Paging Doctor Gregory House, your shift is over.
The producers of "House" and Fox have announced that the Hugh Laurie-led medical series will come to an end this May at the conclusion of the eighth season. Since its debut on Fox in 2004, "House" has been one of the most reliable hits for the network and it will finish its run with an impressive 177 episodes.
"The decision to end the show now, or ever, is a painful one, as it risks putting asunder hundreds of close friendships that have developed over the last eight years – but also because the show itself has been a source of great pride to everyone involved," said Laurie, along with "House" creator David Shore and executive producer Katie Jacobs in a joint statement. "But now that time is drawing to a close. The producers have always imagined House as an enigmatic creature; he should never be the last one to leave the party. How much better to disappear before the music stops, while there is still some promise and mystique in the air."
"The producers can never sufficiently express their gratitude to the hundreds of dedicated artists and technicians who have given so generously of their energy and talent to make 'House' the show it has been – and perhaps will continue to be for some time, on one cable network or another," continued the producers before thanking Fox, Universal Studios and the audience for their support as well.
"While it’s with much regret, and a lump in our throats, we respect the decision Hugh, David and Katie have made," said Fox president Kevin Reilly: "A true original, on the page and amazingly brought to life by Hugh Laurie, there is only one Dr. House. For eight seasons, the entire House team has given us – and fans around the world – some of the most compelling characters and affecting stories ever seen on television. They have been creatively tenacious and collaborative throughout this incredible run, and they are amongst the most superior talents in the business. For all the above, we wholeheartedly thank them, and the fans who have supported the show."
With the decision now settled months in advance, the writers of "House" will presumably plan a satisfying ending for the series. The departure of "House" also opens up a drama slot on Monday nights, that could conceivably allow "Terra Nova," "Alcatraz" and "Touch" to migrate to the timeslot if they are renewed or a new series doesn't take the slot.
There's also no definitive word on if Lisa Edelstein will return to play Dr. Lisa Cuddy one last time before the end of "House." Given the way her departure was handled last year, there could be some roadblocks in the way of that reunion. But stranger things happen in TV all of the time.
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