Canceled TV Shows 2016: ‘Castle’ May Be Done In By Sinking Ratings, Expiring Contract For Nathan Fillion

The list of canceled TV shows for 2016 could have a surprising addition with rumors that Castle is teetering on the edge despite the network’s pledge to keep it going.

The show is nearing the end of its eighth season and has hit a low point with viewers. It has failed to post above a 1.2 same-day rating, which is below the cutoff point for other shows to be canceled, and there appears to be no bump in viewership as it moves toward the tail end of the season.

That has led the Zap2It blog TV By The Numbers to list Castle as “likely to be canceled by May 2016.” The outlet noted that even a vow from ABC executives to bring the show back may not be enough to save it.

“ABC head Paul Lee said he has plans to keep Castle going past this season, even if stars Stana Katic and Nathan Fillion — who, you know, plays the guy the show is named for — were to depart. (Neither actor is signed past this season.)

“Here’s a question: Why? After eight seasons, 170-plus episodes and what will be a rather nice afterlife in syndication and streaming, is there really much more value to be wrung out of the franchise?”

Even if Castle does end up among the canceled TV shows in 2016, the detective drama could find new life elsewhere. There have been rumors floating around that ABC is looking for a new alternative to what has become a stale format, including the possibility that Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic could end up back together on a spin-off of some sort.

There is also the possibility that Castle could go on without both of its marquee stars. At a recent T.C.A. press conference last month, ABC Entertainment President Paul Lee commented that the show could find a way to go on even if Fillion and Katic didn’t extend their contracts.

“If we had a choice, it would be the same cast, it would be the same show,” said Castleco-showrunner Alexi Hawley. “Both of us are very invested in this, and we understand that Castle has always been about Rick and Kate. So the idea of that is daunting, and we’re rooting against that.”

This is not the first time this year that Castle has faced rumors that it may be canceled. Back in December, Hawley and fellow co-showrunner Terence Paul Winter noted that the show invested a lot into the plotline that split up Rick and Kate and then had them reconcile this year.

In an interview with TVLine, Winter said they were happy with the result, but also hinted toward wrapping some things up at the end of the season.

“We went down some roads that we were unable to go down if we didn’t make the choices that we made. It’s funny that you ask that question, because Alexi and I were just talking about this the other day — we’re really happy with how the first third of the season has gone. And we’re excited about what the next third’s going to be, and also how we’re going to take it to the end of the season.”

At the same time, Hawley has pushed back against rumors that Castle could end up among the canceled TV shows in 2016. He cautioned against looking too deep into ratings numbers, noting that the show draws in between 9 million and 10 million viewers a week once DVR numbers are factored in, which he said is “a really healthy number these days for network television.”

[Image via ABC]