Actress Stana Katic is said to be leaving "Castle" after playing the lead role of Captain Kate Beckett for eight seasons.
The 37 year old actress, who has played Beckett in the crime series, since its 2009 premiere, will not return for the planned ninth season after ABC decided not to renew her contract for "budgetary reasons".
Her 45 year old co-star Nathan Fillion, who plays Beckett's husband, Rick Castle, is expected to return for season nine if it is renewed for a shorter 13-episode run.
Katic did not comment on the reasons for her departure, but said, "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. Thank you to the fans."
Katic is not the only female star leaving the show, season eight will also be the last for Tamala Jones, who played medical examiner, Lanie Parish. ABC said in a statement, "Kate has been a beloved character on our hit series, for the past eight years. We are grateful for her talent and dedication and we hope to continue the relationship.