Castle Nashville Fall Finales

Castle, Nashville Latest ABC Series to Adopt Extended Winter Break Plan

Castle and Nashville, ABC’s last two “holdouts,” this winter will adopt the extended midseason break plan originated by such sister series as Once Upon a Time, Scandal and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Castle, which in recent years has only taken five or six weeks off in the winter, this season will air its fall finale on Nov. 23, then not resume Season 8’s 22-episode run until early February, TVLine has learned. This marks the first time since Season 2 (its first full season) that the procedural has not aired an original in January.

Similarly, Nashville, which last winter broke for a series-high eight weeks, will take an even longer holiday this time around, though exact fall finale/return dates for the country-fried drama are not yet available.

Filling the series’ respective Monday and Wednesday time slots during the long break will be holiday programming and specials and, in some situations, limited series yet to be announced. (In May, ABC president Paul Lee indicated that Season 2 of Secrets and Lies will inhabit Nashville‘s slot.)

For Castle fans — as revealed in this exclusive TVLine Q&A — the wait for February could feel particularly long. Because in the wake of the two-part premiere’s final twist, “Things are going to constantly evolve [for Rick and Kate], and by the time we get to the end of our fall finale, which will be Episode 8, there’s another shift and change that’s incredibly dynamic,” co-showrunner Terence Paul Winter said.

With Castle and Nashville on board, every returning ABC fall drama now is following the “gap” scheduling plan that was designed to deliver more continuous stretches of original episodes (and thus temper ratings erosion) and was first braved by Once (which last winter was on hiatus for 11 weeks), Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and How to Get Away With Murder (10 weeks each) and S.H.I.E.L.D. (12 weeks).

In August 2013, when ABC first unveiled this scheduling plan (via Once‘s 11-episode Neverland arc, etc;), TVLine polled readers on their knee-jerk reactions. Here is what y’all said at the time; has your opinion changed?

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. steven says:

    Looks like Nashville is doomed.

    • danyelle says:

      As doomed as the shows that have been surviving just fine with this schedule for years? lol

    • ABG says:

      Nashville is doomed by low ratings and by the fact that after this season it will have around 87 episodes, which is enough for them to sell the show to syndication.

      This move has nothing to do with that (and it actually improves ratings for Grey’s, Scandal and HTGWM).

    • sbc85 says:

      It might be doomed for other reasons but I don’t think this particular issue has anything to do with that, since it sounds like something ABC is doing with many of their shows.

    • Boiler says:

      First if you think this because of the above you couldn’t be more wrong. Second there imore to Nashville besides the ratings. I am sure there is some point that it is over BUT they have money from the city, a high annual salary base of viewers, great support from the city and country music performers, the actors perform throughout the city and ABC does other country shows. I would like to think that if ratings this year on a par with last year it will return

    • Ted says:

      Nashville went up 75% in Live+3 ratings, the biggest gain of the night. And as execs don’t look as closely as same day as they used to, I’d say it’s pretty damn early to call it “doomed.”

      • Liam says:

        But those increases only mean something when you look at the original rating. If a show scored a 1.0 rating (which I know Nashville didn’t, but bear with me here), and then rises to a 1.7 rating in Live+3, while that looks impressive with a 70% increase, it’s still only a 1.7 rating.

    • Nancy Cianci says:

      I just cant do Nashville this season. I was totally pulling for it, but there is so much great tv this season, I need to let it go. I have a DVR, but even last year I would hoard 4 weeks of Nashville and watch it out of duty. Im not doing that to myself anymore. If i hear it gets better I’ll try to catch up, but Im not into dealing with the same old song and dance. Juliette and Avery had JUST gotten together…….they cant find a way to keep them together and give them a storyline without breaking them up? Lame!

      • ntstar4 says:

        Nashville has been great this season. It is my favorite show. I have tried watching some of the newer shows and they are just trash. I DVR too but I do it so I can watch again. The music is not as good as it was in previous seasons but it will improve and still better than anything else on TV. We all have different opinions on what we like so if you are into zombie’s and supernatural stuff I would imaging Nashville with real life situations would not be for you.

    • brandydanforth81 says:

      Yeah like it,Scandal,Greys,Murder,Once we’re “doomed” doing this split season last year?Or Once,Scandal,Greys the season before?oh wait-they’re all still on…

  2. ABG says:

    Aside from TGIT shows, which I do miss during the break, it’s no big deal. SHIELD is replaced with Agent Carter (better than SHIELD IMO), I don’t watch Castle and Nashville is not really must see TV for me.

    • Chris says:

      Carter was at best on par with the absolute best of the latter half of season one of Agents of Shield. It didn’t come anywhere close to the level season 2 of AoS hit last year. Maybe season two will for Carter but that’s obviously wait and see for now.

  3. Lindsay O'Connor says:

    Will they extend the episodes further into the spring then? If not they should, otherwise go back to the regular format!

  4. LelqTian says:

    For serialized show, like pretty much everything on the list, I see the point. For Castle? Not really. Couple that with the recent plot developments, I’m wondering if there will be anyone watching by February, and is that when they’ll announce this was always going to be the last season.

  5. K says:

    Does this mean chances of QUANTICO and BLOOD AND OIL surviving will be higher?

  6. Christian says:

    Wasn’t that always the plan for Nashville? Im pretty sure Paul Lee announced Secrets and Lies would take its place during the winter.

  7. H says:

    They said earlier this year that Secrets and Lies would air in the Wednesday at 10 slot starting Jenuary. I think that Nashville will move to Sunday at 10 (I think Quantico has a limited number of episodes like HTGAWM, correct me if I’m wrong). This may kill it tho, unless too many first year shows bomb, which is not too unlikely.

    • johnhelvete says:

      I have seen numerous posts elsewhere that claim Quantico could get a back 9 order, not sure if that is 100% confirmed though.

  8. Alyssa says:

    That is too long of a wait!! I can’t wait that long for castle!

  9. Mr. Tran K says:

    I know what Nathan Fillon told Michael Ausiello during a Comic-Con interview about whether or not Castle will end after eight seasons and said “never say never”. Wonder if the execs at ABC are thinking the exact same thing.

  10. Rod says:

    Smart move.

  11. M. says:

    I actually always wondered why “Castle” didn’t already “do” this hiatus-thing, so I’m down with that.

    IMO a longer break is preferable to an on-off-schedule. I just hope the fall-cliffhanger won’t make the waiting for February unbearably hard…

    And yes: I WILL BE WATCHING, precisely because of last nights episode.

  12. Mary says:

    Actually, I like that idea for Castle!:) It never fitted with Bachelor, anyway…

  13. Boiler says:

    Don’t have a problem with the idea. I do have a problem possibly if what they put there instead bad. Actually I would like to see Motive put into one of the breaks as it performed better than Mistresses and Rookie Blue and already renewed in Canada

    • Christy says:

      Ooh. I like that. Air Motive in the empty timeslot while Castle is on break. I love that show and it has the same crime drama setup as Castle. I’m not a fan of the “random holiday things” idea for filling this slot. It will just make the hiatus feel longer. I barely noticed that SHIELD wasn’t on since we had Agent Carter instead. Stick to that theory.

      • JMP says:

        They are supposed to keep doing some sort of live recap show like they did for Bachelor in Paradise (After Paradise) for this season of the Bachelor in January so I bet that is what replaces Castle for that month at least….

  14. Ella Jasper says:

    I think we should all boycott the shows when they come back. We are just suppose to sit around and wait for them to come back. I remember the days when they took off a couple of weeks for the holidays. This is ridiculous. They all still make the big bucks. Isn’t the summer break enough?

    • BenM says:

      Everyone gets annoyed at getting one episode, then one week off, then two episodes, then one week off…

      This is the way for us to get shows in a continuous run, far from boycotting it, I think it’s the best thing ABC have ever done.

  15. lkh says:

    I think a break like that is a really good idea. Going that long without a reasonable break is difficult for everyone, not just the actors. I think it can only improve the series which is now required to have an episode every week, short break and then back to that schedule. Toward the end, the actors always look exhausted to me–don’t know what the writers look like. Heard Tony Hale talking about Veep–they rehearse 2-3 weeks for each episode-usually only 8 or so though. Wow. Can’t have that when you put out 22-23 episodes per season, but I’m sure the break will feel good.

    • rek says:

      I don’t know that production of an episodic television show will break for hiatus due to this winter airing break….Production may still want the season’s episodes in the can and simply shelf them until their air dates. So it is possible that these shows will continue to shoot until the season has been completed, meaning no physical hiatus for cast and crew.

  16. Al says:

    Both shows should be cancelled after this season give their ratings are low

    • Carol Tolbert says:

      Nashville is a great show and I would love for it to last forever. Castle has sort of run out of plots. ABC does nothing to promote them.

  17. GA says:

    The network shows take a long winter break and it seems like show a rerun every other week and they wonder why rating are so lousy. In other works I don’t like any of the above.

  18. Lily says: have to wait forever for Castle to come back and before you know it you have to wait again. Not a happy camper.

  19. N says:

    If I have to wait for Castle, I’ve got secrets & lies

  20. JeffDJ says:

    Boy, the “Castle” folks have really been endearing themselves to the fanbase this week, haven’t they.

    • c-mo says:

      This isn’t the Castle staff’s decision, it’s ABC’s decision, they are the ones doing the scheduling, the Castle show runners just adjust their writing/filming schedules accordingly.

  21. jaca says:

    No not Nashville, I love that show

  22. Matt Stone says:

    This will be a tough break for me. I hope that this shift and change the show runners are talking about for the fall finale is them reuniting. They will probably will have him asks her to come home in the finale. Then, make us wait till February for her answer. UGH!!!

  23. Lv2bnsb1 says:

    I don’t mind at all – I love my show, Castle, and will take it any way you offer it. It’s the only show I’ve ever watched consistently and felt didn’t insult my intelligence. Thank you for giving us another wonderful year!

  24. Sarah j says:

    Sorry but I am my a fan of this. I know may sweeps is a by thing. But it ruins the flow of the season with this breaks.

  25. skrable2 says:

    Gee, if you were going to kill off Beckett, this would seem the perfect time to do so. Then, after hiatus, you have a “new” version of Castle.

    Maybe that’s why it took them so long to get SK to agree on a new deal this year — figuring out how many episodes she’d agree to do.

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      Is that where we’re at now? “Stana’s leaving midseason!”? LOL….

      • lkh says:

        And it sounds like a real casket is involved–uh oh

      • skrable2 says:

        Not the craziest thing out there today.

      • tv fan says:

        with all the comments yes, everyone has her (and him) in a casket just waiting to the last nail to be placed in. are the hammers ready……lol

      • Georgee says:

        I do not feel they are going to kill off Kate. Yesterday Oct 1st we heard you talked to the folks at Castle and episode 7 (Rick and Kate) came up. Can we get some torture relief are Rick and Kate going to be living under the same roof again at the end of that episode? We know you know the answer to that question. Will you share that with us? Thank You for the reply

        • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

          Be calm.

        • tv fan says:


          Stana, in my eyes anyway, would not have signed on just to see her character be destroy/killed off what ever word you use. not when at the end of 7 she could just her walked out. that would have been a good time, felt like a series ending anyway. so no i didn’t see it that way either. i thought it was funny though that some think that. it was just like last year with all the pics frenzy last year, of her not coming back. people sorry i do this too, reading way to much into every detail of every f’n moment of this. it’s their right too, just we don’t know what’s going to happen, we just have to go with the flow. (if you want to, i am).

  26. EM says:

    I think the networks have finally figured out a way to keep people interested. I remember a few years back when it was 2 original episodes, a rerun, a special, 2 original episodes, another rerun, etc. People are demanding better programming and they are responding. I’d much rather watch 13 original episodes and a long break than reruns after reruns. People have a lot going on between Thanksgiving and New Years and miss episodes anyway. Have to say I do miss the Grey’s Anatomy Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas and New Years episodes of old.

    Random question for anyone? When is The Knick returning? Wicked show I miss.

  27. Liz says:

    Hate it. I don’t see why they have to wait until February to come back. I can see why they go off the air in December. Christmas specials and all that but January too? That is a long time to take shows off the air. What’s is going in January that they have to keep it off the air? Castle is the only ABC show I watch, I’ll have to find something else and it probably won’t be on ABC.

  28. Jeri says:

    I would rather see repeats then gaps & holiday programing. I just get into the shows and then they are gone again with not enough momentum to survive another break. I tend to lose interest and drop the shows. This happened with Mad Men which I really liked until the last few seasons, I just got tired of always waiting for the show to come back, Easier to move on to something else, even reruns of another show. I have no interest in holiday programing, there is way too much on already. I like Nashville but an extended break after not many episodes is too much waiting. I’ll just have to see if it I have any interest left after the interruptions.

  29. Celyn says:

    What happened to TV being TV? Shows started in Sept and ran through May with a small break here and there for holiday specials. No wonder good shows get cancelled after a season – no one can remember when they’re actually on. It’s getting so flippin’ ridiculous.

    • brandydanforth81 says:

      Yeah because they cant look up in the paper or tvguide mag the daily tv listings or set dvr for season pass of new episodes or take a minute or two to look at tv listings on the internet or can’t pay attention to promos saying when shows will be on. if a shows important to someone,theyll find a way to figure out when its on.TV is different now than 20-30 years ago when shows had 30 + episodes seasons now they have 22 so thers more breaks & fitting a 22 episode season in a 35 week regular tv season means breaks.

      • Jeri says:

        Like you said, “if” it’s important enough. It’s getting to the point they are not on enough to become important.

      • Tired says:

        Well, they should return to ordering 30+ episodes. Don’t know why they started shortening seasons in the first place.

    • brandydanforth81 says:

      Also,people rarely watch tv live when it’s on anymore-it’s OnDemand,dvr,streaming or binge watching when they have time not when the says it’s on.

  30. Lori Anderson says:

    Why oh why did the Castle writers have Beckett leaving Castle alone in the loft? It broke my heart to see her leaving

  31. nellibly says:

    This baffles me. While these shows go on hiatus, viewers will wander off in search of something else to watch and may not come back if they like the competition better. As for cliffhangers, I usually can’t remember what they were about by the time the new season starts.

  32. Lysh says:

    I really don’t mind when they have a great winter mini-series type show. Galavant and Agent Carter are perfect fillers for their respective shows. It was a drag when there’s shows like Lost and it takes longer to make and then there’s award/sports season getting in the way. I’d rather wait longer to have many consecutive weeks of new episodes. Castle and Nashville fans will be okay.

  33. Channel says:

    Having breaks mid-season is going to turn us to other shows. My family looks forward to our weekly programs and NOT the breaks.

    • tv fan says:


      so you like it when they take a small break, then come back and then have another small break, and then come back? i can’t stand that! then i forget it’s on! yes i look at other things during this time. that way i don’t get to burned out……i think that it will be better. I hate that they have to have breaks to but, i will enjoy every esp of any of my fav shows!

  34. m3rcnate says:

    Here’s an idea: Make the shows better by shortening their insanely long episode count in a season (22, filled with tons of filler) and give us tight awesome compact seasons (10-16 episodes).
    Instead of having a 22 episode super long season with a 2 month break in-between, split the season into two and have season 8 be 11 episodes long. Have the writers/showrunners write accordingly (way less filler, more tight story telling, a better pace). Then they get 2 months to work on season 9’s 11 episode season. I realize it is too late but I am really getting tired of network TV doing this 22 episode long full of filler garbage. There is a reason shows are so much better on cable, paid-cable and online (Netflix) in their 10-16 episode length format.

    • lkh says:

      I liked that idea too, but someone said it would impact syndication–haven’t a clue, but probably has to do with TNT et al.

    • brandydanforth81 says:

      Downsides to that are 1.people will complain about not enough episodes/too short a season &2.shows will take much longer to get to syndication

      • m3rcnate says:

        To clarify; When talking about Castle changing how it’s show does thing, actually it wouldn’t change anything (make the 22 ep season 11 episodes in 2 seasons) in regards to their shooting schedule or how many episodes they make, it would just change how they approach telling the story and how much tighter each episodes story and character development would be.
        Personally I think shows first seasons on network TV should be shorter to help keep the first season (where fans are either bailing or falling in love with the show) tight, to keep the story moving really well, to keep the character development going at a fast pace, etc. Have the first season of say “Limitless” or “Blindspot” be 13 episodes (no “back 9”) so fans very quickly fall for the show and feel like they got a lot of juicy story in a relatively short amount of time. THEN if it fits the story and the writers can do it, the second season can be 20-22 episodes (still not a fan but i get why they do it, for $ and hopes of syndication).

  35. TicaTica says:

    I’m ok with the break for Castle, that maybe means less breaks during the second half of the season. By the way I’ll be watching no matter what happens, surprised for last night ending but I watched twice already and I can’t wait to see where this is going to take the show.

    • tv fan says:

      @tica tica

      me too I had to watch it again and again and i starting to understand both points of views the good and the bad, i want to see what happens, great cliffhanger. i from what i just read have more hopes with the titles coming from them. i think it was esp 7 so people relax some will you and enjoy!

  36. Cheryl says:

    Really don’t like it , just want to watch my shows every week

    • tv fan says:


      i know me too but i hate smaller breaks then new esp then another break then new one and then having to wait again. i want the breaks all in one to get that part over with-it hurts me to wait but only do it once. that way i forgive more easily.

  37. Al says:

    Isn’t the point of having 22 episodes a season for network shows is so that there would be LESS of hiatuses? Or else why bother ordering such large seasons, why not just go full on cable style 13 week runs for all shows..

  38. lkh says:

    The Castle fans are in overdrive-I’m getting a headache. War and Peace was shorter than all these posts.

  39. shirley says:

    Since this has been decided, does it really matter what I think.
    If this is the only way to keep my fav on the air (Castle) then I will have to put up with it and wait the winter months out.

  40. ljd213 says:

    This would have been a great place for “Forever”…..

  41. Whatevah says:

    Cheapskates! I hate this idea and it’s all about the $$.

  42. Larc says:

    Too bad network TV can’t afford the full seasons of shows they used to have. But long breaks do give them a chance to air junk not good enough for the regular season.

  43. robin harris says:

    Breaking them up .dumb dumb and dummer idea. They came after him and if they had any brains they’ll keep doing it.who writes this sh#t.

  44. John NYC says:

    Not a big fan of the long gaps. They always feel like another summer break in the story flow.

  45. Fran says:

    I guess I will have to hold my breath until Castle returns!!

  46. Vickie M says:

    The networks don’t seem to realize the risk they take with this kind of move. Last year I got involved in another show during Nashville’s extended 8 week vacation and never went back – opting to finish at my leisure on Hulu. This year I won’t invest the time up front if there’s anything else that catches my fancy.

  47. Media Wench says:

    She has a great voice so I’m glad she’s back. Same with Layla… has a good voice but hard to tell as she’s usually singing wimpy songs. Please give that girl a proper love life. Jeff is bad news and she deserves better, especially after Will scammed her.

  48. says:

    Guess we’ll be watching more and more of Netfix.

  49. Mary S says:

    @Matt Webb Mitovich -Seems like the Always Been Clueless network s living up to its name…again. They stole FOREVER from us, now they are going to give Castle a break that’s longer than the first “half” of the season?? If the goal is to lose all but true die-hard fans, looks like they are on the right track. Are they setting it up for a cancellation?

  50. chris says:

    dumbest idea ever, go on hiatus during the cold dark days of winter when there is nothing else to do but watch tv,! makes me lose interest in the shows….