Credit: Eike Schroter/ABC

The upcoming sixth season of Once Upon a Time is set to look very different from what fans have become accustomed to over the last few years.

During a panel for their upcoming Freeform show Dead of Summer, moderated by this reporter, executive producers Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis revealed that the storyline for season 6 won’t be split into two halves, with the story of villain Hyde (Sam Witwer) not necessarily set to be wrapped up in the first 11 episodes.

“This season is going to be different from past because it’s not going to be Hyde comes to town, we fight with him for 10 episodes, and then in the winter finale, he dies and we move on,” Kitsis said. “We are changing around what we’re doing this year and going back to that season 1 mentality of small town stories and smaller arcs.”

Added Horowitz: “We’re also planning a 22-episode story as opposed to breaking it up into two halves this year. It’s been really exciting and fun.”

In season 6, the show will be exploring more tales from the Land of Untold Stories, which opens up new and endless possibilities for storytelling. (Check out some of those possibilities here.) But that doesn’t mean the heroes and villains we’ve come to know and love are taking a backseat — in fact, it’s the opposite.

“That’s actually providing the opportunity to look at our characters in a different way,” Horowitz said. “What’s really exciting about it is, for season 6, really being in Storybrooke again. As we hinted in the finale last year, in seeing the Evil Queen [Lana Parrilla] split, it’s allowing us to do that for a lot of our characters — not as literally — but it’s turning inward on a lot of these characters that we’ve been with for five seasons so far.”

Once Upon a Time will return this fall on ABC.

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Episode Recaps

Once Upon a Time

Everything you’ve ever read about fairy tales is true—the residents of Storybrooke are living proof.

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