Sort of...

By James Hibberd
Updated May 17, 2016 at 05:28 PM EDT
Credit: Scott Everett White/ABC; Mark Levine/ABC via Getty Images

The cancellation of ABC’s Castle and Nashville were probably the two biggest surprises during a slew of tough fall decisions made by broadcasters last week.

Both veteran shows were expected to squeak into another pickup, yet neither are coming back.

So why were they axed, exactly?

ABC’s new entertainment president Channing Dungey didn’t offer much to reporters seeking clarity on the verdicts during a conference call Tuesday, but she did take a swing at an answer.

“In terms of the behind the scenes things that were happening on both Castle and Nashville, the studios in each case were looking for the best creative and financial ways to make room for a ninth season of Castle or a fifth season of Nashville,” she said. “They were definitely engaged in a bunch of conversations at the studio they felt would set them up for the best [chance] of success should they get the order. In terms of what we were discussing internally on the network side, it was [what was] best for the schedule and, obviously, looking at ratings, looking at our own planning and looking at some of the new development. A lot of those decisions really did come down to the wire, which is a difficult thing about these jobs. You have to weigh and measure a lot of different things. At the end of the day, it didn’t feel that — even though both Castle and Nashville were wonderful shows for us and good performers for a long time — that the future for us did not necessarily lie in those shows.”

So there you have it. Sort of. Here’s ABC’s new fall schedule.