Wow! It’s case closed for Castle. ABC has opted not to bring back their long-running procedural, after all. The news comes as a bit of a shocker after reports that co-lead Stana Katic (along with original cast member Tamala Jones) would not return for a potential ninth season. At the time, it was reported that the network was actively pursuing star Nathan Fillion for an abridged ninth season, but ultimately the network decided to pull the plug.
And that might just be for the best. There was a serious backlash when the network opted not to bring back Katic — reportedly for budgetary reasons — whose intrepid detective Kate Beckett was the long-running partner, and ultimately wife, to the Fillion’s titular investigative author. Their relationship was held dear and considered the heart of the show for many, including series creator Andrew Harlowe.
Harlowe handed over the reigns to current showrunners Alexi Hawley and Terence Paul Winter after Season 7, and the duo recently told TVLine that they filmed two alternate endings for the season finale, promising a “dynamic” ending that would reinvent the series (ie, no Beckett) if the show was renewed, and alternately a final sequence that offered more closure should the series be cancelled. Closure it is.
THR reports that the cancellation was made on the wire as talks for an abbreviated final season fell through when “ABC faced a more immediate deadline to make the decision as producers were up against the wall and tasked with editing the season finale.”
ABC is taking no prisoners today, and is clearly looking to clear out their schedule for new fare. So far, in addition to Castle, the network has cancelled Agent Carter, The Muppets, Nashville, and The Family, as well as reportedly scrapping plans for Marvel’s Most Wanted. The network bloodbath comes as a bit of a surprise, but signals a new venture for ABC, which recently saw an executive shake up. Back in February Channing Dungey, who is credited with helping to foster the network’s tremendously successful Shondaland bloc, took over Paul Lee as Entertainment President. Clearly, they’re looking for a good dose of out-with-the-old.
What do you guys think? Are you sad to see Castle go, or glad that you won’t have to see Beckett and Castle separated? Sound off in the comments.