Richard Castle is not coming back on the case for ABC. On Thursday, the Disney-owned network has canceled Castle after the eight seasons. There had been talks about a final abbreviated season for the show and the channel had a more immediate deadline for making the decisions because the producers were up against the wall and had to edit the season finale. Two different endings had been filmed by the producers since the drama was on the bubble so they were prepared for what could be the season finale, which would leave the show open for another cycle, and for the series finale, if need be.
Regardless, the finale that’s set to air on May 16th was also going to the last episode for Stana Katic, the female lead of the show and also for co-star Tamala Jones. The drama had been looking for cutting back costs on the veteran procedural because of which the two stars were let go. However, Nathan Fillion, had signed a one-year contract with ABC Studios so he had been set to return to the show.
Castle had given ABC a sturdy performance on Mondays in its eighth season. With seven days DVR, the drama has averaged about 10 million viewers in total and has a 2.0 rating among adults 18-49. Returning showrunners Alexi Hawley and Terrence Paul Winter, both of whom joined the show in season eight, as well as the network would have gotten the opportunity to close out a profitable series for the studio properly with a final season, but that was not in the cards.
Most of the cast and crew had been taken by surprise when they found out about Katic’s dismissal. Sources had revealed that ABC had thought about writing her character off at the end of last season, but they had changed their mind in the wake of the backlash faced by the network when they wrote off Patrick Dempsey’s Derek Shepherd in Grey’s Anatomy even though he still had a year to go on his contract. Renewing Castle would have been a better choice for ABC rather than dealing with the cost of launching a new drama series.