The Process of Grieving Canceled Shows Like 'Castle'

Patricia Makris ’18 / Emertainment Monthly Staff TV Writer
Over the next two weeks, many fans will welcome back new seasons of their favorite network shows. This brings an end to the summer hiatus and introduces fall lineups where new shows will have the chance to prove their worth against the veterans.
For others, this is considered a rather somber event.  Their shows had not survived past the spring finales and are being replaced in their usual time slots. While fan-favorite Nashville was saved from its cancellation by ABC and has moved to CMT, this past season suffered many other fan-favorite shockers and cancelations. Most notably, after eight seasons and 173 episodes, ABC announced the cancelation of their hit crime-drama Castle on May 12th.  The final episode titled Crossfire, premiered four days later on May 16th.

Photo Credit: ABC
Photo Credit: ABC
Before its official cancellation, the show and network were embedded in a series of controversies. On April 18th, fans were shocked to learn that if the show were to be renewed for a ninth season, characters Kate Beckett, played by actress Stana Katic, and Lanie Parish, played by actress Tamala Jones, would not be asked to return. Rather than dwell on the backlash, there is one issue that should be addressed. Multiple publications reported that Katic and Jones were “leaving” or “exiting.” This made it seem like the decision was a choice made by the actresses themselves. As most of their fans were aware, this was not the case and should not have been reported as such.
Several remaining cast members were either still in talks or officially confirmed to return if the series were to go on. Many feared how Beckett and Lanie’s noticeable absences would be explained. During production of Crossfire, two alternate endings were shot in the event of the show’s cancellation to avoid any cliffhangers. Despite only having four days to add in the correct ending, Crossfire became the highest rated episode of the season. Beckett and Lanie’s lives were spared, the team defeated LokSat and seven years into the future, Castle and Beckett live happily ever after with their three children (Just as the time traveler Simon Doyle revealed to the couple back in season 6.)
The experience of losing a favorite television show for the first time is arguably a painful experience. Especially, when it is unexpected or abrupt as it was with Castle. Some may point out that getting eight seasons should be considered a blessing since most other shows don’t make it past the first few seasons (we hear you Firefly fans). However, the feelings go beyond just the show itself because what really matters is what it represents to each individual viewer. What factors go into someone deciding to watch a certain show? The answer could be as simple as the genre to personally identifying with a specific character or storyline.
Photo Credit: ABC
Photo Credit: ABC
In the end, we may never get explanations or closure, even when the new president of the network claims to clear things up during a press tour. Instead, focus on the legacy. For Castle, Disney Publishing announced the New York Times Bestselling Nikki Heat series would live on for at least two more book releases. Disney’s exclusive D-Tech line announced it would be selling a series of ABC show themed phone cases including one for Castle. A multiple People’s Choice Award winner, Katic and co-star Nathan Fillion (Richard Castle) have also won individually for their respective roles. Other networks such as TNT continue to play episodes in syndication. Several online shops continue to sell Castle themed merchandise and the final season DVD went on sale on August 23rd.
Members of the cast and crew have moved on to various new projects and will no doubt continue to thrive. Fillion, Jon Huertas (Javier Esposito), Susan Sullivan (Martha Rodgers), and many writers/production staff are all joining various shows. Toks Olagundoye (Hayley Shipton) is working on voiceover work for some unannounced projects and Katic has three new films debuting this year (the first one titled Sister Cities premiered this past Saturday on Lifetime). Show Creator Andrew W. Marlowe and his wife Terri Edda Miller are working on a new show titled Take Two.
While a favorite show can never be replaced or duplicated, it is important to continue supporting those who continue on and have stories that need to be told.

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