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If you’ve been keeping tabs on ABC’s long-running series Castle, you probably know that Season 8 has not been the best for the procedural, at least in terms of overall viewership. The show has hit season lows on numerous occasions, prompting fans to wonder if Castle will be returning to the schedule on ABC next year. Well, if you are a fan of the Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic-led series, there has been some good news this week. Castle was up in the ratings, hitting or at the very least tying season highs.
The ratings become even more impressive once you consider what was going on in the TV realm on Monday night. Villanova faced off against North Carolina for the NCAA Championship last night and a lot of eyeballs were directed at the big game. Despite the fact that plenty of people were watching basketball, a lot of people ultimately opted to watch Castle at 9 p.m. ET. The episode did 6.9 million total viewers and a 1.2 rating in the 18-49 advertising demo. If the show is able to continue to tick up in the ratings, there's no reason to think that Castle will end, even though the writers have prepared for that contingency with this year's finale.
It's important to note that Dancing with the Stars is back for Season 22 at this point, and doubtless the strong numbers from last night’s episode contributed to Castle bouncing back a little in the ratings. (That show did 11.6 million total viewers.) However, for a non Caskett-centric episode following the antics of Esposito, those numbers are much better than they could have been. This is good news for Castle, because right now the ABC drama is very much on the bubble in terms of whether it will be cancelled or renewed.
One thing the Castle showrunners noted a few months ago was that even though Castle has seen lower ratings and thus some series lows during Season 8, the pro is that the show has stayed generally steady in the ratings. In fact, this week's bump in the ratings only increased the numbers 6% compared to last week, according to TV Line. Steady and small may not be the best outcome for a TV show, but it is better than shows that are continually decreasing with no end in sight.
ABC has already renewed most of the originals the network has that are bringing in strong numbers, but there are still a number of programs that are on the bubble over at the network. Doubtless, the channel will wait to see how each of these bubble shows do over the next few weeks before making any hasty decisions about the futures of those shows--especially long-running ones like Castle or Nashville. We'll let you know as soon as a decision has been made, however. In the meantime, new episodes of Castle air on Monday nights at 9 p.m. ET.