For six seasons now, Jennifer Morrison has led the cast of ABC fantasy series 'Once Upon A Time', in the role of Emma Swan. Bringing some of the most recognisable fairy tale story characters to the small screen in an increasingly complex real world-meets-fantasy setting, it's captured the imaginations of millions watching across the globe.

Jennifer Morrison plays Emma Swan in the seriesJennifer Morrison plays Emma Swan in the series

Ratings have unfortunately gradually slipped for the series however. Whilst the first took in between 9 and 12 million viewers throughout its first season run, its latest sixth season premiered to just under four million and ABC are yet to announce whether or not the show will return for a seventh outing.

Morrison has now taken her fate into her own hands however, quitting her role as Emma Swan and agreeing to take part in just one episode of season 7 if it comes to pass.

Taking to her Instagram, she wrote: "As I reached the end of my 6 year contract on ONCE UPON A TIME, I was faced with a significant decision. ABC, Eddy Kitsis, and Adam Horowitz very generously invited me to continue as a series regular. After very careful consideration, I have decided that creatively and personally, it is time for me to move on. 

"Emma Swan is one my favorite characters that I have ever played. My 6 years on ONCE UPON A TIME has changed my life in the most beautiful ways. I am absolutely blown away by the passion and commitment of the Oncer fans. I am so honored to have been a central part of such a special show. 

"I will be forever grateful to Adam, Eddy, and ABC for giving me the gift of playing Emma Swan. 

"As I move on to other creative endeavors, I will continue to attend the fan conventions whenever my professional schedule allows. I always look forward meeting the fans. 

"If ABC Network does in fact order a season 7, I have agreed to appear in one episode, and I will most certainly continue to watch ONCE UPON A TIME. The creativity of the show runners has always inspired me, and I cannot wait to see the ways that they continue to develop and reinvent the show."

Morrison's decision is obviously what she feels is best for her career moving forward. With around 20 episodes per season, those working heavily on 'Once Upon A Time' probably don't have much time to do anything else in their careers. It's a huge dedication to have for a show, and so Morrison is probably hoping to extend her celebrity in other pastures.

More: 'Once Upon A Time' Stars Ginnifer Goodwin and Josh Dallas Enjoying Real Life Fairytale

Having proven herself a talented actress in the series, there could be a variety of different roads for her to now go down. Exactly what's next for her however remains to be seen.