Stana Katic’s “Castle” character Kate Beckett will not be returning to the show in the fall due to ABC’s budget cuts. Tamala Jones, who is playing the role of medical examiner Lanie Parish, has also been cut. Katic’s co-star Nathan Fillion, who plays her on-screen husband Rick Castle, has been in negotiations with ABC.
The shocking news that Stana Katic and Tamala Jones are not returning for the ninth season of “Castle” was reported by Deadline on April 18. The major shakeup comes after the TV show’s successful eight years.
As many popular long-running dramas have experienced, production costs increase while ratings invariable begin to slip. In comparison to last season, the TV show’s ratings have slipped, even though “Castle” still has a reliable viewership.
ABC has confirmed that both Katic and Jones are leaving “Castle” and has issued the following statement:
“Kate Beckett has been a beloved character on our hit series ‘Castle’ for the past eight years. We are grateful for Stana Katic’s talent and dedication to the series and we hope to continue our relationship. Tamala Jones has also been an integral part of the series and we are grateful she was a part of ‘Castle’. “
In response to ABC not renewing her contract and not being part of “Castle” season nine, Katic said the following:
“Rather then distract from what was an amazing experience, I would just like to say that I’m very grateful to ABC for giving me the opportunity to be a part of a much beloved show. Thank you to the fans.”
So far, ABC has not yet determined whether “Castle” will return for a ninth season or whether it will cancel the show altogether. As such, alternate endings are being prepared for the show’s Season 8 finale, which is scheduled to air on May 16.
“Castle” co-showrunner Terence Paul Winter told TVLine that during the finale – titled “Crossfire” – Rick and Kate will be ending their pursuit of LokSat. Whether that pursuit will end in Kate’s death, the death of both, or a happy ending will depend on whether or not “Castle” returns in the fall.
“We have one ending, a cliffhanger that we’re excited about, because we believe in ‘Castle’ and we believe that ABC will hopefully, hopefully bring us back,” said Winter. However, “We have crafted a final scene that would exist only if we weren’t coming back,” says co-showrunner Alexi Hawley, “one that we don’t really want to get into— because our hope is that it never airs,” added Winter.
Which finale episode will be aired on May 16 will be determined by ABC just a few days before. “Basically we have to deliver an episode on the Friday before we air,” Winter says, “and it’s up to ABC to tell us which one that is.”