ABC is preparing for Castle Season 9 without female lead Stana Katic and original cast member Tamala Jones, who will both depart the series if it is renewed, Deadline reports:
Caskett no more. I have learned that ABC is planning a ninth season of the venerable crime procedural without one of its two stars, female lead Stana Katic, who plays Detective Kate Beckett to Nathan Fillion’s writer-turned-PI RickCastle. It is the main part of a major shakeup on the series, which also includes the departure of fellow original cast member Tamala Jones. Fillion has been in negotiations to return to Castle, which I hear is eyeing a shortened, likely 13-episode, ninth season, at a reduced license fee.
I hear the decision for Katic not to return was made by ABC and ABC Studios. Both Fillion and Katic last spring inked one-year contracts, which are up at the end of the current eighth season. While the studio started making overtures to Fillion for a new deal months ago and has been in on- and off- talks with him since the beginning of the year, I hear Katic was never approached to re-up her contract and was not offered an opportunity to continue on the show. Instead, I hear she, as well as Jones, were recently informed that for budgetary reasons, they won’t be asked to come back for Season 9.
ABC confirmed Katic and Jones’ departures in a statement:
“Kate Beckett has been a beloved character on our hit series Castle for the past 8 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.”
Asked about her departure, Katic merely had the following the say, per Deadline:
“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.”
ABC has yet to formally renew the new-look Castle, but the changes are a sure sign that the network has every intention of bringing it back for the 2016-17 season, on the cheap.
Stay tuned as we continue to monitor the status of Castle Season 9…