Today, it was announced that ABC has chosen not to renew Stana Katic's (Kate Beckett) or Tamala Jones' (Lanie Parish) contracts should there be a 9th season of Castle. Given what I have seen a lot of people saying, I know I am not alone when I say that I am refusing to watch Castle again. Normally, I am fairly phlegmatic about cast changes because I trust that the change will be made for story purposes, but this was announced as a decision made by the network (not the show runners or actors) as part of plans to cut costs. Not since Fox canceled three awesome shows in the course of a year (John Doe, Dark Angel, and Firefly) have I been this pissed off at a network. And that decision by Fox led me to boycott the network for most of a decade. About the only reason I won't do it this time is because some of my other favorite shows are a part of ABC's TGIT (Scandal and How to Get Away With Murder).
Caskett (Richard Castle/Kate Beckett 'ship name) is essential to the success of the show. Watching Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic play off of each other is what has made the show so much fun, even this season when the storylines haven't been that good. Their chemistry and the fun they have together makes the show a great show to watch. Remove that crucial element of the show and you have a recipe for disaster.
And then there is Lanie. I'll admit that she's not the character I watch the show for, but she is also all sorts of fun. She acts as a sounding board for Beckett and a good on-again/off-again romantic foil for Esposito. She's been on the show since the very beginning and helps make the show well rounded and fun.
If Stana and Tamala were leaving of their own free will, or even if the show writers' decided that they needed to write them out for the good of the story, I might have been able to handle it. But to cut out two main characters simply to cut costs, particularly after two lackluster seasons, is beyond ridiculous. Honestly, I am not sure I would go back to watching even if ABC reversed course and asked for both of them back.
I did not watch tonight's episode, nor will I watch any future episodes because I refuse to let anyone think that this kind of decision is a good one in any way, shape, or form. I feel really badly for the rest of the cast because they do all do stellar jobs, but this is something I cannot, and will not, show any sort of support for.
ABC, if you're just going to screw the show over this way, please just give them the dignity of ending it this season.