stana katic, castle, season 9, kate beckett"Castle" is losing its female lead: Stana Katic, who plays detective Kate Beckett, won't be back for the next season of the show.

Deadline reports that ABC, in an effort to shake up the veteran drama, has not renewed Katic's contract for a potential ninth season. Nathan Fillion, who plays titular star Rick Castle, is currently in negotiations to reprise his role.

In addition to Katic's departure, ABC has also let go of fellow original cast member Tamala Jones, who played medical examiner Lanie Parish. Though "Castle" has not yet been renewed for season nine, ABC confirmed to Deadline that neither Katic nor Jones would be part of the series should it move forward.

It's not uncommon for long-running series often shed original stars over the years. But what makes this situation so odd is that Katic was a co-lead along with Fillion, and it seems that neither she nor Jones is leaving voluntarily. According to Deadline, budgetary concerns were behind the actresses' dismissals, and a potential season nine would have a limited run of 13 episodes to accommodate for additional monetary constraints. (ABC declined to comment on the nature of season nine, pending a renewal decision.)

According to Deadline, "Katic would not comment on the circumstances surrounding her exit," though she did release a statement to the trade.

"Rather [than] distract from what was an amazing experience, I would just like to say that I'm very grateful to ABC for giving me the opportunity to be a part of a much beloved show," Katic's statement said. "Thank you to the fans."

Jones also released a statement to Deadline, saying, "I've had so much fun playing the wonderful and unfiltered Lanie over the past eight seasons. I will greatly miss the cast and crew – it's been a privilege getting to work with this incredibly hard working group of people. Thank you to ABC for this opportunity and to the fans for their unwavering support. It's been an incredible journey and I can't wait for what lies ahead!"

Season eight of "Castle" ends its run in May.

[via: Deadline]

Photo credit: ABC/Bob D'Amico