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Happy five-year anniversary to ABC's 'Castle'

Castle's Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic in season six key art

Today marks five years since “Castle” was first broadcast on ABC. March 9th, 2009 kick started the little engine that could with pilot episode “Flowers For Your Grave,” and five years, six seasons and one hundred and twenty-two episodes later, America’s favorite “will they/won’t they” crime-solving duo has broken the so-called “Moonlighting Curse,” scored three consecutive People’s Choice Awards for favorite TV crime drama, and the character-driven crime dramedy with a pivotal love story at its core is still going strong today.

When the audience first met mystery novelist Richard Castle (Nathan Fillion) and NYPD Detective Kate Beckett (Stana Katic), Castle was the plucky sidekick shadowing Beckett around for inspiration, and she his hard-nosed and reluctant muse. Beckett, a brilliant homicide detective with a penchant for solving the “freaky ones,” dedicated her life and career to honoring the victims after the unsolved murder of her own mother. Though incessantly driven crazy by Castle’s reckless antics, Beckett still managed to find herself gradually harboring more and more of a secret and mutual affection for the author playing cop, whose writer’s intuition, wild theories and speculation consistently supplied she and her team at the 12th Precinct with a wealth of insight into the possible motives and explanations behind some of the strangest and most unusual murder cases to rock New York City.

Over the past five years, Castle and Beckett have not only fallen in love, but solved over one hundred cases ranging anywhere from your standard serial killers and lovers scorned to the more bizarre, “Beckett-flavored” cases such as fake (and real!) spy games, a body in a pizza oven, zombies, vampires and Big Foot, and finally ninjas are set to take center stage in a case airing one week from tomorrow. "Caskett," as the pair has been dubbed by fans, have both survived explosions, being trapped in a freezer, and a dip in the Hudson River; a near-fatal bullet to the chest, and secrets and lies that have nearly torn them apart forever on several occasions throughout the show. Now engaged to be married, Castle and Beckett find themselves planning a wedding, their future, solving their usual cases of the week, and always waiting for that next shoe to drop with recurring villains 3XK and corrupt Senator William H. Bracken, the powerful man behind Beckett’s mother’s murder.

With sizzling chemistry, a beautiful love story, laugh out loud comedy and gripping drama, this quirky procedural reads like a mystery novel and has something in its episodes for just about everyone. Whether you’ve been around since the beginning, or jumped on a little while later down the road, there’s one universal truth that most fans can definitely agree on: it’s an outstanding series in today's television, and is not one to miss.

“Castle” is not the only one celebrating this month, either. Actor Nathan Fillion is holding yet another charity: water project campaign in honor of his birthday on Mar. 27. Every $10 donation nets you an entry for a lunch or dinner with a guest and Nathan, and the incentives to donate more go up from there. charity: water is a 501(c)(3) organization that helps provide wells and clean drinking water to developing nations. Last year, Nathan’s project helped to fund the building of 22 wells for over 8000 people (I just recently received an email confirming that my contribution last year went to the Arata Community in Ethiopia, so you’ll be informed just where your donation will go!)

Additionally, there is a charity auction going on through Mar. 26 over at Charitybuzz for the opportunity to meet and hang out with both “Castle” leads, Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic. Proceeds from this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity will go to support Aspen Film, a nonprofit which seeks to educate, entertain, and enrich the world through film. Aspen Film offers an extensive education program, holds one major movie event per year, and hosts a number of other special presentations. This experience is open to one winning bidder and a guest, and the meet up with Nathan and Stana will take place in Los Angeles. Travel and accommodations are not included, so bear that in mind when bidding!

To the show that has entertained and inspired its millions of fans across the globe, happy five years, “Castle,” and here’s to many more. Always.

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