House Shocker: A 'Disappointed' Lisa Edelstein Calls It Quits

House fandom, brace for impact: Dr. Cuddy is checking out.

Lisa Edelstein — whose long-term contract expires this month — has opted not to return for the show’s eighth and likely final season.

In a statement, the actress says, “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.”

Fox and NBC Universal declined to comment.

Back in March — when the future of House itself was up in the air — Edelstein told TVLine, “Nobody at work seems to think it won’t [return]. Everybody wants to come to a deal, and I certainly am looking forward to a Season 8.”

In an interview last week with BlogCritics.org, exec producer Katie Jacobs said she would “not rest” until Edelstein was on board for an eighth season. “Lisa is such a valuable member [of the cast],” she said. “I challenge any other actress on TV to do what she does seemingly effortlessly. She goes between drama, comedy, intelligence, sex appeal… It’s certainly not my plan or David’s plan or the creative team’s plan to not have Lisa in the show.”

There’s talk Edelstein was a victim of belt-tightening at the show. In the aforementioned interview, Jacobs acknowledged that, “For seven seasons we managed to avoid getting the phone call to make cuts in our budget. But now we’re getting that call.” Perhaps she rejected a low-ball offer — hence her disappointment?

Earlier this month, Edelstein’s costars Robert Sean Leonard and Omar Epps inked new deals to return to the show. Hugh Laurie, Olivia Wilde and Peter Jacobson were already contracted for the recrently-greenlit Season 8, leaving Jesse Spencer as the only remaining question mark.

The news comes a week before the show’s current season — arguably Edelstein’s meatiest yet — comes to a close. It’s unclear if the finale sets the stage for a possible Cuddy departure, but that seems highly unlikely.

Thoughts? Stunned speechless? If you’re capable of forming a coherent thought during this emotional time, hit the comments!

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841 Comments
  1. maria says:

    Unbelievable. Unbelievable. I just can’t understand how they would let her go. Along with House and Wilson she is without a doubt one of the most important characters of this show. It’s hard to know what really went on with the negotiations of her contract, but whatever it is, this is going to definitely affect the show in a negative way. I sincerely wish all the best to Lisa and hope that her career keeps growing as she has demonstrated to be a truly talented actress.

    Despite this I will keep watching House MD. I am loyal to my show.

  2. Sanne says:

    House is so much less of a show without the great complexity of Cuddy and the way Lisa Edelstein is able to portray a character. It’s a shame. Of course, the other cast members are great, but Lisa adds a certain extra, call it an X-factor if you wish. Such a shame. However, I will be looking forward to seeing Lisa Edelstein in a new part, giving her the opportunity to explore new genres or learn new things.
    Lisa, good luck.

  3. Jenna says:

    I am so disappointed! You can’t have Huddy with Cuddy & House will in no way be the same without her! If the Season Finale next Monday doesn’t give her a great entrance out I’ll be extremely disappointed and probably won’t watch next season.

  4. Alex says:

    Ausiello, please do with Lisa interview! even written one! probably we won’t get nothing like that soon now when she quits show. Pretty, pretty please!

  5. Steff says:

    they should have cancelled House right away and have kept Lie to Me!!!

  6. Debi says:

    Never was a Cuddy or Huddy fan, so personally I could not care less that she’s gone. They need a new admin that House can spar with who is not in love with him.

  7. Allyson says:

    I wanted to give up hope the night Huddy broke up because I thought that at the end of season 8 we might finally have a resolution. Now she’s leaving, hope is all gone, and I am officially giving up. House has been a staple in my life for about 4 years now, and now it’s nothing but crap. This sucks, and I’m so upset that Lisa isn’t coming back.

  8. TheMan says:

    This is actually good news. House has gotten pretty bad the last two seasons and most of it has to do with it buckling under the weight of the faux romantic tension b/w House and Cuddy. While Edelstein has always been extremely likeable and witty person, her character has spiraled into soap operaish patheticness with terrible character developing and preposterous story lines. Lucas, really?

    It’s tough to lose Lisa as a person, but Cuddy, as a character has become unbearable and muddying up the show. It will be good to inject some new blood as well as new story lines for folks to attach to. House may crash and burn without some of her fan base (doubtful), but in it’s current direction, it was becoming a farce of what made it great. Hate to see Lisa go, but Cuddy — not so much. This is a positive happening….

    • Joe says:

      writing won’t improve. House will be as insufferable as he’s been these last 2 seasons. Time for him to hang it up.

  9. Terry says:

    I don’t really care if the actress decides to leave. Actors come & go all the time. Hugh Laurie is what makes House, when he’s gone, that’s when the show is over. I like Lisa E. But come on folks, she ain’t the star or Wilson for that matter.

    • Volta says:

      Amen!

      Laurie has said end of season 8 is probably it, and I’m certainly not going to stop watching the show because she’s gone, regrettable or not (depending on your view).

      As a matter of fact, it will have the potential of adding a fresh, new dynamic to the show… and the show and House character has always thrived on that in the past.

      • tripoli says:

        Well said. I really enjoyed the season with all the new fellow candidates and subsequent hires. It’s always great to have new blood injected into any show with an ensemble cast. Losing a cast member is nothing to lose sleep over. Or turn your back on the show, for that matter.

  10. ada says:

    YES ! The soap opera can end and House can become a serious drama in its last season ….hopefully ! This is awesome !

  11. Lori says:

    What about Jesse Spencer. He has to come back!!!
    It will be hard enough without Lisa, but without Jesse I can’t watch it ever again!

  12. Jenn says:

    Sorry, but this goes beyond hatred or love of a ship — it’s sad to see an original cast member departing like this, most likely without any sense of closure whatsoever.

    To think of this show without either Cuddy or Wilson, it’s not a pretty sight. Never thought it would actually become a reality that one of them won’t be in the picture for the final season. Horrible news.

  13. River says:

    I am very sad that Lisa is leaving, I do believe that she adds something amazing to the show, but I can see why she wants to leave now. She is quitting before it gets too late. Unfortunately the ratings have gone down a LOT and she probably wants to move on with her life before people only see her as Dr. Cuddy on House, a show that is going down the drain. I love this show SO much, but it does get a bit repetitive and it is hard to keep coming up with interesting or new plots. I know that I, as many other House fans, and the show will miss Lisa a LOT!

    • Amy says:

      You might miss her, the show won’t. They’ll be fine as long as they have Hugh. And I won’t miss her either.

  14. Brenna says:

    Hooray!! Im one of those still holding hope for Hameron! :)

  15. Juli says:

    Just horrible. Bye House.

  16. David says:

    Honestly I don’t think this is actually that bad. Does it change the dynamic of the show? Sure! But the dynamic changed when they did the whole Huddy storyline so I think that this may actually be a good thing because things were a little awkward. They never should have gotten together with each other. She’ll be missed I’m sure but it’s the last season and they’ll figure something out.

  17. Dee says:

    I am very disappointed in her, to do this and leave the fans of the show without proper closure for the character of Cuddy, and therefore the series. Especially when it was clear there was just one more season to go. Hopefully she and the producers/show come to an agreement for her to do a few episodes of the new season, rather than have Cuddy just disappear.

    • Carol says:

      The “House” producers were asking Lisa Edelstein to take a two way pay cut: 1) reduced pay per episode and 2)reduced number of episodes per season. This was insulting to a loyal member of the original cast who had worked tirelessly on behalf of the show, its writers, and supported the storylines and creative decisions no matter how they turned. She was available for media interviews, cheerfully promoting the most ludicrous plot developments (Lucas anyone?).

      Lisa Edelstein provided the intelligence and sparkling chemistry that made Hugh Laurie emerge from his self-effacing shell and become an international star. He had the blazing talent and the discipline for sure, but she brought the fire and zest to their interaction. They defined acting chemistry for our generation. Lisa Edelstein will be missed.

      • ML says:

        that’s a shame. Tptb never seem to appreciate what they had in her based on how they cut her storylines.

  18. Teresa says:

    I’m sure she is trying to get a better deal with this statement…:p

  19. susela says:

    Oh, gosh, now they’ll bring in some tough guy to deal with House—like the season they brought in thatchairman of the board or something and he and House locked horns for twenty weeks. Who needs that? No one can combine tough, tender, and sexy like Cuddy. House will be nothing without her. The producers are fools.

  20. Carol says:

    This is just wrong.

  21. Chelsea says:

    But I’ve been waiting so long for Huddy to happen (for real, not just half a season)! Maybe she can be a guest on the finale?

    • Melly says:

      So? Cameron fans waited long enough too, and yet… No one cares for Huddy. This show is called HOUSE MD after all ;-)

  22. Jay says:

    Very, very, very sad. I’m glad that Hugh has his music & movie career, while Bob has his Broadway show ‘cuz House M.D. will never be the same without a strong professional woman!

    If the TPTB really wants to cut the budget, how about getting rid of hookers & monster trucks? Better yet, how about those ridiculous expensive shots on the intro of every show—cost thousands to shoot and it’s only on screen for 2 minutes.

    • P says:

      Yes, this! There have been so many ridiculous scenes this season (that bizarre monster truck scene being one of the main ones!)
      I know it doesn’t work like that but I’d much rather lose Taub or Foreman than Cuddy. Their characters (particularly Foreman’s) have been utterly useless all season.

  23. SPJava says:

    May I just say, YEAH!!!

    The last 3 seasons the character had become nothing more than an embarassment. An unfailing T&A shot in size too small clothing, riddled with cliches where a substantial, professional woman was supposed to be. What was the “meaty” part of this season exactly? That she started sleeping with the lead male!? Wow a what breakthrough. The kind that ground the show to a complete halt while simutaniously chasing away millions of viewers. Hopefully this may be the first step back towards reclaiming this show’s greatness. Good Riddance to Cuddy; All the best to LE.

  24. Mark says:

    Wow, this is incredibly disappointing. Cuddy is one of the characters I think House can’t survive without. I would have dropped any member of House’s team over her.

  25. Liz says:

    WHAT THE HELL?? Nooo! I love her character, Cuddy! And her & House are meant to be, come on!

  26. Arya says:

    Shame on NBC!

  27. Sarah says:

    This is terrible news! I started watching this show because I saw an episode that heavily featured LE and she sparked my interest in learning about the rest of the show. I can’t believe they would let her go for the last season. We’ll my DVR season pass was getting full anyway. Bye, House…

  28. Eve says:

    I’M BEYOND SAD AND DEVASTATED BUT GOOD FOR HER !!!!!
    GOOD FOR YOU LISA !! YOU DESERVE BETTER !!!!!

  29. Max says:

    This could be good, I hope they don’t bring a tough boss in to replace her since they did something similar before. I hope they promote Wilson, it would add more complexity to his relationship with House while allowing House to keep being House. It would also give more screen time to the great Robert Sean Leonard since he’s already going to in less episodes.

  30. Francisco says:

    When you thought it couldn’t get any worse…

  31. Ali says:

    The whole reason I watch the show is House and Cuddy. I don’t think I will even watch next season then.

  32. Rose says:

    I would have missed Cuddy if her character had stayed the same of the first seasons, now she just annoys the crap out of me!
    No more Huddy! Thank God!!!

  33. Karine says:

    Without Lisa, House is OVER. I’d prefer to see the show cancelled. REALLY! WE NEED YOU LISA!!!

  34. Lelinor09 says:

    This is heartbreaking news! I am so sad for the show and for next season. The House/Cuddy dynamic was what made the show so special and without that to look forward to, House will not be a must see show anymore. I will also miss the fandom and all the discussions about the Huddy relationship – it just won’t be the same without it :-( Hope with all my heart that Lisa Edelstein gets an offer she can’t refuse and decides to come back after all!!!

  35. Anne says:

    I’m shocked, stunned and more, I was so happy to have an 8th season, but now without her, even if house’s carachter is fascinating, it will never be the same, just can’t see house without her, I wish her the best, but I think it’s time for me to “get a life” and say goodbye to the show,eventhough it’s not important, this show made me happy for a while….

  36. sandy says:

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
    WHY? I LOVE HER SHE IS MY REASON FOR WATCHING TV

  37. Jen says:

    Well, House is probable going to die or Cuddy will apear some how is the next season. I dont think he’ll have 13 as a romantic arc.

    I’m very mad, sad, etc. The show wont be the same without Lisa Edelstein.

  38. Aurore says:

    I can’t believe it.
    I love Cuddy. Why couldn’t they get rid of Taub instead. I don’t even want to watch season 8 anymore.

  39. Jen says:

    House isnt House without Cuddy. Period.

  40. Ben says:

    I think they will probably bring Edelstein back for a few episodes of the last season as cameos.

    The decision to not sign her for the last season was from other department than the writers. I don’t think she should sign if she is being offered a low-ball wage. Same as what they did to Regis Philbin… offered him half of what he previous got per year, and yeah of course nobody would sign with those terms. Same thing happened to Mary Hart on ET. Also I believe same thing happened to Lara Spencer on The Insider but this last one isn’t confirmed.

    • tripoli says:

      Actors and entertainers are ridiculously over paid as it is. And unfortunately for some, budget cuts happen. In any career field. If she cared about continuing with the show, she would have agreed to a deal. Clearly money was the driving force in her departure. And I say good riddance to her!

  41. tahina says:

    I got mixed feelings for Lisa. Glad is her decision to leave and that she wasnt fired or “let go” like others..but sad and angry too that she has decided to leave now, last season and so sudden! there be no closure for Cuddy fans, let alone Huddy! Wonder if this was known all along since before “Bombshells”.

  42. jules says:

    No Cuddy, no House. I’m done.

  43. See ya, HOUSE, MD says:

    No Cuddy; no me. I can’t believe they would give RSL the same he made and lose Lisa. Unbeleivable. I hate to say it but we fans know what’s gonna happen to the numbers and it won’t be pretty. But they let it happen because she wasn’t worth it to them to pay her what she deserves. She’s just as popular as RSL on the show, but she is expendable? Always the girl.

  44. Doug says:

    Try as I might, I cannot bring myself to care. This character always had potential but never even got close to embracing it.

  45. Anliah says:

    Are the people behind “House” insane? Do they not realize what this will do to the show? Whatever. This frees up my Mondays, I guess.

  46. tanya says:

    RIP HOUSE THAT’S A BIG MISTAKE BIG MISTAKE NO CUDDY = NO HOUSE

  47. Sophie says:

    The only one that cannot be replaced is Hugh Laurie. This show isn’t called Cuddy MD and a lot of Huddy shippers and Cuddy fans have forgotten that.

    I wish Lisa success on her new ventures.

  48. Eurydice says:

    I like Lisa as an actress and I like Cuddy as a concept, but I’ve always disliked Cuddy’s relationship with House. Cuddy was never a credible antagonist or colleague or friend or lover. And now that I think on it, I’ve never found her credible as an administrator or even a doctor – so now I’m rethinking whether I like the actress or the concept. I guess I’m saying I won’t miss Cuddy.

    But getting rid of Cuddy won’t fix the fundamental problem of the show – that all the characters are tied to House and that if he doesn’t grow, they can’t grow.

  49. Caroline says:

    Oh puhleeze. She’s forcing the hands of production to get her back to her paycheck from last year. The recent pay cut irked her, so she’s taking it to the next level. She’ll get what she wants and she’ll be back…

    • Charlene says:

      I hope you are right and the corporate bigwigs come to their senses and offer LE the contract she wants and deserves. Why should LE be required to take a pay cut and RSL gets all that he asks for? He has said repeatedly that he doesn’t like the show, doesn’t like working hard, and is only in it for the money. Why should the middle-aged woman (and the black guy) have to take the paycut to save money for the show?

      “House” is founded on the interactions of the central character with both his romantic interest Cuddy and his friend Wilson. Without Cuddy, the show will not be half as vital or engaging as it was. Introducing a new regular character to play House’s boss at this late stage in the show’s life is a recipe for disaster.

  50. Joan says:

    This is awful news!! House won’t be the same without her, she was a key part in what MANY MANY people watched for, her playing off House and vice versa. They did not do a great job this season but haters on Huddy are wrong. The show is dead. This is cutting the heart out and I can’t imagine wanting to watch this, which makes me sad. I was totally addicted for years .

    Moreover, as an actress Lisa has been AMAZING and always shows great class and done great things for the show. Unlike those cheap SOBs at the network and Fox who have treated her like crap in these negotiations. Like they could’nt save by cutting out the stupid openings or tricks like monster trucks. Putting their greed on her and other actor’s backs to take a paycut and less eps etc. that was so tacky. I had heard she wanted to stay and might do this just to finish the show but apparently it was too much. She should have been wooed back, like KJ said, not this. I am so sad.

    • tripoli says:

      Unless you were in those negotiations, you have no idea how they treated her. She had the choice to stay, she chose not to. End of story. The show has always been about House, and will continue to be that way. Those “fans” who don’t get that should find another show to watch. Leave House for the loyal fans who do understand change and growth.