Castle is back. Richard Castle that is. While ABC is yet to formally renew long-running crime drama Castle, the biggest obstacle has been overcome, with star Nathan Fillion signing on to return next season. That virtually assures an eighth season of the series, which remains one of ABC’s reliable drama performers. There is no word yet on Fillion’s co-star Stana Katic, whose contract also is up at the end of this season and who continues to negotiate with Castle producer ABC Studios.

Further indicating ABC’s intention to pick up another season of Castle is the fact that a search is already underway for a new showrunner. Castle executive producer David Amann, who served as showrunner this season, is stepping down. He has decided to move on and seek development and showrunner opportunities elsewhere. He wrote three episodes this season, including the season premiere. Castle creator/executive producer Andrew W. Marlowe, who handed the showrunner reins to Amann at the end of last season, continued to be very involved in the show, serving as an unofficial co-showrunner. He wrote two episodes this season and co-wrote the upcoming Season 7 finale, slated to air May 11. His future on the show is unclear at this point, with an exit a possibility.