‘Once Upon a Time’ Creators on Whether Fans Enjoy Season 7: ‘Depends Which Website You’re On’

Adam Horowitz and Eddy Kitsis tell TheWrap they’re hoping to find “that Season 1 vibe”

Once Upon a Time” underwent some big changes ahead of the currently airing seventh season, and the new path has led to a wide variety of reactions.

Series co-creators Adam Horowitz and Eddy Kitsis have observed a wide range of reactions from fans to this season, including some viewers who are enthusiastic and others who are less so. This current run of the ABC drama includes a number of new cast members following the exits of mainstays Ginnifer Goodwin (Snow), Josh Dallas (Prince Charming) and Jennifer Morrison (Emma) as series regulars after Season 6.

“It depends which website you’re on,” Kitsis told TheWrap about fan response. “[Viewers who] are with us seem to be open to this new device. Some of the things we’ve been hearing is fans were excited, and they feel that Season 1 vibe.”

He added that the goal for the show’s team is for viewers to feel enthused about “starting over and beginning that new journey.”

Horowitz and Kitsis previously told TheWrap that Belle (Emilie de Ravin), who was killed off in a recent episode, needed to die this season in order to show the pain that longtime love Rumple (Robert Carlyle) endures.

“We can’t forget that Rumple is The Dark One, and that ‘The Dark One’ means he’s immortal,” Kitsis said. “For us, what we loved was Belle was always this North Star for Rumple, always keeping him in the light instead of letting him fully retreat into darkness, and now we realize that Belle taught him the last lesson. Someone who only has one life understands that each day is precious.”

“Once Upon a Time” airs Fridays at 8/7c on ABC.