Katic has anchored the series opposite Nathan Fillion since the show premiered in 2009, but the actress was reportedly not asked to reprise her role as Beckett in Season 9. Late last week, Katic and longtime cast member Tamala Jones, who plays Lanie, were informed that they were being cut for budgetary reasons.
Regarding the situation, Katic told Deadline, "Rather then 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. Thank you to the fans."
Jones thanked the fans and everyone she worked with during her seven years on Castle, calling them "family."
Added ABC: "Kate Beckett has been a beloved character on our hit series Castle for the past 8 years. We are grateful for Stana Katic's talent and dedication to the series and we hope to continue our relationship. Tamala Jones has also been an integral part of the series and we are grateful she was a part of Castle."
The show's creator Andrew W. Marlowe tweeted that he was "heartbroken" over the news, with former executive producer Terri Edda Miller sharing the sentiment. Marlowe hashtagged his post #nmc, which many fans are taking to either mean "no more Castle" or "no more Caskett," the portmanteau given to the show's two lead characters.
Two of Katic and Jones' co-stars took to Twitter on Monday to express their sadness at the actresses being let go, and their frustration at having found out the news online. Jon Huertas, who plays Jones' onscreen love interest Detective Esposito, also pointed out that he and Seamus Dever, who plays Detective Kevin Ryan, have yet to be officially asked back for a potential ninth season.
After the news broke, Toks Olagundoye, who plays security specialist Hayley, shared her frustration at fans who were harassing her over Katic and Jones' exits, since she had no control over -- or foreknowledge about -- what happened.
Showrunner Alexi Hawley previously teased that this season would end with a major cliffhanger, so don't be shocked if the finale ends with Beckett's life in mortal danger. "We are planning the finale to end in a cliff-hanger, but in a worst-case scenario, there's an additional scene we won't say much about that exists in case they tell us we're not coming back," Hawley told TVGuide.com.
Would you watch Castle without Katic?