ABC’s new fantasy series Once Upon A Time is off for the holidays, but has turned in a strong premiere and another half-dozen episodes. The series co-stars Robert Carlyle (SGU‘s Dr. Nicholas Rush) as Rumplestiltskin and the enigmatic Mr. Gold.
After debuting in October to 12.93 million viewers, the show has averaged 10.96 million over its first seven episodes. The trend is downwards, however, with last week’s new episode attracting 8.92 million.
Once is first among entertainment programs on Sunday nights among women 18 to 34 and women 18 to 49, according to the network. TVbytheNumbers.com currently has it listed as a “Likely Renewal” for ABC, noting that it’s gained 21 percent on what the network had in the same time slot a year ago.
The show will return January 8, 2012, with an episode focusing on Carlyle’s two characters — one in the fairy tale world, the other a powerful businessman in the real world town of Storybrooke, Maine. In the episode titled “Desperate Souls,” “Regina engages in dirty politics with Mr. Gold while Rumpelstiltskin’s backstory is revealed along with his attempt to help his son avoid a war,” according to Zap2It’s TV guide.
Frequent Stargate SG-1 guest star Tony Amendola (Bra’tac) also has a recurring role on the series, as Gepetto.
Once Upon A Time has been picked up for a full, 22-episode first season, and airs Sunday nights at 8/7c on ABC in the United States.