Soap opera fans and prime time fans alike were stunned last week when news broke that ABC has decided to cancel both Castle, which starred One Life to Live's Nathan Fillion (ex-joey Buchanan), and Nashville, which starred Guiding Light's Hayden Panettiere (ex-Lizzie Spaulding) and General Hospital's Jonathan Jackson (ex-Lucky Spencer). And now ABC Entertainment Group president Channing Dungey has explained the reasoning for the shocking cuts.
"At the end of the day, we [felt] that even though Castle and Nashville were wonderful shows and good performers for a long time, the future for us didn't lie in those shows," the exec told reporters, stressing that ABC Studios and Lionsgate TV were searching for the best creative and financial ways to take both series into the future, while the network was looking to find the best fit for the schedule. "Looking at ratings, our own finances and looking at new development, decisions came down to the wire, which is the difficult thing about these jobs as we weigh and measure different things."
Unfortunately, the loose explanation does little to soothe the surprised fans of both shows, which were solid in ratings. In fact, Monday's series finale of Castle managed to score a season high, and that same night, show runners said in a statement that they were "still trying to process all the emotions stirred up by recent events" and called Beckett and Rick Castle a "love story for the ages."
Starting this fall, ABC will launch the Hayley Atwell drama Conviction in Castle's home on Mondays at 10 p.m., while Kiefer Sutherland's Designated Survivor will take over Nashville's slot on Wednesdays at 10 p.m.
The news of both series' cancellations comes hot on the heels of reports that Dungey and ABC plan to phase out "soapy serials."
What do you think of the reasons Dungey claims ABC canceled Castle and Nashville? Are you still reeling from the news? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.