On April 18th, the day of an all-new episode of Castle, which was conveniently titled “Backstabber,” Deadline was first to report that two longtime cast members who had been there since the first episode were not offered contract renewals. While any loss of a good character is a difficult time for a TV show, it’s an anticipated casualty of program that’s currently contemplating a ninth season. The issue, however, comes with the fact that, along with the incredible supporting actress Tamala Jones, one of the two leads, Stana Katic, will also be departing.

Continuing without what is essentially one half of a show is widely considered to be a mistake in “TV Show Theory,” and many members of the cast and crew were shocked when they learned of the news at the same time and from the same source as fans, an ABC press release, which stated that “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.” What is perhaps most confusing and, ultimately, disheartening is that, according to Deadline, ABC cited “budgetary reasons” as their rationale for letting Katic and Jones go, two of the remaining female actresses on the program.

Jones was gracious as ever on Twitter, and even live-tweeted the most recent episode. Katic also released a kind statement on Facebook, saying, “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,” before tweeting, “To the fans: thank you for your support. I love you.”

The day after the news was released to the public, Tamala Jones was interviewed by Access Hollywood, with whom she shared a few of the details of her departure, saying, “I actually found out on Friday. I got the call and I didn’t think it was going to be exposed so soon… ’cause I thought, ‘let the fans get through the season and then announce,’ but when it came out I was very much aware.”

Cast members Jon Huertas (Javier Esposito), Seamus Dever (Kevin Ryan), Susan Sullivan (Martha Rodgers), Molly C. Quinn (Alexis Castle), and Toks Olagundoye (Hayley Shipton) were all shocked, and expressed their feelings on Twitter, along with past-cast members like Penny Johnson Jerald (‘Sir’ Captain Victoria Gates, another female star who was also suddenly dropped from the show last year), and even well-known fans of the show, such as Christina Applegate and Betty Buckley. Nathan Fillion, Katic’s costar, alsocommented, saying, “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 go 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.”

But what was perhaps most heartbreaking, was the original show creators/former showrunners’ responses, the very couple who Castle and Beckett’s love story was based on, Andrew W. Marlowe and Terri Edda Miller (lovingly known as MilMar). Marlowe has since changed his Twitter bio to “Castle creator (in exile)” and wrote, “Heartbroken. There are no words. #nmc.” The pair left last season to pursue other projects and spend more time with their family, trusting that the show was in good hands, but are obviously hurt, as Miller wrote, in response to her husband’s tweet, “I second that emotion.”

When the show originally aired, Marlowe was interviewed by Denise Faye for the Writers Guild of America, West. When asked why he created Castle, Marlowe responded, “Procedurals had become about things other than character. A show like CSI specializes on the forensics. A show like Law & Order specializes in the specific procedural elements. What I was missing were the shows like Moonlighting and The Rockford Files, where character played a really big part of it. A couple weeks later you really didn’t remember the case, but you remembered the people.” The show was always about the characters and their stories, not just “the case of the week,” which the current showrunners, Terence Paul Winter and Alexi Hawley, hope to get back to, according to a statement Hawley released to Deadline in regards to season 9 plans back in January.

In one of the final interviews the couple gave before leaving the show, Marlowe said, in response to questions about a “Beckett-less” Castle, “I think for us that’s off the table. For us we’ve been telling a love story for the last seven years.”

Miller noted, in the same interview, “I think that would be a huge betrayal of our fans.”

Ratings back their sentiments. Twice this season, the Castle showrunners have experimented with “Beckett-less” episodes, both receiving low ratings in viewership and fan reception. In “Backstabber,” the preliminary ratings in the 18–49 demographic, only about 0.99 million people tuned in, one of the lowest ratings in the eight season history of the series. This is a glaring reminder that fans would rather watch Castle without Castle than Castle with no Beckett. That’s not to say that people don’t love Fillion, but Katic has proven to be the heart of the show. Castle began with a bored crime novelist who found inspiration in an NYPD homicide detective, and has followed that take for the past seven years. To pretend now that the “Caskett” love story is anything other than the linchpin of the series is a grave misunderstanding.

That’s not to say that people don’t love Fillion, but Katic has proven to be the heart of the show.

“There is a universal truth we all have to face whether we want to or not,” writes Alexis Castle, Rick’s daughter and Kate’s now step-daughter, in her graduation speech during the season four finale, the episode where “Caskett” finally consummates their relationship, and arguably one of the greatest “get together” moments in “will-they-won’t-they” television history, stating that “everything eventually ends… The last day of summer, the final chapter of a great book, parting ways with a close friend.” This rings true with the ultimate episode in any epic TV series, “leaves fall, we close the book, you say goodbye,” and power down the TV at 11 pm on a Monday night one last time. And this is all ok. But when a TV show reaches its organic ending (in Castle’s case, many believe that the season seven finale, and the original creators’ final episode, was the ending the series deserved), it should be finished, not dragged out into something that barely looks like the original program. While fans need to respect actors wanting to leave the show (in this case, it’s rumored that Katic and Jones didn’t have much say, based on how they were informed and the reasoning behind their departure), they have a right to be upset (within reason) when showrunners and networks don’t know when to let the show, and the viewers, rest.

This is true for many shows among the “Big Five networks” (ABC, NBC, The CW, CBS, and FOX) and a lot of viewers have been equating the current Castle situation to Shonda Rhimes killing off Derek Shepherd, Meredith Grey’s husband, on Grey’s Anatomy. In Grey’s case, the viewership pretty much sustained, even though the show was reborn into a more female driven program in season 12. A lot of people seem to think that the same can be said for Castle’s future, even bringing up that the “title characters” of each show will still be there, justifying the cast shakeups. However, this is not why fans, and TV lovers in general, are so upset. Kate Beckett was more than the title character’s “love interest” and greater than just the “strong woman” trope, which is often written with misguided, but good intentions, as women are inherently strong. Beckett was tough and fragile, heartbroken and in love, and still trying to figure out how those two things could coexist. She was her own woman, her own person, and, in the words of Rick Castle, one of “the most remarkable, maddening, challenging, frustrating” characters to ever grace primetime television.

The Blacklist’s Elizabeth Keen was another incredible character who recently fell victim to a similar fate. Megan Boone, the actress who plays Keen, just had a baby, and is either simply on maternity leave, or asked to permanently leave the show to spend more time with her daughter. Either case is totally understandable, and people should respect her choices, including the showrunners. The issue comes with the fact that Keen either died in childbirth or has faked her death in childbirth (fans are going with the latter), following months of show creators slowly tearing down the complex character that they’d worked so hard to create by diminishing her to a love triangle. The final episode promos leading up to her supposed death all centered around Liz’s love life, asking questions like “which man will she choose?” and “what does this [other female character] mean for Liz?” Keen’s “death” has proven to be fuel for a James Spader-centered slew of episodes (which will undoubtably be action-packed and heart-wrenching, but for the wrong reasons) and, most alarmingly, the kickoff to a Tom Keen (her essentially abusive “husband”) The Blacklist styled spinoff, starring the incredible Famke Jannsen (X-Men and, currently, How To Get Away With Murder).

Beckett and Keen are just the latest casualties in the poor handling of female characters. TV and network executives need to stop knocking off female characters as plot points to further define a man’s character arc. Even if it was Katic’s choice to leave (although it doesn’t seem to have been), Kate Beckett’s epic character should be suspended in time, not regressed into something two-dimensional and, ultimately, made into a stepping stone.

While budget cuts are rarely the actual reason behind an actor or actress’ departure, it’s embarrassing to think that a television network would be okay with people believing that they cut out two of the main female actresses on a show because they suddenly couldn’t afford them. What’s even more humiliating is the way in which they deal with the womens’ characters, taking away?—?in the case of Kate Beckett?—?seven years of character growth and completely negating the version of herself that she fought so hard to be, so that they can justify her leaving her husband to join the CIA or to go into WPP or whatever out of character vision TPTB (The Powers That Be) have created to justify her exit in just a few short weeks, should season 9 actually happen, and propel the show to an unrecognizable incarnation of itself. In the extraordinary words of Kate Beckett, “What you destroyed today was worth a hell of a lot more than money.”

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After eight years, Stana Katic better known to viewers as Detective Kate Beckett is leaving “Castle.” ABC announced this week that Nathan Fillion’s TV wife will be departing the detective drama after Season 8. While her departure from the popular series is heartbreaking to fans and a huge loss to the network, Katic can look forward to a busy year ahead.

According to her IMDB page, Katic has completed filming three new movies slated for 2016 while on break from “Castle.” One of her projects is “Sister Cities,” an independent drama based on a play by Colette Freedman. Katic will star alongside “The Good Wife” alumni Jess Weixler, “Pretty Little Liars” actress Troian Belisario and “Gossip Girl” regular Michelle Trachtenberg.

According to Variety, “Sister Cities” revolves around four estranged sisters who reunite after losing their mother to what they believe is a suicide. Each sister is named after an American city, as different and far apart from each other as sisters. Amy Smart, Alfred Molina, Kathy Baker and Tom Everett Scott complete the cast. Sean Hanish serves as the producer and director.

Meanwhile,”Lost in Florence” (or “The Tourist”) is about an American who, after getting his heart broken, flies to Florence and get involved in a dangerous sport. Katic plays the role of Anna, a supporting character. [Watch the trailer below.]

In “The Rendezvous,” Katic goes back to solving mysteries as Rachel Rozman. The film is based on a novel by Sarah Isaias about a “mis-matched” couple that goes on to an adventure to search for the “Dead Sea Scroll” said to be hidden in the ancient city of Petra.

Moreover, Katic’s fans should not be too disappointed about her departure from “Castle” because the actress will not be straying away from television despite her blooming and increasingly busy movie career. She revealed to ET Canadathat she is developing a new television series for cable, but she refused to divulge further information because, as she quipped, she will probably be in trouble for talking about the project. With all these lined up, Stana Katic does not really need Rick Castle anymore.

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Home > Castle > Season 8 > Screencaptures > 8×18 “Backstabber”

This is very disappointing news to hear. But while I am sad for the character of Kate Beckett and how the writers destroyed her character and story this season, I am excited to see the possibilities this opens up for Stana as an actress. She deserved better from ABC, but I know she will go on to greater things. Whatever comes next, I know we’ll be there supporting her!

EXCLUSIVE: 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 informed late last week that for budgetary reasons, they won’t be asked to come back for Season 9.

Katic would not comment on the circumstances surrounding her exit. When asked about the departure, she told 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.”

Since Castle has not been renewed, ABC would not comment on any plans for the length of the potential Season 9 but confirmed to Deadline that Katic and Jones won’t be part of it.

“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,” ABC said in a statement to Deadline. “Tamala Jones has also been an integral part of the series and we are grateful she was a part of Castle.

Jones played the whip-smart medical examiner Lanie Parish who was Beckett’s close friend and confidante. “I’ve had so much fun playing the wonderful and unfiltered Lanie over the past eight seasons,” Jones said in a statement to Deadline. “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!”

None of the other Castle cast members besides Fillion have been given an indication about their future on the show.

While the series is called Castle, Beckett’s character has been as prominent on the show, which evolved into a two-lead Moonlighting-style comedic drama.Castle creator Andrew Marlowe had always called the Castle/Beckett relationship central to the concept of the series.

Marlowe left Castle at the end of last season when Alexi Hawley and Terence Paul Winter were named new showrunners. The two were handed the difficult task of shepherding the eighth season with the future of the series and its stars up in the air. Amid that uncertainty, the show filmed two different endings for the upcoming Season 8 finale, including a cliffhanger one in which I hear both Castle and Beckett’s lives are left hanging in the balance.

“There’s stuff up in the air, so we are trying to leave it in a very dynamic way which leaves open the possibility that maybe the show won’t come back in the same form next season — although, again, we really hope that it does,” Hawley told TVLine over the weekend.’

Long-running series like Castle are expensive, and with ratings inevitably slipping, implementing cost reductions is not uncommon though those rarely affect the stars of a show. While Castle‘s ratings are down vs. last season, the crime series has been a reliable performer, posting a 1.1 adults 18-49 Live+same rating for the last six airings and getting close to tying its season high of 1.2 last Monday with a 1.14 rating. The show’s DVR gains have been solid, with the April 4 episode growing 55% to a 1.7 L+3 demo rating.

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Home > Castle > Season 8 > Screencaptures > 8×17 “Death Wish”

“Dead Again” – When a mild mannered safety inspector for the city (guest star Jonathan Silverman) miraculously survives a poisoning, it might be luck; but when he survives another, it’s a mystery Castle and Beckett will have to solve, on “Castle,” MONDAY, APRIL 25 (10:00-11:00 p.m. EDT) on the ABC Television Network.


Home > Castle > Season 8 > Episode Stills > 8×19 “Dead Again”
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Home > Castle > Season 8 > Screencaptures > 8×16 “Heartbreaker”

Stana sent a really sweet message to her fans on twitter tonight! In case you missed it, watch the video below. 


“Backstabber” – After Hayley does a favor for an old friend, she finds herself implicated in a killing and cyber-terror attack. Now, Beckett and Castle must rush to solve the case and clear Hayley’s name, on “Castle,” MONDAY, APRIL 18 (10:00-11:00 p.m. EDT), on the ABC Television Network.


Home > Castle > Season 8 > Episode Stills > 8×18 “Backstabber”

“Death Wish” – The murder of a man connected to smuggling Turkish relics sends Castle, Beckett and the 12th Precinct on a search for a stolen antique believed to be Aladdin’s lamp, in hopes that it can lead them to the killer, on “Castle,” MONDAY, APRIL 11 (10:00-11:00 p.m. EDT) on the ABC Television Network.

Home > Castle > Season 8 > Episode Stills > 8×17 “Death Wish”

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