“Castle” has been a staple on ABC for the last eight seasons, but its time might be coming to an end. Showrunners recently revealed they aren’t sure if they’ll be renewed for Season 9, and they have to treat this season’s last episode like a series finale.
“The reality,” executive producer Alexi Hawley told TVLine, “is that [the network execs] won’t make that decision until very late. So our plan is just to tell a satisfying story and try to wrap up the season in an exciting way.”
The ratings aren’t exactly in the drama’s favor. “Castle” Season 7 averaged 8.47 million viewers, but Season 8 is averaging 6.64 million, TV Series Finale reports. That’s not great, but it isn’t horrible either. The producers know they could get renewed, but they are making plans just in case a cancellation is on the way.
That doesn't mean audiences should be too concerned. Executive producer Terence Paul Winter noted that the writers also set up the last year’s season ender as a potential series finale. “And there’s a very good chance that we’ll most likely be doing that here,” he added. “We hope to come back for Season 9, but we have to act as if [we might not].”
Last season, fans were also concerned that the show might come to an end. However, they were less worried about the network canceling the show, and more concerned about the actors. Stana Katic, who plays Detective Beckett, hadn’t signed on for Season 8 until after the Season 7 finale aired. Luckily, the show was able to negotiate a deal to bring her back. At the time, the future of “Castle” seemed pretty secure. ABC president Paul Lee said that the 2015-2016 season wouldn’t be the last for “Castle” or “Grey’s Anatomy.”
“No, [it’s] absolutely not the final seasons of either [show],” Lee told reporters in May, according to Zap2It. “I would like to see them run for many, many years to come. They’re both powerful, vibrant brands with incredibly passionate audiences.” Diehard “Castle” fans will have to hope the ABC president can keep that promise.
“Castle” Season 8 returns to ABC Monday, Feb. 1 at 8 p.m. EST.