Welcome to Dissecting House: a blog dedicated to the television show House MD, where analytical reviews of season 8 episodes are posted weekly.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Goodbye House MD

by TV Guide Magazine on Wednesday, 8 February 2012 at 23:03 ·

By Michael Schneider

Fox is locking the doors on House. As had been expected for months, the network has decided that this will be the final season of House on Fox.

And although producer Universal TV maintain the rights to now shop the show elsewhere, NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt has already said that he wouldn't seek to move it onto his network. Plus, star Hugh Laurie (whose deal expires at the end of this year) has also made it clear in past interviews that he's ready to move on – and perhaps focus on his burgeoning singing career.

Series executive producer David Shore has been asking Fox for months to set an end date for the show, in order to give the hit drama its proper farewell. House remains a solid performer for Fox, averaging a 3.5 rating and 9 share among adults 18-49 (placing it 32nd overall) and 9.1 million viewers. That's why some questioned whether the show would really end its run this year. Universal is said to have pitched hard to keep the show alive, but for now, at least, it appears to be the end of the run.

Beyond Laurie's desire to move on, there's also the fact of the matter that House is now in its eighth season, which means it has evolved into a pricy production – and a network's license fee at this point in the game is usually required to cover the cost of production plus a premium. The show's escalating costs led to a standoff last spring between Fox and Universal over a renewal; a deal was eventually struck, but budget cuts led to the departure of key castmember Lisa Edelstein, among other things.

After last spring's tough re-negotiation, Fox entertainment president Kevin Reilly said it was "pretty likely" that this was its final year. Reilly later told reporters that a concrete decision would be made by mid-fall—but decided to wait a bit longer to see how its new Monday night dramas performed. And although Alcatraz took a dip this week opposite the launch of NBC's The Voice, the J.J. Abrams drama has performed strong for Fox and is a shoo-in for renewal. Fox's new Kiefer Sutherland drama Touch, which debuts its regular run on Mondays next Month, also performed well in its Jan. 25 preview – giving Fox yet another reason to retire House.

"I think we have just been avoiding it, to be honest with you," Reilly said in January at the TV Critics Assn. press tour. "It's hard to imagine the network without House.  And, really, we are all going to sit down. This is not going to be like the pink slip goes out, and that's the end of House.  David and Hugh and the whole crew have been very busy.  They are doing great work… We are going to size everything up.  You know, it's no secret.  Last year, we said it was going to be a close call, and probably it’s the last year, but, honestly, we just simply haven't made the decision."

At the time, Reilly also called the House cast and crew "so professionally, consistently, creatively tenacious.  They are collaborative, responsible.  Hugh is not only a great actor but an incredible leader for his sort of organization.  So it's just really the dream scenario with that show, and that's why it makes it a very hard decision, and, honestly, one that I hope we can make together, and I think we will."

Last fall, a production insider told TV Guide Magazine, "if it's truly over, eight years has been a good run. We'll have finished up with (more than) 175 episodes."

Announcement from HOUSE Executive Producers David Shore, Katie Jacobs and Hugh Laurie

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.
Everybody Lies.

While it’s with much regret, and a lump in our throats, we respect the decision Hugh, David and Katie have made.  A true original, on the page and amazingly brought to life by Hugh Laurie, there is only one Dr. House.  For eight seasons, the entire HOUSE team has given us – and fans around the world – some of the most compelling characters and affecting stories ever seen on television.  They have been creatively tenacious and collaborative throughout this incredible run, and they are amongst the most superior talents in the business.  For all the above, we wholeheartedly thank them, and the fans who have supported the show.

Hugh Laurie

No comments:

Post a Comment