Storybrooke in search of his own story. Years later in another realm, he encounters a troubled Cinderella, changing the trajectory of his quest forever. When Cinderella's evil step-mother, Lady Tremaine, poses a threat, Henry discovers that following his heart will require him to make more difficult choices than he ever could have imagined. Years later, a young Lucy finds a disillusioned Henry at his home in Seattle, determined to make him remember his true self in order to defeat the curse afflicting the fairytale characters of "Hyperion Heights."
On Friday, May 18, 2018 at 8pm ET/PT, ABC premiered "Leaving Storybrooke," the series finale of ONCE UPON A TIME. Wish Rumple's evil plan is revealed and Regina realizes the only hope to stop him is by turning Wish Henry from his path for vengeance. Meanwhile, Tilly and Margot try to get help in Storybrooke. With his hope of ever being reunited with Belle fading, Weaver struggles to find a way to defeat his evil alter ego; and when Rogers' life is threatened, he is faced with the ultimate sacrifice. Guest starring in this episode are Ginnifer Goodwin as Snow White, Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan, Josh Dallas as Prince Charming, Jared Gilmore as Young Henry, Emilie de Ravin as Belle, Rebecca Mader as Zelena, Sean Maguire as Robin Hood, Tony Amendola as Marco, David Anders as Dr. Wale, Lee Arenberg as Leroy, Jack Davies as Pinocchio, Faustino Di Bauda as Sleep, Beverley Elliott as Granny, Gabe Khouth as Sneezy, Rose Reynolds as Alice/Tilly, Tiera Skovbye as Robin/Margot and Keegan Connor Tracy as Blue Fairy.


Production & Distribution

  • Produced by ABC Studios


  • - Storybrooke, Maine USA

Births, Deaths & Weddings

  • December 11, 2012: Sheriff Graham dies
  • May 4, 2014: Snow White and Prince Charming's baby is born
  • May 4, 2014: Zelena dies
  • May 11, 2014: Belle & Mr. Gold are married
  • May 14, 2017: Black Fairy dies
  • October 27, 2017: Belle dies
  • May 18, 2018: Rumplestiltskin dies