Castle, a Crime Show, Loses Its Lead Detective, But Keeps the Guy Named Castle

Goodbye, Beckett. Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

What character do you need for sure as part of your crime procedural: A licensed criminal investigator, or an ordinary guy with the same name as the show's title? ABC's Castle has boldly chosen option number two, announcing Monday that Stana Katic, who plays Detective Kate Beckett, is leaving the long-running show. Nathan Fillion's writer-turned-police consultant Rick Castle will stay for a possible ninth season, where his name will continue to make you think this show is about the middle ages. Original cast member Tamala Jones, who plays a medical examiner — who needs those? —  is also out. According to Deadline, the decision was made by ABC and ABC Studios, which is considering a shortened ninth season, but never approached Katic to re-up her contract, informing her and Jones that their parts were cut for budgetary reasons. "Rather then distract from what was an amazing experience," Katic told Deadline. "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." Katic's departure mirrors Nicole Beharie's exit from Sleepy Hollow, which killed off her character and plans to continue the show with a focus on her male co-lead. But will Beckett also get killed, like so many female characters on TV? According to TVLine, Castle's showrunners have plans for a finale that closes in a "dynamic way which leaves open the possibility that maybe the show won't come back in the same form next season." So, yes.