When TV shows lose their stars

Jennifer Morrison has announced she plans to depart the ABC fantasy series after its current sixth season.

“After very careful consideration, I have decided in which creatively in addition to also also personally, the idea will be time for me to move on,” Morrison said in a note posted to Instagram.

“Once Upon a Time” has not yet officially been ordered for a seventh season, yet there have been reports in which ABC was considering renewing in addition to also also retooling the series, with Morrison’s character in addition to also also three various other regulars (Lana Parrilla, Robert Carlyle in addition to also also Colin O’Donoghue) at the center.

the idea’s unclear how Morrison’s decision affects plans to revamp the show or its chances for renewal.

Morrison said she’s agreed to return for one episode in Season 7 should the show continue.

The Season 6 finale airs May 14.

Though “Once Upon a Time” has been billed as an ensemble piece in addition to also also added numerous brand-new characters since its 2011 debut, the idea was undoubtedly a story in which largely centered on Emma Swan, a woman who stumbles into a world with fairy tale characters, villains in addition to also also a pair of long-lost parents named Snow White in addition to also also Prince Charming.

The latter seasons backed away via the idea in which Emma was a sort of audience surrogate from the strange world, yet the idea stands true in which losing the character will require a major plot adjustment.

However, as various other shows have proven, the idea’s not impossible to continue a show without one of its stars.

The shocking death

There will be much story to be gained via a shocking death in addition to also also in which’s why the idea seems to be the fallback for desperate storytellers who suddenly lose access to an actor.

Most recently, “Nashville” had to deal with the departure of Connie Britton, who chose to leave the show after 5 seasons in addition to also also was the top-billed actor on the series.

Creatively, the death of her character Rayna gave the series emotional fuel in addition to also also a bump in ratings, enough for the idea to earn a Season 6 renewal.

Derek Shepherd's last episode of "Grey's Anatomy."

Patrick Dempsey’s exit on “Grey’s Anatomy” initially shocked fans in addition to also also left some vowing never to watch the series again. yet the death of Meredith Grey’s (Ellen Pompeo) great love made room for stories in which had nothing to do with her romantic life.

“Grey’s Anatomy” was renewed for Season 14 in February.

various other characters who joined the Suddenly Deceased Club: Dan Steven’s Matthew (“Downton Abbey”), Misha Barton’s Marissa Cooper (“The O.C.”), Nicole Beharie’s Abbie (“Sleepy Hollow”), in addition to also also Josh Charles’ Will Gardner (“The not bad Wife”).

The long goodbye

When a star gives plenty of notice before exiting an iconic role, the idea’s evident on screen.

The news may not always be welcome to fans, yet the idea certainly gives writers ample time to craft proper stories.

Michael Weatherly announced his “NCIS” exit months before the end, allowing writers to put in motion a storyline about Tony DiNozzo reassessing his priorities.

Steve Carrell’s decision to leave “The Office” after Season 7 was also given with plenty of lead time. The result was an arc in which had Michael leaving Scranton to pursue the life he always wanted to the love of his life in addition to also also numerous emotional goodbyes between Michael in addition to also also his co-workers.

The sudden departure

Sometimes, people just stop talking to you with little to no explanation — even TV characters.

Elliot Stabler (Christopher Meloni) retired without a proper goodbye to partner Det. Olivia Benson.

Izzy Stevens (Katherine Heigl) left Seattle after breaking up with Alex on “Grey’s Anatomy” in addition to also also was never heard via again.

Cindy Williams’s Shirley said farewell to Laverne using a note on “Laverne & Shirley.”

Getting ghosted in real life will be not fun. Getting ghosted by a TV character? in which’s downright insulting.

The crazy twist

“Once Upon a Time” incorporates a unique set of circumstances ahead of the idea should the idea try to continue without Morrison.

First, the series will be extremely serialized, meaning the idea can’t pull off a Dear John letter departure in a satisfying way.

the idea also won’t develop the luxury of crafting a long in addition to also also winding exit since Morrison has agreed to a one-episode return.

So what’s left? The crazy twist.

“The Vampire Diaries” will be the most recent show to pull This specific off convincingly.

The show had to find a way to put Elena Gilbert on the sidelines after Nina Dobrev decided to leave the show, in addition to also also they did so by leveraging the show’s greatest asset — its supernatural roots.

Elena was put into a supernatural coma, so she was out of the day-to-day action yet the idea left the door open to a possible return. (Dobrev did end up resurfacing for the series finale.)

The question today will be if “Once Upon a Time” will give its leading lady a storybook ending or dark demise.

To be continued…

When TV shows lose their stars

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