Exclusive: House Boss on Losing Lisa (and Olivia), Getting Back to the Show's Core Values, and a Possible Series-Ending Huddy Reunion

As House makes what could be its final rounds on television, series creator David Shore is determined to get the heart of the show beating again. That means putting the focus back on the weekly medical cases and, more importantly, Dr. Crankypants himself. But first, there’s fallout from events both onscreen (carmageddon) and off (farewell, Lisa Edelstein) that must be dealt with. In the following Q&A, Shore reveals why he’s sending House directly to jail, previews the new blood coming to Princeton-Plainsboro, and answers the question that’s been bugging me since May: Will Cuddy check back in before House checks out for good.

TVLINE | Word has leaked [via TVLine] that you will be replacing the now-vacant Dean of Medicine post with a character familiar to House fans, as opposed to foisting someone new on the audience. Is this your way of acknowledging that those are some mighty big shoes to fill?
It is. We had a very interesting hiatus. It was not our plan [to lose Lisa]. It is not what we had in our mind. Certain stuff got thrust upon us that I was not pleased with. But we sat down in the writers room and dealt with the challenges we’d been presented with and I think came up with a really interesting way to go into this season, and it’s turned out to be very exciting. The [Dean position] is a tricky role, and it has been since Day One. Lisa did a fantastic job with it and we didn’t want to simply recreate that. And we didn’t want to simply come up with a Colonel Klink. [Laughs] There was a nice balance to that character, so we decided to [go with someone in House’s orbit] instead of trying to recreate Cuddy and put [an actor or actress] in the unenviable position of being compared to her, which will happen anyway. This allows us to put a character the audience has seen before in a new situation and to have House judge them on that. It changes the whole dynamic between the characters.

TVLINE | Was it always your plan to start the season off with House in prison?
No. It was certainly one of the possibilities, but it hadn’t been defined initially.

Follow @MichaelAusiello on Twitter for House Spoilers 24/7!

TVLINE | Did the strong reaction from fans following the finale — specifically that House needed to pay for his actions — play into your decision?
We recognized the truth of aspects of that. [Laughs] I feel strongly that House was not trying to kill anybody. It was certainly an act of violence. And it was certainly an irresponsible act. But I do feel strongly that he was not trying to kill anybody. He was acting out in a violent way, which is not a responsible action. And we feel strongly on the show that actions have consequences. And House has to pay a price. We also wanted to play with the notion of how much does he feel a sense of responsibility [over what happened]. He would never admit it but it’s there.

TVLINE | How much time will he spend behind bars?
Quite a bit. It’s months, not days.

TVLINE | But in terms of actual episodes
Not a lot. Season 8 is going to start months after Season 7 ended. And we want to get back to the core of our show. Our show isn’t about House in prison. He should be in prison. [Laughs] But the show isn’t about that. So we want to get back to the core values of our show as soon as possible, but obviously with a slightly different set-up.

TVLINE | Do you think the show diverted from those core values last season with all the House-Cuddy relationship stuff?
We had to go down that road and I’m proud of the way we went down that road, [even though] it was polarizing to some extent. But the stuff that I’ve always loved about the show is the House character and how he reacts, not particularly to romance, but to deeper life and death issues and issues of right and wrong and questions of how to live a good, moral life. And how he reacts to the [patients] who are brought in each week and to the regulars. Getting back to the fundamentals of these medical cases and these character cases. It’s not so much about the medicine; it’s about the characters.

TVLINE | Speaking of the characters, I’m intrigued by the casting of Charlyne Yi. That was a surprising choice to say the least.
That was a big part of [why we hired her]. We saw some of her standup and she is a quirky, interesting individual — and yet real and sympathetic. And we had been thinking of [introducing] a character who comes from a bit of an Old World background, and she seemed perfect for it.

TVLINE | I’m guessing the arrival of both Yi and fellow newbie Odette Annable means Olivia Wilde won’t be around much this season. How many episodes will she be in?
Not a lot unfortunately. She’s a movie star.

Exclusive: House‘s New Season Will Pick Up [Major Spoiler Alert] Later!

TVLINE | Are we talking one or two episodes?
Something like that. I don’t want to get too specific but I also don’t want to mislead people. I regret losing her, but, again, this was not our choice. Things happened at the end of last season that I wasn’t happy about and I hadn’t planned for. But I want to say we’re very happy with [the coming season]. This has turned out to be a real opportunity. We’re really doing some cool stuff at the start of the season and it’s pumped some fresh blood into the show — not that we needed it.

TVLINE | Were you able to bring closure to the Huddy storyline?
Simply the passage of time serves as that. There’s closure in the sense that there’s fallout.

TVLINE | Are you approaching this season as if it’s the last?
I am not at this point. Fox wants another season. I think enough of our fans want another season. [Universal Media Studios] wants another season. It may well be [the final season]. And we will know earlier rather then later because I want to do [the ending] right.

TVLINE | Would you want Lisa back for the series finale?
I would love for that to happen.

TVLINE | Do you feel like it’s a realistic possibility?
I honestly don’t know.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. quincejoy says:

    Maybe Lisa as Cuddy not, but Jennifer as Cameron YES for the series finale… That’s what I would be thinking about if I were in Shore’s place.

  2. Don says:

    I said I’m not gonna post any comment but I can’t.Fox and producers have one of the greatest actors.Hugh Laurie is an amazing actor with a lot of sense of humor and they don’t use it. Hugh Laurie is all the serie HOUSE …From the first season we all watching House for Hugh Lauries character,his eyes ,acting,crazy things and talents NOT for love stories,drugs etc…Hugh said that maybe is his last season .Have you ever think why he said that?I’ll tell you BECAUSE HUGH GET BORED WITH THE STORY … 1)House must suffer 2)House must have a relationship (Cuddy-Cameron-Amber-13 blah blah),3)House is crazy 4)House needs help …NO HE DOESN’T NEED HELP …..He needs a good story ….If you let Hugh go forget success everything ..house is the best serie ever on Fox and Hugh Laurie his best actor …Keep him satisfied because he is the story ,he is the attraction ..we love him and we want him to LAUGH

  3. Nonya says:

    I hope Sela Ward (Stacy) comes back. She was the hospital’s attorney but it would be great if she took over Cuddy’s position. I’m sure I’m alone here as I remember lots of people hated her, but I always thought House and Stacy belonged together.

  4. Dany says:


  5. Helena says:

    This whole situation is ridiculous.

  6. Frank says:

    Hugh Laurie is the reason the show exists!

  7. Chirteen says:

    Man, I really thought that 13 and chase were gonna hook up judging from what they’ve been to in season 7. Instead odette’s character who pops outta nowhere will date chase.

  8. monti327 says:

    was season 7 the best no not really. but im looking forward to season 8 and hope there are more to come. i thought stacy might be a good dean of med, just a thought. if not it has to be wilson he has bossed foreman around for so many years not sure if it would work with foreman doing the bossing.

  9. Whitney says:

    I will admit that I was glad when House and Cuddy got together; however, I hated how things played out between them. This last season focused a lot on them, rather than the genius himself. House being his witty, cynical self is why I love the show. Last season, he was not himself because he was so wrapped up in Cuddy. I realize that this is often what happens when people fall in love, but how it was played out disappointed me. Bring back the mad, evil genius. In the earlier seasons, there was almost an air of “invincibility” about House. Then, he gets addicted to Vicodin, gets heart-broken, doesn’t solve the cases as quickly as he used to…He’s human–I get it. I, personally, would like to see more of him being less weak…being the House we all know and love–without Cuddy. I will admit that I loved how the last season ended. Sure, he was wreckless; but that’s how House has control–in some chaotic order that he creates. I get that he has to go to jail, but props to him for finally expressing how he felt instead of going home and popping pills. Give me more House, and not the situations around House…after all, that’s the name of the show ;D

  10. Valerie says:

    I don’t think that Shore really wants to bring back Cuddy at the end of the series. He told that just to keep Huddy and Cuddy fans watching his show. He tries to manipulate the people because he needs good ratings to get money for the next season.

  11. donotwant says:

    geez!! I can’t stand Foreman. If he’s the new DoM, does this mean we’ll see a lot less of him? And I would absolutely hate, hate, hate, hate it if LE returned. I didn’t watch season 7 because of the Hudfdy crap. Please don’t threaten fans with the return of the Huddy crapfest.

  12. mkfan1602 says:

    *Sigh* So next year General Hospital is going ending as well as House and alot of other shows are rumored to be going off next year to. You know if this was an episode of House and the television was a patient this is where the monitors would be beeping and the nureses would be bringing in the crash cart. Also I would much rather have House get with Stacy in the end. I just hope they end decently and not something like the whole series have been in House’s head.

  13. Mary says:

    The only way Cuddy is going to come back for the finale is to attend House’s funeral. I feel like that’s something she would want to go to. That’s what TPTB are leading up to. I seriously don’t see House being alive at the end of the series, and I’ll be more surprised if he doesn’t commit suicide than if he does. TPTB seem content with keeping House miserable, and miserable people don’t want to live forever. Sooner or later, House is going to want some peace. He might have written it off as cowardly and stupid in the past, but he risks his life enough for it to not be out of the realm of possibility if more angst is added to the mix.

  14. SadiS says:

    In my opinion the show will not end with season 8 and at the end House WILL be happy. And the reason of his happiness will be ’cause of a woman. A chick will show up that will bend him just enough so that he remains just the same kid with bad attitude and yet be a man when needed(which he is when it comes to his patients life or his friend’). I only hope that who ever she is that she will be cute (I am a guy after all and I do like beautiful women) :)

  15. Jason3 says:

    I hope someone will read this post and comment back to tell me if this is realistic. I have two endings to the show. Cuddy has to come back, what if she came back with an illness? House would have to treat her and at the end of the day he will have not be able to cure her. Leaving himself in despair and sadness he overdoses on Vicodin and dies, the drug played such a role over all of the seasons in House, an overdose would be a righteous way to end his character. Or Cuddy sick or not sick wanting to be with House but House is forced to choose between practicing medicine or being with Cuddy..

  16. John says:

    I think there is a lot of room for more seasons of House. I think the group has entertained fantastically from the start and is headed in the right direction to continue on. Sure there are some blooper episodes but that’s to be expected. I sure hope the show continues to improve so I can get my weekly House fix. Lots of variables out there, anything can happen.

  17. loveit says:

    Thus spoke Alex. Thank you for providing such a brilliant intellectual representation of Lisa E’s hating pool. Take notes Lisa’s fans, that oughta feel good.

  18. Frank says:

    The problem is not Lisa but her fans.

  19. Sarah says:

    Oh yea, she’s such an A-hole for refusing to accept a new contract with half her old salary, while RSL, who does nothing to promote the show, got to keep his same salary . How dare she refuse to come back to a show that destroyed a character she worked so hard to give life to!

  20. Jess says:

    All the actors had two options:

    1) 175.000 x 18 episodes = 3.175.000
    2) 175.000 – 20% (reduction) = 140.000 x 23 = 3.220.000

    RSL accepted the first, LE refused both, I guess she is just greedy.
    Also LE was pretty happy with her character and huddy until she quit because she wanted more money (and she wasn’t worth it!).

  21. . says:

    That’s because Wilson is more important than Cuddy.

  22. Dani says:

    Or alternatively she was sick of Fox intervening in the storylines that directly affected her character AND them feeling the need to give her a warning over the Pro-abortion ad. Aside from that her staying would mean that she was complicit in a storyline that would do little to condemn violence towards women.

    OF COURSE IT WAS ALL TO DO WITH MONEY. That’s why she didn’t negotiate for a further 2 months like Jesse did and announced that she was leaving before the backlash of the finale.

    Not a rabid fangirl either before anybody says it.

  23. Carol says:

    And you know this how? Neither LE or anyone else have divulged what the contract offer was. To call LE greedy without knowing the actual inside info is tacky. Just saying.

  24. Wewillneverknow says:

    According to Deadline Hollywood she was being offered less than RSL and Omar Epps. Totally unfair and unjustified if that was the case.

  25. Amy says:

    I’m with Jess, I’ve read about the contract negotiations and unless LE will say otherwise it’s all about money. Greedy lady!

  26. Kit says:

    Why unfair? Cuddy and huddy didn’t bring the ratings Fox was hoping for, she failed and of course she doesn’t deserve the money she wanted.

  27. ROD(rigo) says:

    ”According to Deadline Hollywood she was being offered less than RSL and Omar Epps”
    Eh? You totally wrong, according deadline she have the SAME (Omar Epps) offer. But total money for year (with episodes reduction or pay reduction) is the same

    House PR (official) says ”the cast have pretty mch the SAME offer”

    Lisa loves money so much and she is totally ungratful, she was a actress without importance before House (just guest star roles, she have the first series regular role at 37 years, and not movies, a total failure career) and she leaves the only ones who have wanted her in 45 dam years? Another stupid actress.

  28. Cara says:

    LOL. I guess that was a joke, because it obviously isn’t even near the truth.

  29. Ann says:

    It’s not a joke, it’s a fact!