We know that there have been countless headlines both around the internet and also here at CarterMatt regarding the future of “Castle,” though at the same time we realize that it would be a mistake to just assume outright that every single person reading around the internet tonight is well aware of all of the headlines. After all, the vast majority of this show’s viewership watching the show casually, and checks out headlines on the show here and there.
So for those of you who are just finding out that tonight is the series finale, hopefully we can provide some further context into what happened here.
1. The ratings for the show dropped – You can cite either viewer fatigue or some controversial twists (Rick’s disappearance, the separation); no matter the reason, the ratings were down big in season 8. Were the show averaging around a 1.4 rating in the 18-49 demographic, you better believe it’d be coming back.
2. Stana Katic’s imminent departure – One way or another, the show had to cut costs if it was to come back for a season 9; the longer a show goes, the more money the stars tend to command. We cannot speak specifically to Katic or Nathan Fillion here, but the decision to dismiss Katic and Tamala Jones was supposedly a financial one. Could you have cut other cast members instead? Maybe, but we’re not privy to those meetings and we don’t know what went on.
3. The backlash – Fans were not happy about the idea to dismiss Katic and Jones, and understandably so. While the low ratings were already a reason to cancel it, it may have become clear to ABC that they were better off cutting their losses than moving forward with a polarizing season 9. They’re a network, and they have to make ruthless decisions sometimes that cause cast and crew members to look elsewhere for other work. Plus, in this case executives new that there was an ending for tonight’s episode filmed that would work as a series finale.
So that’s how we got to the show ending tonight. Ideally, it would’ve been great to see another year featuring the entire original cast, but unfortunately, it’s clear that this wasn’t going to happen even before ABC’s final call.
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