The end is near for Caskett.CastlestarStana Katic, who has played series lead Kate Beckett since the show's inception eight seasons ago, will not return for the series' ninth season. ABC execs spilled the news via an April 18 press release. But that's not the end of the bad news for long-time show fans who want to see more: also exiting at the close of season eight is Tamala Jones, who portrays medical examiner Lanie Parish.

Katic, Jones acknowledgedepartures

The 37-year old Stana Katic, whose on-screen romance with co-star Nathan Fillion's Richard Castle captured fan attention early on in the show's run, confirmed the news via a statement of her own in which she thanked fans for their support and gave kudos to ABC for giving her the opportunity to appear in a "much beloved show." Jones also addressedher own exit, calling her time on the show an "incredible journey" and expressing excitement for her future endeavors.

As of press time, Fillion had not yet addressed the network press release nor his co-stars' statements.

Castle creator 'heartbroken'

Castle creator Andrew W. Marlowe, however, did not hide his disappointment. Following the big cast announcement, he tweeted that he was "heartbroken" over the newsof Stana Katic and Tamala Jones' departure from the series.

Although fans may be disappointed to have definitive proof that Caskett is coming to an end soon, it's important to note that the series has yet to be green-lighted for a ninth season. With new ABC exec Channing Dungey at the helm, anything could happen, although there has been chatter that the show may return for a shorter, 13-episode arc. However, the network has yet to make a formal decision, and it has not been formally renewed or canceled as of press time.

Showexecutive producers Alexi Hawley and Terence Paul Winter did tell Entertainment Weekly that they'd filmed a scene that could serve as a fitting end toCastle, though they'd previously expressed hope that the actors wouldsign back on to appear in season nine.

To see the final days of Kate Beckett and Richard Castle's romance play out, watch Castle Monday nights on ABC after Dancing with the Stars.

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