I do find it funny to see Csers using ratings to back up their arguments when their precious CS season had the worst audience attrition out of all the seasons. Season 5 was not some amazing and wonderful, extra special gift to the show. It did the network no favors and the losses this season were right on par with every year. I'm so puzzled by their superiority complex.
Season 5 was holding with the audience for a large segment – it was remarkably steady at 1.6 all the way until the Hook/CS twist and then it collapsed.
It collapsed and unlike many other seasons which showed an initial spring rebound (Nov and Dec can be disastrous for ratings), the spring ratings indicated that true attrition had occurred…and we KNOW the feedback from the 5A finale was horrendous because Adam started hat-in-handing the fans…
Look, I don’t subscribe to the idea that ships are all that meaningful to the GA – the GA does not ship (or, for that matter, anti ship), but it does stop watching for “that’s fucking stupid…” or “I’m bored” or “hey, there’s something else I’d like to do”…season 5 definitely was struck hard across the face with the first one.
(BTW, I would also stipulate that the GA WOULD like to see Emma, Snow and David one last time but not for shipper reasons but rather simple nostalgia).