Castle has been cancelled. The long-running procedural drama will not return for a ninth season at ABC, Variety has learned. The season finale on May 16 (in the US) will serve as the series ender.
The news comes somewhat of a shock. Even though star Stana Katic is leaving the series, Castle has long been a staple on ABC’s schedule with a rabid fanbase.
Though the ratings have been the lowest this season than ever before, and ratings have declined over the past few seasons, the numbers have stabilised through the current run as interest has seemed to peak this season.
The cancellation comes weeks after news broke that leading lady Katic nor series regular Tamala Jones would return to Castle, if it were renewed for a ninth season. However, Katic’s co-star Nathan Fillion, who played the titular Rick Castle, recently signed a new deal to return, should the series come back.
Premiering midseason in 2009, Castle was created by Andrew Marlowe. The series saw a showrunner shuffle with David Amann taking over for just S7, and then Alexi Hawley and Terence Paul Winter stepping in for S8. Marlowe remained close to the show, after he stepped down as showrunner.
This season’s in-flux cast contracts were nothing new to Castle. Ahead of S8, Katic’s deal remained unclear leading up to the show’s renewal. This year, sources close to the show maintained that the drama still could return, even without Katic. However, the fan backlash since her departure was announced has been overwhelming on social media. – Reuters/Elizabeth Wagmeister