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Talk about an unexpected cop out.

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ABC and ABC Studios have chosen not to ask Stana Katic back for a ninth season of Castle, both the network and the actress have confirmed, keeping open the possibility that the series will be renewed… without one of its two lead stars.

Prior to Castle Season 8, both Katic and Nathan Fillion signed one-year contracts.

According to Deadline, however, ABC has been in contract with Fillion regarding a new deal – but has made it known that it has no interest in asking Katic to return as Detective Kate Beckett.

“Rather then 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 said in a statement in response to the news.

"Thank you to the fans.”

Tamala Jones, an original cast member as Lanie Parish, will not return for Season 9, either.

It’s worth noting, of course, that ABC is yet to actually renew Castle for Season 9.

But one has to assume it’s leaning toward doing so… or else why bother making this casting news public?

“Kate Beckett has been a beloved character on our hit series Castle for the past eight years," ABC said via statement.

"We are grateful for Stana Katic’s talent and dedication to the series and we hope to continue our relationship. Tamala Jones has also been an integral part of the series and we are grateful she was a part of Castle.“