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. Jules says:

    The idea of Tom Welling joining the cast would be great. Allison Janney is a little to over the top for me and what we were “sick of” in cuttey. Steven Fry would be a nice choice but is probably busy for a series. Hopefully, they would even let him direct a episode.

  2. Jen* says:

    Calista Flockart

    • Nathalie says:

      Can’t see it-just not a strong enough presence. Someone mentioned the idea of someone not so well known. Anyone remember the cancelled show Swingtown? Mike Kelley was behind it. Lana Parilla, who played Trina Decker (wife of Grant Show) and was also a recurring character on 24. is due for a long-term gig. She could do battle with House and drive him nuts at the same time. ( Here’s a laugh – could you imagine William Shatner as his boss?!!)

  3. KevinG says:

    My vote would be for either Mary McCormack or Ally Walker, maybe Mary McDonnell.

  4. smkemper says:

    Don’t forget there’s a problem with money. So they’ll have to choose among the characters : Wilson, Foreman or Chase.
    ► My favourite is Wilson

    If they go for a man, among the list, like many fans of the duo, I’ll choose
    ► Stephen Fry,
    thinking there’s a high potential in this association and hoping the writers won’t ruin it.
    We know this season will be the last, then it’s possible to imagine that many characters will come to fill the post and that maybe it will end with a woman. A strong woman Greg could fall in love with if the writers are able to finish with an happy ending.
    Of course that’s impossible, then Greg will probably die driving in the boss office with his motorbike. No ?

  5. Pfiou says:

    I don’t care (Cuddy’s role at the hospital has never been important), it’s the last season, and I just want to have House and Hugh Laurie on my screen, the team, the dean of medicine, can die! Stop with 13 and Taub and his wife!

  6. Michael says:

    Janney would be the best fit, she had the same type of dialogue on West Wing.

  7. Pam says:

    Mr Fry would be amazing!

  8. Joan says:

    Stephen Fry would be an awesome choice. The Fry/Laurie mix might give the show the ‘shot in the arm’ it needs to possibly keep it going beyond next season. Keep fingers crossed!!!

  9. DanvilleEyes(HAPPY) says:

    Put a man in thhead role like Stephen Fry, Make him compete against House for a romancing a women. Who’s better getting the diagnosis right better yet put HOUSE in charge of the hospital and he could still run the team too. We could see how House could handle this, would be interesting. Have more scenes outside the box (Hospital) that is, like an tractor trailer accident on the turnpike one of the team is hurt. An earthquake, an explosion that sends alot of people to PPTH. Just a thoughts that are running thru my mind to change up within and out of the box. Let mthe action, I can make it better on the set, I can give House the run around, a new prospective in diagnosis a patient. (Me). Please get back with me, I’d turn House every which way but loose. ? ? ?

  10. Sara says:

    Let it be Fry or Janney! We deserve it after the stupid huddy/Cuddy crap!

  11. Mary Evans says:

    How about Masters coming back to replace Cuddy. Cuddy saw potential in her and Masters and House had a hate/like kind of relationship going before she left when Thirteen came back.

  12. jj says:

    WHO CARES! I won’t be watching. Haven’t watch the second half of S7 anyway.

    • Kim says:

      Bitter much? What are you doing here if you don’t care? And looking at the number of entusiastic posts it looks like a lot of us care. So bye bye and don’t let the door hit your ass bitter huddy, lol

  13. Gustavo says:

    What about Kathy Bates or Glenn Close?? I think it should be a really bitchy boss to keep House in control and not put up with his crap ;)

  14. eli says:

    lisa edelstein

  15. jo says:

    lisa edelstein

  16. Sila Peri says:

    The FOX Network should just get on it’s knees and get the one actor fit for the job: Lisa Edelstein. No One Else !!

    • Kim says:

      Lol, keep dreaming bitter huddyfangirl! LE was a disaster for the ratings and that’s why the network decided to let her go.

      Now bring in Janney or even better Fry!

      • doddle says:

        I think it’s a problem with writers, not Lisa Edelstein.
        They can’t write great romance, just look the stupid storyline with Taub.

        • Kim says:

          But I don’t watch House to see a romance, no matter how is written, plenty of shows out there dealing with it. House MD was different, a medical mistery not a stupid medical romance, think of what happened with Stacy: then the romance between her and House didn’t eat the whole show and that’s why it worked.

      • doddle says:

        Theys should focus on the medical cases again, because since season 6, they’re not powerful anymore, fans wants interactions between House and his patients.

        • Kim says:

          Agree, that’s why I said LE was a ratings killer because making Cuddy/huddy the main focus of the show turned it into a mediocre soap opera. A romance is not what the writer gave us during the first seasons and the ratings are there to prove it.

          • doddle says:

            Huddy was poorly written, yes I think all fans can agree with this, I don’t like how they wrote Cuddy’s character, it’s a big fail for the show. If they can go with stories as in season 1, for the last season, they could have again good ratings, but I think it’s too late now. They should have introduced a new dean of medicine in season 6, and new characters for the team also in season 6.

    • Lina says:

      Exactly, Lisa is the one who needs to be back.

  17. K B says:

    Female is fine, just please spare us the agony of another Jeannie Garafolo role. She as dry as toast without butter and just as witless.

  18. K B says:

    I really think it’s time House grew up – his antisocial behavior is getting old now….let him have an epiphany and grow up and end the series.

  19. Kim says:

    Fry and Laurie, oh my this would be great!!!!

  20. Voig Nederlander says:

    Helen Mirren.

  21. jim says:

    As I’ve been watching a lot of West Wing lately I thought of Allison Janney before I even read the article. She would be perfect for the role.

  22. Gretchen Maria says:

    Calista !!!!

  23. Kristen says:

    I’m going with Kelli Williams, only because she’s fantastic and is currently out of a job. (Thanks a lot, FOX.)

  24. Alex says:

    Am I the only one who thinks they should avoid the death trap of casting a named actor/actress and instead go for an unknown? That has been one of the strengths of House’s casting is that the main characters were never particularly famous (barring Omar Epps) and so the audience didn’t pigeon-hole them allowing the writers to create the initial character instead of preconceived notions about the actor.

  25. Lina says:

    House can´t have a new boss. He needs Cuddy.

  26. Rose says:

    The new Dean should be a man. If they chose a woman everyone will be comparing her to Cuddy. They could always add a new female doctor on House’s team, or elsewhere in the hospital.
    I want them to bring back House working in the clinic next year.

  27. Eugenia says:

    Allison Janey :)

  28. pattybasile says:

    Yes I think Tom Roth would be great for the part. Only if he did not give up lie to me. That”s a great show also. They would be awesome together.

  29. sabrina says:

    i would love to see tim roth or fry. im still upset about losing lie to me though. personally, screw getting a woman to take the spot, bring in fry! it would put all the attention on the house/wilson relationship (which we all know is the best relationship!)

  30. crysta says:

    Erica Durance (speaking of smallville). She is bossy and pretty.

  31. Iris says:

    Would rather it be Lisa Edelstein but Tim Roth would be AMAZING!

  32. claudia jean says:

    I agree with Allison Janney. Too bad Mr. Sunshine wasn’t picked up but now it means she can do other things. The addition of a strong female character this time need not be a romantic foil for House; they have done that both with Cuddy and for a short time, with Stacy. Allison is definitely not that older than Hugh Laurie but her character can be a good springboard to tackle House and his mother’s relationship, since she will be acting as the new boss. The source of his dysfunction can be traced from there.

  33. J Lee says:

    If not Edelstein, then Janney. Interesting as she’s the voice-over for Kaiser, and he’d put her in her place in a love hate relationship.

  34. Alex D says:

    You can add female talent to the roster, but another love interest in the position is lame. I say David Tenant as the new dean of medicene. Make him an insecure genius.

  35. Alex D says:

    Why do so many people want an actor from one show to come to House, basically playing the same character they played on the other show they were on. That’s stupid. Think outside the bun! Yeah, put Tim Roth in as basically the character of his recently cancelled series. Or how about Glenn Close playing her cable character. Who the hell wants that?

  36. takakupo says:

    Halle Berry is clearly the only choice for this role. She’s a talented and sultry African American academy award winning actress who needs something serious to stay in the business (her past 10 films were all…flops >.> kay, maybe not ten)

    Hopefully she won’t demand too much money.
    The writers of this show are brilliant. She could mesh with everyone really well or try to blow all the other characters out of the water in a move to rid the hospital of House and his team and their practices, meanwhile getting the show to find its footing with the loss of Lisa Edelstein. Berry is the only unexpected and good choice. Her name being attached to the show alone would garner HUGE ratings (at least for the season premiere) and with good reviews, they could keep whichever viewers might leave before and after she comes on. Her character could bring a variety of brilliant twists without enveloping the show in her backstory. By the end of the season, I see her character developing a serious illness and having to be saved by house and his team in order for her to see the light :D

    I think it’s brilliant.

  37. Joy says:

    Mr Fry would be great and tptb should have changed the dean at least two seasons ago. This whole huddy idiocy has been a disaster

  38. Jamie says:

    Stephen Fry all the way! He is a great actor and could bring the spark back to the show! Looking forward to another great season of House even if it does come down to being the LAST season

  39. Keith says:

    Perhaps co administrators Steven Fry and Rowan Atkinson?

  40. MelodyMaster says:

    I agree with many others here, I can think of no one in the acting universe better than Stephen Fry to be the new administrator. He could both play off and be in-sync with House. As Dr. Gordon Gordon Wyatt on “Bones” he was Columbo-like is his analysis method of seemingingly ignoring the topic at hand, yet turning it right around as Instant Solution. An advantage is that he has never appeared on House, so there’s no past character to try to use or explain away. Heck he could BE Dr. Gordon Gordon, come out of semi-retirement as a Chef to use his psychological skills to run a hospital – and House. But I’m sure that’s not possible if the character is copyrighted by a different production company.

  41. jules says:

    Stephen Fry would be lovely! I don’t see why he can’t be a Brit, however, from some mega-conglomerate that’s taken over the hospital.

    Alison Janney is an excellent idea, as well. My other choices would be Kate Mulgrew, Linda Hunt, Judi Dench, Edward J. Olmos, Kathleen Chalfant, Sam Waterston, David Strathairn, Joel Grey, or James Earl Jones. And, yes, I know the last three have guest-starred on the show as patients who died, and I don’t care. They can come back as other people. They’re all excellent actors who can go toe-to-toe with Hugh Laurie, and that’s what *I* need to see on “House,” anyway.

    But nobody pretty, flirty, flighty or silly. That *definitely* leaves out Tom Welling, Keri Russell and Calista Flockhart. And no more Olivia Wildes of the pretty-but-not-convincing-as-a-smart-person persuasion, please. PLEASE.

  42. Kevin says:

    Charlie Sheen.

  43. sue says:

    I would like to see
    Wilson promoted.
    Bring in a strong, smart, good looking female to be put in Wilson’s cancer position.
    Have House get to be friends with new female.
    Have Cuddy do spot returns as House’s off and on girlfriend.

  44. joanna says:

    lisa edelsteinnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnhttp://uc.globo.com/house/Noticias/Fas-do-mundo-todo-fazem-homenagem-a-Lisa-Edelstein-em-video–confira.shtml

  45. Nathalie says:

    Puhlease tell me that 2.5 men guy is NOT available!! I agree Stephen Fry would be an excellent choice but he will probably be doing his book tour soon. Kathy Bates would be able to handle him. Or Cybil Shepherd. Or Christine Lahti. Ditto Susan Sarrandon. This would never happen but picture The Good Wife’s Kalinda (Archie Panjabi) as his boss! Now THAT would be tv worth tuning in for!

  46. Austėja says:

    Lisa Edelstein was and always will be the best

  47. tahina says:

    Like it or not, Lisa will always be the best. And there are rumors circulatng she might be back sometime in the future..so there, keep coming your hateful Huddy, Cuddy/Lisa dissers, you can never win!

  48. Halina says:

    Hi there just too want too say TV can sale everthink,but last time it took idea of my life which also they save my life,So I want to say THANK you guys! And thanks for showing me how to live. That lesson woudnt never last.Reagards Halina

  49. Halina says:

    I would take this time a female ,for a change its boring if other time male is a boss isnt?

  50. sham says:

    I don’t see tom welling becoming a none led after being a led for so long and look at his other cast member ed has got her own show.so i think it would be long shot for tom to join the show but who knows.

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