Why did ABC cut Stana Katic from Castle only to then cancel the show altogether? New network president Channing Dungey was tasked with answering that dicey question Thursday at the Television Critics Association summer press tour.
“That’s a case where you have things running on two parallel tracks,” Dungey explained to reporters. “We were always upfront with the studio and producers that we might not be bringing the show back for Season 9. [The studio/producers] did what they had to do [in case there was another season]. Ultimately, we did not feel like it was the right thing to do to order another season.”
Other headlines from Dungey’s inaugural TCA exec session:
* With Marvel’s Most Wanted DOA, might Bobbi Morse and Lance Hunter (played by Adrianne Palicki and Nick Blood) return to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.? “The characters were disavowed,” Dungey reminded, “but I never underestimate Marvel’s ability to bring people back.”
* Dungey confirmed that the network is having “conversations” with LucasFilm about a Star Wars series. “We will continue to have conversations with them. It would be wonderful if we could find a way to extend that brand to our programming.”
* Under pressure from Shonda Rhimes, ABC has opted not to slap the #TGIT label on its fall Thursday lineup (which now includes the non-Shondaland entry Notorious).
* ABC has renewed its summer game show troika, Celebrity Family Feud, Match Game and $100,000 Pyramid. All three will be back next summer.
* Acknowledging ABC’s ongoing Tuesday-at-10 pm woes, Dungey conceded that she and her fellow ABC execs have “oft-lamented” the cancellation of Body of Proof. (Body of Proof averaged 8 million viewers and a 1.4 demo rating in what would be its farewell run; in the same Tuesday time slot last fall, Wicked City — but the latest of many one-and-done shows to unsuccessfully succeed the Dana Delany drama — did barely half that.)