Castle star Nathan Fillion has broken his silence over the shocking exit of his leading lady of eight seasons. A day after we broke the news that Stana Katic won’t be back next fall, the actor took to Twitter to comment, while also expressing hope that Castle would be renewed for a ninth season (and beyond).

Katic and fellow Castle original cast member Tamala Jones were told late last week that they would not be returning for budgetary reasons as the long-running show is eying a shorter Season 9 order at a reduced license fee. The Fillion-Katic on-set relationship has been a difficult one, with multiple sources indicating that there had been friction between the two for years. I hear last season, the leads only filmed together two days a week per a clause Fillion had requested in his contract.

Castle creator Andrew W. Marlowe, who had always called the Castle (Fillion)-Beckett (Katic) relationship a centerpiece of the series, was the first to react to Katic’s exit yesterday, writing on Twitter that he was “heartbroken.” He was joined later by cast members Jon Huetas and Seamus Dever.

castle-season-mollyTheir co-star Molly C. Quinn, who plays Fillion’s onscreen daughter, also broke her silence early Tuesday morning, writing on Twitter that “yesterday was a horrible day” and “I’m heartbroken.” In response to a Beckett fan, she defended a future of the show without Katic: