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.