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FOX announced on February 8 that its long-running medical drama will come to an end in May 2012 after 8 seasons.
After months of speculation, it has been confirmed that House, starring Hugh Laurie, will air its final episode in May after 177 episodes. The future of the series had been in doubt following the departures of cast members Lisa Edelstein and Olivia Wilde in 2011, declining ratings, and Laurie’s own contract expiring this year. FOX President Kevin Reilly released the following statement on the decision not to renew House for a 9th season:
While it’s with much regret, and a lump in our throats, we respect the decision Hugh, David and Katie have made. 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.
House debuted in 2004 to instant success, making British import Laurie the highest paid actor in dramatic television – he reportedly earns $700,000 per episode – and launching the careers of the aforementioned Edelstein and Wilde along with Jesse Spencer and Jennifer Morrison.
Over the course of its run, the series has won five Primetime Emmy Awards, three People’s Choice Awards, two Golden Globe Awards and two Screen Actors Guild Awards. It has been distributed in 66 countries and was credited with helping to reinvigorate primetime medial dramas in the U.S.
Laurie and executive producers David Shore and Katie Jacobs admitted that the decision to end House was a ‘painful one’, however, they wanted to do so ‘while there is still some promise and mystique in the air’ regarding the fate of the show’s titular character.
Details of the final episode are slim, but it is believed that Shore will serve as both writer and director. However, one source of interest for critics and long-time fans will be whether House’s finale will feature the returns of departed cast-members such as Morrison, currently starring on ABC’s Once Upon A Time, Edelstein, who recently joined the cast of The Good Wife on a recurring basis, and Wilde, who departed the series earlier this season in order to focus on her feature film career.
When asked in October if she would consider reprising her role as Remy ‘Thirteen’ Hadley, Wilde declares that ‘if she came back, it would probably seem forced … So I don’t think she should come back‘. However, it has since been revealed that Wilde had already consented to returning to the series if it were to end this season. Wilde herself took to Twitter shortly after news broke of House’s end, telling fans:
House lovers, it’s the end of an era. Shows like that don’t happen, well, ever. I’m honored to have been a part of such a brilliant story.
House will continue to air on Monday nights on FOX for the remainder of the season, with its exact finale date yet to be announced.