UPDATE 8:30 AM: It is now official – ABC just confirmed that Stana Katic has closed her deal to return to Castle for its upcoming eighth season.

PREVIOUS 6:30 AM: It came down to the wire but I hear that Stana Katic is finalizing a deal to return to Castle for the ABC drama’s upcoming eighth season. An announcement is likely to come later today. Katic joins fellow Castle star Nathan Fillion who had already committed to come back. Both actors needed new contracts as their original ones expired at the end of this season.

castlestananathanSecuring both Fillion and Katic will keep one of TV’s favorite couples – Rick Castle (Fillion) and Kate Beckett (Katic)  –  intact. It also ensures a proper resolution to the cliffhanger in last night’s Season 7 finale where Beckett was left pondering an offer to run for the New York State Senate. Additionally, it provides stability on the veteran series, which is transitioning to new showrunners for Season 8, Castle writers Alexi Hawley and Terence Paul Winter.