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ABC’s New President Channing Dungey: Why ‘Castle’ and ‘Nashville’ Were Canceled

Making room for your next favorite show? Castle and Nashville fans have been heartsick since ABC revealed late last week that the two popular dramas would be among this season’s casualties, and now the network is doing its best to provide answers.

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During ABC’s upfronts conference call with reporters on Tuesday, May 17, president Channing Dungey — who landed the gig in February — explained that canceling both shows was a tough decision for the brass.

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The exec revealed that the series’ producers “were definitely engaged in a bunch of conversations at the studio level” regarding the logistics of bringing back a ninth season of Castle or a fifth season for Nashville. This was an apparent reference to ABC’s announcement last month that Castle‘s Stana Katic (Kate Beckett) would exit the series at the end of season 8 in a cost-cutting move.

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Dungey said about giving both shows the ax, “Internally on the network side, it was kind of the best fit for things on the schedule — obviously looking at ratings, looking at our own finances and looking at some of the new development.”

Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic
Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic on ‘Castle.’ ABC/Byron Cohen

“A lot of the decisions really did come down to the wire, which is the difficult thing about these jobs,” she continued. “You have to kind of weigh and measure a lot of different things. And at the end of the day, it didn’t feel that — even though Castle and Nashville were wonderful shows for us and good performers for a long time — that the future for us did not necessarily lie in those shows.”

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Castle’s series finale aired Monday, May 16, and revealed the future for Beckett and Richard Castle (Nathan Fillion). Us Weekly previously reported that there had been on-set tension between Fillion and Katic for years.

Hayden Panettiere
Ed Amatrudo and Hayden Panettiere on ‘Nashville.’ ABC/Mark Levine

Nashville stars Connie Britton (Rayna Jaymes) and Hayden Panettiere (Juliette Barnes), and its final episode airs on Wednesday, May 25.

Tell Us: Does ABC’s reasoning for cutting Castle and Nashville make sense?

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