While ABC has yet to announce whether "Castle," its long-running crime drama, will be returning for a ninth season later this year, the network has confirmed that one of the show's main cast members and a longtime recurring guest stars will not be around for a potential season 9.
One of the show's two leads, Stana Katic, who plays Detective Kate Beckett, is set to exit "Castle" ahead of its ninth run. Tamala Jones, who plays medical examiner Lanie Parish, is also leaving the show.
Both Katic and Jones have been with "Castle" since the show's freshman season.
According to Deadline, budget restrictions may form part of the reason for Katic and Jones' exit. The website indicates that ABC is hoping for a shortened, 13-episode season 9 at a reduced license fee. While Nathan Fillion, the show's star, has reportedly been in negotiations to return to the series, Katic was apparently never approached about returning beyond season 8.
While the actress has refrained from talking about the circumstances surrounding her impending exit, she did tell Deadline that her time on "Castle" was an "amazing experience." In a short statement, Katic thanked the show's fans and said, "I'm very grateful to ABC for giving me the opportunity to be a part of a much beloved show."
Jones also released a statement, saying, "I've had so much fun playing the wonderful and unfiltered Lanie over the past eight seasons." The actress said that it has been a "privilege" working with the "Castle" cast and crew, and thanked ABC and the show's fans for their support.
While ABC would not comment on a potential season 9 for "Castle," it did release a statement about Katic and Jones' departure.
"Kate Beckett has been a beloved character on our hit series Castle for the past 8 years," the network said in a statement to Deadline. "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."