ABC boss ‘cautiously optimistic’ about Once Upon a Time’s future

Though Once Upon a Time and Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. have been struggling in the ratings since their respective moves to Friday nights, the two dramas have potential to return next season.

“I would say I’m cautiously optimistic,” ABC boss Channing Dungey told reporters at the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour Monday. “It’s always hard at this point in January to know because some of it is also dependent on your new development and how you feel about those things, so that’s why it’s really hard at the top of the year to know exactly what’s going to happen.”

In its rebooted seventh season, Once Upon a Time has been averaging 3.7 million total viewers and a 1.1 in the 18-49 demographic season to date.

“The thing about Once Upon a Time is that the ratings have been a little bit lower on Friday than they were on Sunday, but our delayed viewing, which we were averaging a bump of about 55 percent, this year has been into triple digits, so the actual fanbase really hasn’t shifted very much,” Dungey says. “It’s more that they’ve been watching it more time-shifted since we’ve been on Friday.”

Dungey notes that a potential season 8 would also depend on the creative, which she has not yet heard.

“Eddy [Kitsis] and Adam [Horowitz] are going to be coming in shortly to talk with us about what they would want to be doing if they had another season, so I can’t really say until we’ve had that conversation,” Dungey said.


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