Fall TV Mystery: Who'll Be House's New Boss?

It’s a job we wouldn’t wish on anyone in the medical community: lording over the brilliant if bullheaded Dr. Gregory House. And yet it is a position that must be filled, given that Fox’s House is heading into its next season sans Lisa Edelstein as Princeton Plainsboro’s Dean of Medicine, Dr. Lisa Cuddy. What sort of superior should the show introduce to keep House in check? Female, male? Prickly, hunky? We have some ideas….

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Series creator David Shore says the possibilities for picking Cuddy’s successor are “wide open…. Everything’s on the table” — promoting Wilson included. And yet we have the strong feeling that the writers won’t be able to resist the opportunity to shake things up with a brand-new boss person.

“It’s safe to say there’ll be new players next season. Some,” Shore told us. And with Edelstein gone and Olivia Wilde expected back only in measured doses (as Thirteen), “Yes, we would want to have a female presence, absolutely.”

So here are our picks, both femmes and fellas, to (try to) keep the House in order.

Stephen Fry | This Brit wit has before teamed with his BFF Hugh Laurie in the BBC’s A Bit of Fry & Laurie and ITV’s Jeeves and Wooster. He’s also familiar to Fox faithful from his intermittent gig as Dr. Gordon Wyatt on Bones. We could see Fry playing a Dean of Medicine with whom House strikes an instant connection — Wilson’s jealous, what? –  though Laurie might be tempted to slip out of his American accent now and again.

Janeane Garofalo | The sometime comedienne has been laboring to break into the TV drama biz, first on 24 and most recently on the short-lived Criminal Minds spin-off. On House, she could give as well as she gets, and probably with little to none of that palpable sexual tension viewers grew used to.

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Tim Roth | I’ll pretend for a second that I don’t know how these things work and propose that Roth’s Lie to Me character, the genius Dr. Cal Lightman, take the reins at PPTH, if only because he’ll be able to glean each and every time his world-class diagnostician is trying to dupe him.

Calista Flockhart | Now that Brothers & Sisters has retired to that wine cellar in the sky, she’s available. And we like the idea of her playing a Dean who on the surface comes across as Ally McBeal-style flighty — something that prompts House to dial down his game and let his guard down — when in actuality she’s playing him, being secretly as razor-sharp and cunning as the duplicitous doc.

Tom Welling | Another way to go in filling Cuddy’s shoes is by totally zagging and making House answer to some young whippersnapper. We see a scenario where the Smallville alum plays a suited-up, top-of-his-class Harvard grad who thinks he knows all there is to know about his primo new job, but is in for a rude awakening as to how things really work when one of your subordinates is a super… maniac.

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Keri Russell | Think Welling’s character, only… even prettier. Already a de facto member of the Fox family from her turn on last season’s Running Wilde — and beloved since her days as Felicity — she could play a preternaturally brilliant administrator who knocks ladies man Chase off his game as much as she professionally perturbs House.

Allison Janney | This bit of dreamcasting perhaps gets us most excited, the idea of TV’s erstwhile C.J. Cregg boarding the Fox drama as a no-nonsense Dean of Medicine who perhaps condones House’s envelope-tearing therapies a smidgen more than Cuddy did, yet nonetheless takes an almost sadistic delight in making him fight for his way. Janney is lethal with well-crafted banter and zingers, so seeing this four-time Emmy winner crackle in scenes with Laurie, a four-time nominee, would certainly elevate our pulse.

Who would you like to see fill the void on House?

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775 Comments
  1. Kath G says:

    I so love the thought of Allison Janney, her and Hugh together wold be amazing, and bring a much needed spark back to the show.

  2. Dorothy McIver says:

    David Tennant!! He is too good an actor for the US audiences not to know who he is and we should get get to enjoy him.

  3. fatOlady says:

    How about Chris Meloni? Next choice…..STEPHEN FRY!

  4. Stefany says:

    Casting Allison Janney is about the only way I would be back to watch the show in this fall after that bizarre season finale.

  5. tcmitssr says:

    Tom Welling is a GREAT IDEA!!!!!

    Sign him, please, I beg you, sign him now!

  6. Carlos Perez says:

    Allison Cameron

  7. Sassy says:

    Wow Matt, way to go. With the sole exception of Allison Janey, ALL OF THOSE ARE TERRIBLE SUGGESTIONS. Maybe you came up with them to give more weight to her as a choice?
    I would have liked to have seen Kathy Bates cast, if she hadn’t already been committed to Harry’s Law.

    • tripoli says:

      Finally, someone else who thinks it’s a terrible list of nominees. Although I disagree on Allison Janney. Don’t think it’s the right show for her comedic talents. Stephen Fry is awesome, so I could get on board with him, but still don’t think it’s the right option either.

  8. Ava L says:

    Stephen Fry would be my first choice. Second would be Alison Janney or an actress of her calibre or in that age range.

    Definitely don’t want to see some young, genius whippersnapper. They tried that with Masters and it didn’t work.

    Also would not want to see Wilson as House’s boss. That would just be an excercise in frustration and melodrama and the complete ruination of their relationship. I want to see the old House/Wilson bromance back.

    • GG says:

      “I want to see the old House/Wilson bromance back.”
      Oh, yes! Me too! The House/Wilson bromance is one of the best things of the entire Show. I love the episodes in which House and Wilson are living together.

  9. BrianR says:

    How about David Ogden Stiers from MASH. He’s older and would provide a tougher boss to House that any of the mealy mouthed bunch you mentioned. Plus he can play a great snob to look down on House’s irritating habits.

  10. Lucy says:

    Why don’t they start the season with House crashing a Monster truck through the Board Room and then he gets promoted to Dean so he can rule? Why interrupt the narrative they’ve been building by bringing on a new dean of medicine?

  11. Glory says:

    Have them hire Senator Weiner. He’ll be needing a job and he’ll fit right in with the story they’ve been giving us in S7. Hookers, Monster Trucks, Green Card Girl, Crash into Cuddy’s and let me introduce you to my Weiner.

  12. raiza says:

    Too bad Dana Delaney is not available, she would have been almost perfect to deal with House crazy habits! I still feel LE is a tough act to follow, though.

  13. Michelle R says:

    I love Allison Janney, but Stephen Fry would be a dream come true!

  14. Natalie says:

    I. WANT. ALLISON. JANNEY. ASAP

    She’s utterly brilliant. Hands down the best choice for the role. Someone create a facebook page or twitter account petitioning to get her the role, pretty please! I’d do it myself but I don’t ‘do’ social networking. :D

  15. Sarah says:

    I really just want either Fry or maybe a female character that would have a relationship with Thirteen because that would be SO AWESOME.

  16. d_dets says:

    Maura Tierney

  17. Mindy says:

    Stephen Fry would be a brilliant idea! Oh my goodness! I would love it. Imagine a boss would actually liked House and let him get away with a ton of stuff. Chaos would ensue! That could be fun as a final season. Plus, I would watch Fry & Laurie read the phone book. Let alone this!

  18. Pasc says:

    TIM ROTH will be perfect one !!!!! :-))

  19. Chris says:

    Masters. SHE should be Dean.

    • Rose says:

      Masters should be back on the team, but they won’t make a med student the Dean of Medicine.

      • Derdriui says:

        Are you sure? Are you SURE? On this show? Are you fully confident that on this show they have such standards of rationality? Or awareness of the concept of age? Or qualifications?

  20. sandy says:

    Tom Welling ftw

  21. nick says:

    fry, welling or russell hands down

  22. maria says:

    Lisa resigned because they said they didn’t have the money to pay her. All of these folks you are drooling over would probably be at least as, if not more, expensive.

    • Michelle R says:

      It’s a matter of perceived value — LE thought she was worth more than they were willing to pay. They very well might be willing to pay more to someone else.

      • maria says:

        That is not what the producers claimed – they said they had to cut production costs and could no longer pay the regulars (not just Lisa) who were coming up for renewals the same as they used to make. That doesn’t sound like they have extra money laying around to pay someone new.

        • Katie says:

          Perhaps they could come in as smaller roles. An episode here and there where House would need the DoM’s approval. Then it wouldn’t cost quite so much. See? It could work.

          • maria says:

            That’s true; if the character was no longer central, but showed up occasionally, they could pay less.

            They will need to get a female in the cast; with Olivia W. probably gone for part of next year again, PPTH is strictly a world of men.

        • Liz says:

          Cuddy is not necessary anymore. She’s a lousy boss and even worse as love interest. I also doubt it’s really a matter of money. I think there’s more going on behind the scenes than any of us can imagine.

        • Michelle R says:

          That’s quite possibly true, but I think if the replacement was someone they believed would blow the ratings out of the water, they’d find the cash (within reason) for a pay bump.

  23. Ethan Lindevald says:

    Joanna Lumley!

  24. Mike says:

    Tom Welling? Seriously? HA!

  25. maria says:

    I think there is a good chance they will move Foreman into the role. He would be tolerant of House (although how House will get his job back is beyond me), it will give the character something to do, and they won’t have to pay for a new person.

  26. Babygate says:

    After the season finale I made a decision to bid adieu to House. The show has become redundant with no character growth. House’s actions were just too outrageous to ignore. But I have to admit that if Allison Janney comes on board as the new boss, I will be obligated to watch. She is phenomenal. And she can stand up to House in a way Cuddy never did. So, yeah, my vote is for Allison.

    • fakinit says:

      I’m with you. Can’t stand House but love me some Allison Janney. Yeah, I’d have to watch. And I think Hugh Laurie would love to work with her. She’s a real pro.

    • Luc says:

      Only if they write her that way. All the complaints against Cuddy are the same complaints for her. In the end, if the writers don’t write the character as a real accent to the show, the actor will fail. That has been proven already.

  27. Stephanie says:

    Truly the promise of tuning in to see Tom Welling every week might be the ONLY condition under which I’d come back to House. It kills me to see what’s become of what was once one of the best scripted shows on TV…But Tom Welling? That’s something I could get behind!

  28. Mel says:

    JANNEY JANNEY JANNEY!!!! She would be amazing :D

  29. Brian says:

    As much as I would love to see Fry and Laurie back together, my vote goes to the supernaturally talented Allison Janney

  30. Kayla says:

    I want to see Tim Roth in this role. He was great in Lie to Me. Sucks that the show got cancelled.

  31. Dani says:

    Janeane Garofalo or Allison Janney are just genius ideas!

  32. fakinit says:

    Why can’t we have Allison J as Dean of Medicine and Stephen Fry as Board chair? Either or both would be awesome :) And Janney is just awesome.

  33. Sally says:

    Stephen Fry, please!!!! Awesome would not even begin to cover how awesome it would be!

  34. Sam says:

    Jennifer Morrison! I’d love to see her again. Cameron could come back with new confidence and kick some a*ses!
    (Yeah, I know it won’t happen because she has so much new projects including a lead role already, but a guy can dream, right?)

  35. Hernan says:

    Tom Welling! Great idea!

  36. evs says:

    what about Rachel Griffiths?

  37. stepha says:

    I love the idea of Stephen Fry returning, but also dream of his return to Bones as a semi-regular next season! He will also be busy filming the Hobbit, as someone already pointed out.

    I also love Janney (and all the love she’s getting here!), and think she would balance/ challenge House well. However, I think she might be even better as the new boss on The Office!

  38. DanieGermany says:

    If the show can’t afford Lisa Edelstein, then all the people mentioned above are way out of their league.

    For me, the best option would be for FOX / NBC Universal to get their act together and pay Lisa E. what she deserves and get her back for good. She incorporated the Dean of Med so well all these years and I can’t think of anyone having a better on-screen chemistry with Hugh than Lisa.

    If that fails – and I so hope they’ll come to a good agreement – Allison Janney would be a real kick-ass option. I adored her in The West Wing and I think she, next to Edie Falco, is the best TV actress ever !

    Seeing her verbally butt-whip Hugh Laurie’s character on screen, combined with some awesome onscreen banter, would be beyond hilarious.

    Go Allison Janney !

  39. ThatBob says:

    Three words: Jackie Earle Haley.

  40. Rob says:

    No one can replace Cuddy. I don´t see anyone handling House and having so much chemistry with him. But oh weel.

  41. jill says:

    We know how much you liked Smallville Matt, but its more than obvious that House needs to cast a new female for the show and not yet another male!!!

  42. Rob says:

    Fox is so desesperate that is not using House as a lead in anymore. Next year House will have the strongest lead in (after American Idol) of the network: Terra Nova. It will be the only way of keeping the show running. The ratings may improve being at 9 pm and after that “expected to be a hit” but i doubt the quality will improve at all.

  43. Annika says:

    I’m liking Tim Roth and Gillian Anderson for this! I love Stephen Fry to bits but he’s bigger and better than this, they would end up ruining him/his character/as if the show isn’t ruined already…

  44. Steven says:

    Bring back Candice Bergen as Arlene Cuddy so that she can get revenge ;)

  45. Zosia says:

    Who the F cares anymore? How about we replace Mulder? Or Friends’ Phoebe? Maybe Steven Seagal could play Al Bundy? Ray Romano would be a great Jack Bauer!
    Sounds retarded, doesn’t it? And that’s exactly why House should have ended in s7.

    • Katie says:

      Woooow . . . You really consider Lisa Cuddy on par with the costar of the X Files, one of the costars of Friends, and the leads in Married… With Children, TWENTY-FOUR?! Get real.

      • Zosia says:

        Yes, I do. Cuddy is an integral part of House, just like the whole OT3 that is untouchable. Ducklings may come and go, but the holy trinity (House, Cuddy, Wilson) are the essence of this show and without either of them, it will be a disaster.
        Can’t wait to see ratings drop next season.

        • Lori says:

          When the show was great we had House/Wilson, House/Team, House/patients, sometimes Cuddy popped up with few lines sometimes she wasn’t in thw whole episode, no holy trinity, and the show became a hit. Then, they changed the team, started pushing Cuddy/huddy and the show started to go down hill. A huddy premiere with only 10.5 millions of viewers, lol huddyfail!
          Now, poor, bitter, Zosia go cry in a corner!

          • Zosia says:

            May I remind you, the biggest drop in ratings was in season 6, the ultimate Hilson-fest, and after 7×15, Huddy break-up.

            And why take a personal jab at me? If you have no more arguments, just keep quiet instead of attacking me for having an opinion, cause it just makes you look stupid.

            Au revoir!

          • @Zosia says:

            Please, season 6 was all about House moonong and acting like an idiot because he wasn’t with Cuddy! The last strow was when they turned Nolan into the huddy cheerleadr, no wonder ratings went even more down after that!Care to explain why the huddy premiere had only 10.5 millions of viewers?
            About the huddy-break up: in a tv show couple are on and off and then on all the time, plus Cuddy was still ther and soi was her mother and her daughter and her sister, so yes it was still about stupid huddy.

        • AAA says:

          @Zosia
          LOL C’om, Cuddy was a irrilevant character. Look season 1, 2 and 3 when show was a big success Cuddy have 2 seconds (screentime)

          ”OT3 that is untouchable”
          OT3 never existed, Wilson is important, Cuddy? NO.

          Huddies, stop all this stupid delirium.

          • Zosia says:

            Yes, in s1 and 2, she was a supporting character, but since s3 she has played a major role on the show. Clearly, DS and KJ agree with me, cause otherwise she wouldn’t have had her own episode.
            And since ‘Wilson is important’, I guess, in your logic, ratings in s8 will either stay the same and go up, won’t they? We’ll talk in a few months then, when House reached all-time low.

          • @Zosia says:

            The damage made by the asinine huddy could be already too much, viewers stopped watching because of huddy, yes even after the break up it was still about huddy, and the finale! It was the last episode of LE and still the ratings went down. Poor LE, no one cared about her departure. DS and KJ decided to give more space to Cuddy and the result was a constant decline. No wonder they let her go, good riddance

        • Eurydice says:

          Huh, maybe it is an integral part of House to have one member of the trinity be a crappy doctor and crappy administrator, but it always annoyed the hell out of me.

    • Ania says:

      Lol, just because the huddytards don’t care it doesn’t mean the rest of us does the same. Actually I stopped watching because of huddy and too much Cuddy, I’ll wacth again now!
      Bye bye Cuddy, bye bye huddy crap and you huddytards can go back to your little hole aka iwfc and complain and hining and bitching all you want, lmao

      • Luc says:

        Yes, and the Lisa/Cuddy haters are so impressive, too. All of this juvenille name calling from both sides is ridiculous. How about sticking to the topic?

        Maybe they should be looking outside the obvious “star-power” and wow us with someone who is not so well-known. I just hope they write a strong character to play off and not bandy- bout like they’ve done this season.

        • Zosia says:

          When someone has nothing intelligent to say, they will just call us ‘huddytards’ and think they won the argument.

          • Jess says:

            You’re called huddytards because you are tards! The proof? That insulse site iwfc in which you guys make a great display of your idiocy.

  46. Gina says:

    OMG! I want Tom Welling on House. Already decided that I will no longer watch house since Lisa Edelstein is gone but will tune in every week if Tom Welling is on the show.

    • Vivian says:

      Hahaha I know! If he can force people to watch him in the often train wreck that was Smallville, he can force people to watch anything he is in! LOL. He forced me to watch season 7! After that I knew I would watch anything he appeared in.

  47. Joan says:

    Foreman could be the new dean of medicine, and a new female character as Amber for example, someone bitchy!

  48. Carol says:

    Sorry, but I really hate your suggestions. I would LOVE Stephen Fry to guest star, but not in that role.
    Why does there have to be someone to take Lisa E.’s place? Why can’t this person just be mentioned once in awhile? After all, it’s only for a season and it would save lots of money.
    The only female I ever liked on HOUSE was Sela Ward as Stacy. I am still hoping against hope that she comes back to House in the final episodes.
    One male suggestion I have is GERALD MCRANEY. Tough and no-nonsense.
    Make him a hard one for House to get around.
    Mostly, please just fix House’s character??

  49. anna says:

    as long as the answer isn’t lisa edelstein, who cares? ugh, this show.

  50. Jo says:

    Teasing me about Stephen Fry is not nice. :(