As you may have heard, ABC's Castle has been eyeing a ninth season. This long-running show has kept fans hooked with its quirky titular character, Richard Castle, and his crime solving/fighting partnership with now-wife Captain Kate Beckett. Also on the beloved team are Lanie Parish, Javier Esposito, and Kevin Ryan.
Unfortunately, it looks like Kate and Lanie are taking a step back from the action. According to Deadline, Kate's Stana Katic and Lanie's Tamala Jones will not be returning for the ninth season. These two actresses have been with the show since its beginning episodes.
"Kate Beckett has been a beloved character on our hit series Castle for the past 8 years," an ABC spokesperson said. "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."
What does this mean? Is Nathan Fillion coming back?
Yes: Fillion was approached a few months ago to re-up his contract with the ABC show, but it looks like Stanic was not. According to sources, ABC is contemplating a shorter 13-episode run for Season 9, which could mean the show is coming up on its swan song.
According to MovieWeb, Stanic and Jones were not asked to renew their contracts due to budgetary reasons.
"I've had so much fun playing the wonderful and unfiltered Lanie over the past eight seasons," Jones said in a statement. "I will greatly miss the cast and crew - it's been a privilege getting to work with this incredibly hard working group of people. Thank you to ABC for this opportunity and to the fans for their unwavering support. It's been an incredible journey and I can't wait for what lies ahead!"
We don't know how long this casting call has been in the works, but Alexi Hawley and Terence Paul Winter shot two separate endings for Season 8 when they took over as showrunners after Andrew W. Marlowe left after Season 7. One ending, which seems unlikely now, has Castle and Beckett fighting for their lives -- a cliffhanger we fans have seen more than once.
So is Castle losing its flair? Its appeal? What about our Caskett romance?
"Rather then distract from what was an amazing experience," Katic said, "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."
With the shorter season option on the table and two of the Castle team members parting from the cast, it's unlikely the show will survive past the ninth season. However, Season 9 has yet to actually be confirmed, nor do we know for sure if it will be the last season ever.
In any case, we'll find out everything we need to know when ABC unveils their plans at the upfront presentation next month.
We're going to miss Kate and Lanie, but wish Stana Katic and Tamala Jones all the best in their future careers!