How much longer can ABC's "Once Upon a Time" continue to air? Once a juggernaut of television, the show has been limping for several years. The show has been hitting series lows in ratings in its 6th season. What was once a delightful family show has devolved, and the plot seems to rarely make sense. Female characters who once seemed delightfully strong now rely heavily on men. It's a show with a large cast, elaborate costuming, and heavy CGI. It can't be inexpensive to make. So when will it stop being profitable for ABC to produce "OUAT"?

Rating troubles

The most recent episode of OUAT, "Changelings," brought in 3.27 million viewers, the show's second smallest audience ever. The only time the show's audience had been smaller was for episode seven this season, "Heartless" with 3.07 million viewers. When the show began in 2011, it started with 11.71 million viewers for its first episode. That's a long way to fall.

'Once Upon a Time" is a show that relies on a large ensemble cast. The show has 9 regular cast members, as well as a veritable army of recurring cast members.

It can't be cheap to pay all these people, or for the extravagant costumes they wear while in the enchanted forest.

Plot problems

In addition to losing their audience, "OUAT" may be losing the plot. Several of their plot twists involve all the characters related to each other. A fact which a great portion of their audience bemoans. Characters who were once well-fleshed out, are now defined solely by their relationship with a man, like Emma Swan, the savior character who is now in involved with Killian Jones, otherwise known as Captain Hook.

Many former fans of "Once Upon a Time" have left the show in disappointment, as evidenced by the ratings. But what will it take before the show ends? The show has not yet been renewed for a season seven. Many may hope that the show ends, if only so that it can finally wrap up its winding storyline. Perhaps with "Once Upon A Time" gone there will be room for something else on TV.

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