Stana Katic, the actress behind Kate Beckett—one-half of Castle’s beloved buddy-cop duo—is exiting the series, along with fellow co-star Tamala Jones, who will not return as M.E. Lanie Parish.
The news comes following network discussions about the series’ longevity and a potential season 9 renewal. The shake-up, apparently a cost-cutting measure made in an effort to keep the show alive, came after former ABC president Paul Lee said back in January that some “good ideas” were being played with in regards to extending Castle’s life-span. Lee’s comments, however, seemingly alluded to a modified premise, not a major cast reorganization.
Static’s departure follows the expiration of her one-year extension for season 8. Fellow Castle star Nathan Fillion is still in negotiations to renew his contract for his role as police fiction writer Richard Castle. Static has declined to comment on her departure outside of a general statement, wherein she thanks ABC Network for her years with the show.
“Rather [than] 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,” Katic’s statement said. “Thank you to the fans.”
Her co-star Jones spoke to Deadline, also thanking the fans for their support and wishing the cast and crew well going forward.
“I’ve had so much fun playing the wonderful and unfiltered Lanie over the past eight seasons,” Jones said. “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!”
Fillon also came out today to share his feelings about Katic’s depature over Twitter.
“Castle has been one of the greatest joys of my creative life, and I hope the show continues on for years to come. Stana has been my partner all this time, and I thank her for creating the character of Beckett who will live on for all of us as one of the greatest police officers on television. I wish her well, and have no doubt she will succeed in everything she pursues. She will be missed.”
Although ABC has declined to discuss the plot or structural nature of the series going forward, there have been talks about a season 9 renewal only incorporating 13 episodes. This was apparently another way of addressing monetary constraints. The network’s willingness to chop its episode order is a sign that it’s getting ready to say goodbye to the show altogether, which is what makes the decision to not renew Katic’s contract a little eyebrow raising.
According to a recent TVLine interview with Castle co-showrunner Alexi Hawley, season 8’s May 16 finale leaves viewers with a set-up that could see the show returning next season within a different form. Although Katic is definitely out as series regular, this may mean that the actress could return in a potential guest-starring role as the show operates under a slightly different premise.