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

Talk about burying the lead. In my House preview story earlier this week, series creator David Shore told me that Season 8 “will start months after Season 7.” What he neglected to reveal was how many months the show would be jumping forward: Twelve!

As in an entire year, people.

Shore dropped the bombshell on me Friday night at Fox’s oceanfront press tour party in Malibu.

“The advantage of going forward a year is that everything’s changed,” he revealed, “and changed dramatically. “

And how.

Among the major developments (if you haven’t already heard): House is in prison, serving a sentence for inflicting carmageddon on Cuddy’s house; there’s a new Dean of Medicine, and he/she is someone viewers know well; and House’s diagnostics team has undergone a facelift.

The big leap also gives House — and Princeton-Plainsboro — time to adjust to life after Cuddy (Lisa Edelstein). “I think it’s a smart idea [in light of the fact that] Lisa left the show,” noted co-star Jesse Spencer. “I think it was kind of necessary to do that. If we picked up right where we left off and Cuddy wasn’t there it [would be strange].”