ABC Developing Castle Spinoff With Derrick Storm


Today, in ‘Sentences I Never Thought I’d Write,’ ABC is preparing to melt your brain. No, it’s not planning to stream episodes of Revenge directly into your cranium on an endless loop – rather, it is beginning development on a new drama that will be a spinoff from Castle – one of its most popular shows currently on air. But, this is not just your average spinoff, where the show expands to a different city while following the same worn-out format, like CSI. This is mind-bending branching-out, based on the fictional literary character of a series of fictional novels, written by the fictional lead character of Castle. This is a Derrick Storm show.

For those unfamiliar, allow me to unravel this intricately woven narrative web for you. Castle is the beloved police procedural drama featuring Nathan Fillion as best-selling mystery novelist, Richard Castle. When the show began in March 2009, Richard Castle was struggling with writer’s block, having killed off the popular lead character of his successful novel series, Derrick Storm. When the NYPD bring him in for questioning, following a copy-cat murder based on one of his books, he pulls some strings with the mayor to enable him to shadow Detective Kate Beckett (Stana Katic), in the hopes that she will inspire him to create a new lead character. She does, and he begins to write books with a lead character named Nikki Heat.

When the show proved to be a success, gathering a dedicated group of fans, tie-in novels were released to coincide with Castle’s work on the show. Since 2009, there have been five real Nikki Heat books published – under the name Richard Castle – with a sixth set to hit the shelves on September 16 2014. In February 2012, Castle’s Derrick Storm titles began to appear as e-book novellas.

Now that Castle is heading into season 6, it seems that ABC have decided to crack that narrative open, and let it breathe life into those early fictional works, which – in the timeline of the Castle TV show – are effectively a prequel for the professional life of the lead character. The Derrick Storm series will apparently be a CIA procedural, written by Gregory Poirier (Missing), with Castle creator Andrew Marlowe executive producing, alongside Terri Miller.

A Derrick Storm TV series is inspired creative thinking from ABC. It allows them to fully exploit the potential of a much-loved TV show, without negatively impacting upon the original show itself. This new venture can essentially live and die on its own merits, because it is the fictional work of a fictional character (albeit one that has now been brought to real-life in book form). It also means that, if it succeeds, there are many more spinoff avenues that can be pursued, since the fictional pen of the fictional Richard Castle is supposedly both prolific and best-selling. Personally, it is my fervent hope that one episode features Derrick Storm deciding to write a novel about his experiences…

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