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[03/09/12 - 11:15 PM]
Live at the Paley Festival: ABC's "Castle"
By Jim Halterman (TFC)

Please note: As a courtesy, please do not reproduce these comments to newsgroups, forums or other online places. Links only please.

6:57 PM - What better way to start the night than with a clip from Joss Whedon's "Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog" with Neil Patrick Harris, Felicia Day and none other than Nathan Fillion, who does some fun singing in the clip. Very fun.

7:00 PM - The Paley Center's Betsy Scolnick welcomes everyone for night eight of The 29th Annual PaleyFest. It's actually the anniversary tonight of the premiere of "Castle" so it's only fitting that tonight's panel celebrates the hit ABC series. (Has it really only been three years?)

7:04 PM - Betsy introduces TV Guide Magazine's Will Keck, who is moderating tonight's panel. Will gives us a peek at the next "Castle" graphic novel, "Storm Season" (available in October). A fan who follows Will on Twitter is having her 25th birthday and gets a signed copy (by stars Stana Katic and Nathan Fillion) of the script for this season's episode, "Blue Butterfly."

7:06 PM - Will introduces series creator Andrew W. Marlowe, who comes out to introduce the episode we'll be screening, "A Dance with Death," which airs on March 19. But first, we get a special treat - Tamala Jones, who sang in the "Blue Butterfly" episode, comes out and sings. The crowd is in heaven.

7:55 PM - Screening of the solid "A Dance With Death" episode is over so Will comes back out to introduce our panel. Andrew W. Marlowe! Penny Johnson Gerald (Captain Gates)! Tamala Jones (Lanie)! Jon Huertas (Esposito)! Seamus Dever (Ryan)! Stana Katic (Beckett)! Nathan Fillion (Castle)! Molly Quinn (Alexis)! Susan Sullivan (Martha)!

7:59 PM - There was talk that Beckett and Castle might have danced in the episode but it never came together, Andrew says. Will tries to get Nathan and Stana to dance for the crowd but Nathan says, charmingly "I'll forgive you for asking if you'll forgive me for not doing it."

8:00 PM - Asked the popular question about when Beckett and Castle will get together and Andrew replies, "The challenge is to find reasons why they shouldn't be together." He adds that "there will come a moment when the two of them will come together and there will be plenty of storytelling after that." (The audience breathes a collective sigh of relief.)

8:02 PM - Stana quickly states that she is ready for Castle and Beckett to come together but Nathan says that he knows Andrew has a plan when that's going to happen. Will asks the actors what he thinks should be part of that moment? "Kissing!" says Stana quickly, getting a big laugh from the crowd. Nathan says it should be really clumsy.

8:04 PM - Andrew knows exactly when the characters will come together but he isn't going to tell. As he's said before, getting them together is not a bad thing and opens up possibilities and the next evolution can be just as fun. "I've never been one to believe in the curse of 'Moonlighting,'" he says.

8:05 PM - Does Molly like that Alexis is in the lab working with Lanie? "I think Alexis is really enjoying working with Dr. Parrish just like I'm enjoying working with Tamala." She makes sure Andrew hears this and he asks her about the spin-off she was pitching him, which was Alexis as a "Veronica Mars"-type in college. (I like it!) Will asks if Molly will be a part of the cast next year and Andrew cryptically says, "We haven't made any decisions yet."

8:06 PM - Will's favorite episode of the season was the "Blue Butterfly" episode. Where did the idea come from? Andrew jokes that he heard the "Smash" premiere would be up against that episode so they thought they should do something great. Writer Terence Paul Winter, who wrote the episode, is here, as is director Chuck Bowman, who both get a chance to stand up and soak up the crowd's applause.

8:08 PM - Will has brought pages from the episode and wants the actors to read some of the lines in their same accents. Penny is going to narrate since she wasn't in the flashback part of the episode. The actors all have fun with their accents and reliving the popular episode.

8:18 PM - Reading over, Seamus says the fight scene (set in the 1940s with their alt-characters) that was cut was "on a scale from one to awesome!" Nathan explains, "it's always funnier to get beat up than be the tough guy." The guys take off their mics and get ready to show us what was cut from the episode. Hilarious.

8:22 PM - Will asks Seamus about marrying his real life wife on the series. Juliana Dever (who plays Jenny) stands up to big applause. "Life imitates art and Andrew made it happen," Seamus says, gratefully.

8:23 PM - We get a first look at the cover art of the new book, "Frozen Heat," the latest Nikki Heat novel, which is available in September. Andrew promises that the books will remind you of all the great episodes that we've seen on the show.

8:25 PM - A little inside scoop - the handcuffs that had Castle and Beckett stuck together for the "Cuffed" episode had a rubber inside to them so they weren't as uncomfortable as they could have been. Andrew says that he and writer Terri Miller were literally handcuffed together when working on the episode. He might be joking but it's hard to tell!

8:28 PM - Penny is the latest addition to the cast and Will asks about her playing a string of bad characters. "I am sweet," she says. "My husband thinks so." She adds, "I think in order to bring the bad, there's got to be a lot of good in you." Nathan says it's fun when Penny comes up with new ways to show her disdain for Castle.

8:30 PM - While everyone talks about Castle and Beckett kissing, Tamala got to kiss Nathan in the "Blue Butterfly" episode. Since she's kissed both Nathan and Jon, Will wants her to compare the kissing. "I love kissing you," she says looking at Jon, "but it was something new." She adds that kissing Nathan "was like satin or something!" Nathan, of course, is loving this as Jon looks punched in the gut.

8:33 PM - Will asks Susan if she thinks Martha was a good actress in her day? She looks at him with steely eyes and says, "How dare you!" After the laughing subsides, she says, "Yes, I think she was an excellent actress." One thing about Martha we may not know, she continues, is, "this character is an homage to my own mother, who just passed away in December." Susan also says that she's finally adjusted to Martha's red wig and that she's pitched a story that Castle's father is actually his mother since she sometimes thinks Martha looks like she's in drag.

8:36 PM - "We are going to explore it moving forward in the series," says Andrew of the mystery about the identity of Castle's father.

8:39 PM - Will tries to get Andrew to spill some scoop for the upcoming new episodes. "This has been a season of secrets," he says. "Castle and Beckett are keeping secrets and they'll start coming out and they and everyone around them will have to deal with the emotional consequence of them." He also promises we'll touch on Beckett's mother's murder again before the current season ends.

8:42 PM - Adam Baldwin (who starred in "Firefly" with Nathan) is guesting soon as Detective Slaughter, who Castle will work with when Beckett is busy on another case. Nathan says having Castle work with Slaughter will be a very different experience for him.

8:44 PM - Audience question time (and they have gifts for good questions)! Someone asks about the writers and the process in the writers' room. Andrew explains the process is kicking around ideas, find a heightened world and somewhere they can express the Castle/Beckett relationship. Each episode is a six-act structure. "It's a lot of hours, it's a real grind, a lot of hard work and a lot of imagination and the guys just do a great job," says Andrew of his writing staff, who are present and all rise for a round of applause.

8:47 PM - Andrew says they're talking about maybe doing a movie premiere of "Heat Wave" (the movie within the show based on Castle's books) but he says it's expensive for them to stage a premiere so not sure it will happen.

8:48 PM - Do the actors have favorite episodes? Penny's favorite is the upcoming episode 419, "47 Seconds" (airing March 26). She says Gates's voice is so clear, the rhythms are there and without giving much away she says she can't wait for us to see it and that it's extraordinary. Tamala says they're all her favorites but loved the Halloween episode from last season. Jon's favorite episode was this season's "Kill Shot" episode primarily because he got to kill the bad guy. For Seamus, it's this season's "Kick the Ballistics." Stana says she loves the scenes more than the entire episodes like those scenes when you learn about the characters and the sweet moments. Nathan says he loves it when you see characters fail "because that's my life," he jokes.

8:52 PM - Jon and Seamus are the big joke players on the set of the show and they take great pride in having scared Nathan before.

8:54 PM - An audience member asks why they dropped the longer opening for each episode, which explained the concept of the show. Andrew says they originally had that opening "to invite new viewers to the show and they could get what was going on." He says that opening was eating up too much time that they could use for the episodes, which are only 42 and a half minutes long so that's why they now only have the very short opening.

8:58 PM - Will asks Nathan how he feels about Castle's mysterious father and he says he thinks Castle is comfortable with it since the character has never had a dad so he doesn't know the loss. He says he's not haunted by the absence of a father. He is a curious man, though, and he will eventually want to know about his father. Susan listens to him then throws in, "He's haunted!" (Mother knows best, right?)

9:00 PM - Will we ever see a "Castle" musical episode? Andrew says casually that we'll see that in season seven.

9:02 PM - Instead of asking Nathan and Stana, a fan asks Susan and Molly what they think of Castle and Beckett getting together on the show. Susan says she is "bored" with the dance of Castle and Beckett. She is ready for something to happen now! Molly is okay seeing it dragged out longer.

9:03 PM - That's a wrap from the "Castle" panel. I'll be back Saturday night for the "Vampire Diaries" panel and then Sunday afternoon for "Revenge" so be sure to check back over the weekend.

And for more PaleyFest coverage - past and present - visit our Paley Center topic page.





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· CASTLE (ABC)
· PALEY CENTER (TFC)









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