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Lisa Edelstein Leaves ‘House’ Behind

The actress behind Dr. Cuddy opts not to return for an eighth and final season.

Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital is going to need a new Dean.

According to TVLine, actress Lisa Edelstein has announced that she will not reprise her role as Dr. Lisa Cuddy on the eighth season of "House."
 
In a short statement, Edelstein said "After much consideration, I am moving onward with a combination of disappointment at leaving behind a character I have loved playing for seven years and excitement of the new opportunities in acting and producing that lie ahead."

Edelstein was one of the original cast members of "House," and her character had a major storyarc this season that saw Cuddy paired up with Hugh Laurie's Dr. House in a romantic relationship after a long (and sometimes strained) courtship between them. However, Cuddy ultimately broke things off with House a few episodes ago.

Deadline is speculating that Edelstein's departure stems from salary negotiations that would have required her to take a reduction from her current $175,000 episode fee. The report also estimates that Edelstein left an estimated $2 million behind by not staying on for another season.

"House" was renewed last week after acrimonious negotiations between Fox and Universal which made a jump to NBC seem possible for the series before the two sides struck a deal, Robert Sean Leonard and Omar Epps both agreed to return for what is widely expected to be the final season, with creator David Shore also in talks to stay on. Laurie and Olivia Wilde were already signed for an eighth season, although the length of Wilde's contract has not been confirmed.

It was also widely expected that Edelstein's deal was just a formality and her departure comes as a surprise. Next week's season finale may mark Edelstein's final appearance on "House" unless other arrangements are made quickly or if Edelstein agrees to return for at least a guest spot next season.