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ABC 'optimistic' about more Castle, with or without leads

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Colleen Hayes/ABC

Good news, Castle fans: ABC is feeling pretty good about the series continuing on past its eighth season. Potentially bad news: Castle’s future may or may not include its leads.

Speaking with reporters at the Television Critics Association’s press tour on Saturday, ABC boss Paul Lee said he was feeling ‘optimistic’ about the possibility of future seasons of Castle, even if Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic don’t re-sign with the series for the fall.

“We’d love for Castle to keep going for many years to come. There are a lot of conversations going on on how to do that,” Lee said, hinting toward the possibility of a contingency plan that would see Castle spun-off or refocused on different characters. “I don’t want to give a glimpse as to where they go, but I’m feeling optimistic that we’ve got some good ideas.”

Castle returns Monday, Feb. 1 at 10 p.m. ET on ABC.