Richard Castle is going to have to learn how to solve mysteries without Kate Beckett. Actress Stana Katic, who has been the ABC drama’s leading lady for eight seasons, will not return for “Castle” Season 9. If the procedural drama is renewed for next season, Nathan Fillion’s character will be flying solo.
Katic was not given the option to renew her contract, Deadline reported. The actress didn’t offer any details on the circumstances surrounding her exit. “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,” she said in a statement. “Thank you to the fans.”
ABC confirmed the departures of both Katic and Tamala Jones. The latter plays medical examiner Lanie Parish, and she also has been with the drama since its pilot episode.
“Castle” actors’ contracts have frequently been the subject of rumors during the past year. Both Katic and Fillion took a long time to finalize their Season 8 contracts, which basically were only one-year extensions. Their contracts are up this year, but Fillion is rumored to be in negotiations to return. ABC hasn’t officially renewed the series for Season 9 yet, though.
Fans expressed their outrage on Twitter after the news broke of Katic’s departure. They also began using the hashtag #nmc, meaning no more Caskett, the nickname for the Castle and Beckett relationship.
— Whitney (@WhitneyLarrae) April 18, 2016
WHY DOES ABC THINK THAT IT WOULD BE A GOOD IDEA TO MAKE A DEAL FOR SEASON 9 WITHOUT ONE OF ITS TWO STARS, FEMALE LEAD STANA KATIC????
— ♛ Luiza Castle ♚ (@rickate_caskett) April 18, 2016
You deserve so much better @Stana_Katic
— Luha. (@debnamreguisk) April 18, 2016
There are no words to describe how I am feeling.Thank you @Stana_Katic for 8 amazing yrs and for portraying one of my role models growing up
— Grace Brennan (@gracelawson) April 18, 2016
"A ninth season without Stana Katic* pic.twitter.com/IuQgBgcV5d
— ➳ ℘ris ♋ (@Dockidou) April 18, 2016
— Tess McClaine (@McclaineTess) April 18, 2016
The most devastating page of Castle history has been written today... #nmc
— Enrica (@EnricaValdes) April 18, 2016
There might be more anger to come, depending on how Katic is written out. The synopsis of the season finale, which will likely be Katic’s last episode, seems pretty deadly: The attempt by Castle and Beckett to put away a drug lord “puts their case, and their lives, in jeopardy,” TVLine reported. Could this spell curtains for Beckett?
“Castle” Season 8 airs on ABC Mondays at 10 p.m. EDT.