After 8 years on the air, the time has finally come for Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital to close its doors for good, as House creator David Shore, producer Katie Jacobs, and star Hugh Laurie jointly announced that Fox’s ground-breaking medical drama will come to an end after this season.
But fear not, as executive producer Greg Yaitanes revealed via Twitter that an “amazing series finale” (written and directed by Shore) is awaiting fans when the series takes its final bow on May 21st.
Releasing a statement that certainly acknowledges the love that everyone at House has for their fans, Shore, Jacobs, and Laurie further explain their decision to finally bring House to a close:
After much deliberation, the producers of House M.D. have decided that this season of the show, the 8th, should be the last. By April this year they will have completed 177 episodes, which is about 175 more than anyone expected back in 2004.
The decision to end the show now, or ever, is a painful one, as it risks putting asunder hundreds of close friendships that have developed over the last eight years – but also because the show itself has been a source of great pride to everyone involved…
Since it began, House has aspired to offer a coherent and satisfying world in which everlasting human questions of ethics and emotion, logic and truth, could be examined, played out, and occasionally answered. This sounds like fancy talk, but it really isn’t. House has, in its time, intrigued audiences around the world in vast numbers, and has shown that there is a strong appetite for television drama that relies on more than prettiness or gun play.
But now that time is drawing to a close. The producers have always imagined House as an enigmatic creature; he should never be the last one to leave the party. How much better to disappear before the music stops, while there is still some promise and mystique in the air.
The producers can never sufficiently express their gratitude to the hundreds of dedicated artists and technicians who have given so generously of their energy and talent to make House the show it has been — and perhaps will continue to be for some time, on one cable network or another.
The makers of House would also like to thank Fox Broadcasting and Universal Television for supporting the show with patience, imagination and large quantities of good taste. The Studio-As-Evil-Adversary is one of the many clichés that House has managed to avoid, and for that the cast and crew are deeply grateful.
Lastly, the audience: some have come and some have gone, obviously. This is to be expected in the life of any show. But over the course of the last eight years, the producers of House have felt immensely honored to be the subject of such close attention by an intelligent, discriminating, humane and thoughtful — not to mention numerous — audience. Even the show’s detractors have been flattering in their way. Making the show has felt like a lively and passionate discussion about as many different subjects as could possibly be raised in 177 hours. The devotion and generosity of our viewers has been marvelous to behold.
So, finally, everyone at House will bid farewell to the audience and to each other with more than a few tears, but also with a deep feeling of gratitude for the grand adventure they have been privileged to enjoy for the last eight years. If the show lives on somewhere, with somebody, as a fond memory, then that is a precious feat, of which we will always be proud.
While certainly sad for everyone who has watched House over the years, the announcement of the series coming to an end isn’t surprising. Even though ratings have slipped in recent seasons, it was the overall lack of focus and direction that was worrying to longtime viewers.
Despite House presenting one the most brilliant handlings of character coupling in television history during the season 7 premiere, the rest of the season played out like a film school experiment, where abstract storytelling and unique visuals took the series away from its strength of grounding its characters and relationships in a world filled with mystery and intrigue.
And while many fans may have given up on the series at some point, anyone who has ever enjoyed an episode of House should absolutely tune in to the series finale. Why? Because there’s an end in sight.
For any television series, there comes a time when continuously writing progressing storylines becomes difficult. When there’s no end to a series in sight, you’re not building towards anything, just merely attempting to create new levels of evolution – which, for all intents and purposes, can be difficult for the writers if they’re not even sure where the evolution is supposed to lead.
Even a series such as Lost felt the strain of continuing a story with no end in sight. During season 3 of the series, which saw the majority of the characters imprisoned by “The Others” for many episodes, series creator Damon Lindelof admitted that he put everyone in that situation simply because the characters had nowhere to go – not until ABC would agree to an end to the series.
And now, just like everyone’s favorite “Losties,” Dr. Gregory House has a place to go, and an end to work towards.
The only thing fans can now hope for is for Lisa Edelstein to return for the House series finale – because that would certainly make it “amazing.”
House airs Mondays @8pm on Fox.
The House series finale will air Monday, May 21.
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