The future of House season 8 has never been in more danger of not happening than it is today – well, at least with Fox.

As it has been previously reported, Fox and NBC Universal (the company that produces House) have been in a dispute over the future of the series – specifically, who’s going to pay for what.

Today, Variety is reporting that both companies are still far from reaching an agreement, and that future of the series on Fox may be in jeopardy.

With a contract of exclusivity (Fox has the rights to air the program on their network) ending on April 15 (a date that includes an extension given to Fox by NBC Universal), Fox may find itself with one less hit series on the air.

If no agreement is made by that deadline, NBC Universal will offer the show up to competing networks, including its own – NBC. With NBC still struggling to regain viewership and build a line-up following the infamous Jay Leno/Conan debacle, the chance at securing a long-time hit series with an established fanbase of millions is something that NBC would instantly jump at.

To add to the problems of House season 8, only two actors have officially signed on: Hugh Laurie and Olivia Wilde. Other than those two, no other cast members have been given contracts. That means that Lisa Edelstein, Robert Sean Leonard, Omar Epps, Jesse Spencer and Peter Jacobson would all have to go through contract negotiations after Fox and NBC Universal make a deal – which may delay the eventual production of House season 8 (contract negotiations can take months).

Yesterday, Robert Sean Leonard said that he’s currently filming his last episode of House, and from the looks of it, he may be correct – for now. In a conference call with series creator David Shore today, the writer commented on the negotiations, but remained positive and noted that everyone (including Fox and NBC Universal) are expecting the series to continue.

Although, it should be said that along with the rest of the House team, David Shore is another one that has yet to receive a contract for House season 8.

While it’s looking like the series will continue (on Fox or NBC), I wouldn’t be surprised if a situation similar to Mad Men might happen, with the series’ next season premiering much later than expected.

House airs Mondays @8pm, on Fox

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Source: Variety [via: Fused Film]