The future is looking bright(ish) for Castle.
Series star Nathan Fillion, whose contract was up at the end of this season, has inked a new deal and is on-board for a potential eighth season of the ABC Studios produced drama. Meanwhile, David Amann, who took over from Andrew Marlowe as showrunner on season seven, is exiting. A search is now underway for a new showrunner.
With Fillion – who had been linked with a guest starring role on Fox’s upcoming six episode X-Files revival – having inked a new deal, ABC is fully expected to officially pull the trigger on an eighth season order for Castle just ahead of their upfront presentation this May.
ABC and ABC Studios execs have been working hard to get both Fillion and co-star Stana Katic to sign new deals to bring Castle back for a new season (not surprising given its strong performance in its 10pm time-slot). Initially, sources said that ABC had wanted to see the show go beyond the eighth season, but that is now in doubt as Stana Katic has still not signed a new contract.
The hope is that Stana Katic will indeed ink a new deal, but negotiations have been slow and difficult, with the actress wanting to move on to other projects. According to my sources, the latest carrot being dangled is offering Katic a couple of directing opportunities on the new season. Regardless. the show should get an eighth season, but without Stana on-board it is likely to be a 13 episode final run.
Now before fans decry that potential development, it should be noted that everyone wants the whole cast back, but there is room to proceed without her. “The finale leaves us in an interesting place”, an ABC Studios source said, “anything could happen.”
In addition, I’m told that with an end date for Castle firmly on the horizon, ABC is looking to restart development on a Castle spin-off, this time with Nathan Fillion around in some capacity – be that as an EP or potentially a guest star. It is not immediately clear if that would be the Derrick Storm project floated this past development cycle or an entirely new concept.