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House, MD: Series Ending; No Season Nine

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All good things must come to an end and it turns out that eight seasons will be the finish of House. The series finale will air in May.

Creator David Shore and FOX have been discussing the possibility of ending the venerable series for a couple months. The initial plan was to make a decision by the end of 2011, to ensure that Shore and the writers would, if needed, have time to craft a fitting finale.

It was mutually decided to delay the decision and, at January’s Television Critics Association winter press tour, FOX president Kevin Reilly noted that he wasn’t looking forward to making the decision, saying that “it’s hard to imagine the network without House.”

According to Deadline, Shore was feeling like it was creatively time to end the series and he had the support of executive producer Katie Jacobs and star/executive producer Hugh Laurie.

By deciding to end the show now, the network will avoid another round of protracted contract negotiations like last year’s. There was a possibility that NBC, whose sister studio produces House, could take over the series for season nine but NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt said that was unlikely given the expense.

Here’s the official press release/statement:

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.

STATEMENT FROM KEVIN REILLY, PRESIDENT, ENTERTAINMENT, FOX BROADCASTING COMPANY:

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.

What do you think? Are you sorry to see "the gang" go? Do you think they can still milk a few seasons worth of plotlines out of the show? Or do you think that this is long overdue?

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It was long overdue. There's only so much you can do with a cranky doctor who solves every problem after failing 3 times earlier with some strange epiphany that comes at a random time. Honestly, after the whole Cuddy/House car crash thing it should have ended it there.

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Its a great show, but it deserves to be put to rest. They could probably milk another season or two at best, but it would probably start losing viewers and be put to rest by then anyways

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To me, theirs still a lot of episodes to go. So yes, this could be the end. I dont care what decision they make, as long as they dont botch it up in the end. This has been a very good series one to remember and watch over and over again in the coming years. All in all, I have to watch the first to last, to see how they compare to other series out there. Character development doesnt seem to have changed through out the entirety of all the seasons. kinda feel bad about that, but the story was always good. The characters... You could probably say that they we're at their full development from the start. This isn't goodbye yet, I've got about five seasons to go yet.

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I think I have to agree with the majority. House is a great show, but at this point it feels like the show is at its last straws. You pretty much know what is going to happen outside of a small twist. Eventually you just run out of ideas and House feels like it's at that point. All good things must come to an end, and I'd rather see it properly end them just suddenly disappearing without a trace. (Lie to Me was so good...)

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Park thankfully is off LSD and Blythe aka slutty mommy dearest, is apparently having sex somewhere outside of Princeton so this week’s House focuses on the medicine again.

So, there’s some kind of drama. Well, at least it looks like there is, because *drum roll* House is sick! Chillax though, House’s fans, I won’t really spoil it for you if I’m telling right away that in fact, House isn’t. That twist was the highly predictable part of the hour. I get that the idea is to make us think that House is sick, but where does that come from? Adams comes to work one morning, wearing the same clothes she had the day before (which, ooh, could indicate she didn’t sleep at her place; because she had… sex?) and House doesn’t bother noticing. Couldn’t it be that House actually doesn’t care? No, of course: Adams is way too self-righteous to think her private life doesn’t deserve to be the center of attention.

So naturally, the next logical step for her is to steal House’s red mug to confirm that he has attention deficit, which in turn, just as much logically, leads her to suspect House has hepatic encephalopathy because, on top on that, his hand are jittery enough not to sign his name properly on a piece of paper. Seriously? That diagnosis, based on two very common symptoms, with at least dozens of other possible differentials seems a little botched, and mostly very convenient this early into the episode.

Adams tries to rally the team’s support, but nobody seems to take the bait, especially Chase, who’s probably the least likely to worry for House at this point because, well, because ‘Half Wit’ duh! Yes, the Aussie doctor has been duped by House already, so as the saying goes: once bitten, twice shy. “You’re right, playing dumb, messy signature, losing at video games… is way too complicated to fake,” he tells Adams sarcastically. Adams, really? Anybody who’s known House (and House) long enough should see it’s a deception after five minutes. Oh but I forgot, you’ve only been here for six months…

So anyway Adams doesn’t give up. So she goes to find Wilson to blow the whistle on House. With her two random symptoms, she’s trying to pique Wilson’s curiosity. Wilson fakes indifference until, out of the blue, and once Adams is out of the door, he’s after House, as persuaded as can be that his friend indeed has hepatic encephalopathy. Oh, come on Wilson! How come you, of all the people, cannot rationally see that it’s way too soon to draw definite conclusions over such simple symptoms? And most of all why care? It would make sense if we were in season three maybe but, sadly, it’s not like caring actually was a steady pattern in Wilson’s behavior. Since at least mid-season five (if not early) Wilson’s concern for House has indeed become more random than the lottery and, in ‘Blowing The Whistle’, it suddenly sincerely annoys me. It’s like he just flips a coin to decide whether worrying is actually the right thing to do or not. And, sadly, all I can focus on is that it almost always ends up being the wrong choice. Oh, House has jittery hands and forgot to have lunch with me? Yeah, let’s make it a big deal and obsess about how horribly sick it proves he must be. House gets dumped by the woman he loves, pops Vicodin like candies, goes to jail for losing it? Nah, let’s not meddle, or show some friendly support to help him get through this… Well, I’m sorry but, with that kind of double standards, I find it hard to sympathize with Wilson’s supposedly genuine concern. Especially since, once he gets confirmation that it was not real, he’s back to avoiding House and sulking in his office.

After he’s been conveniently MIA in the previous episode to avoid dealing with Park’s acid trip, Foreman is now back on full Dean mode, almighty and all, which of course, includes spending more time in the conference room than in his office. Is Foreman that much nostalgic of the time he spent in House’s team or is there really no other pretext to write him in an episode? I sincerely wonder. I also wonder why it’s so important to have House receive a “clean bill of health” before allowing him to authorize treatment again just because he might be sick, when nobody has ever bothered restricting his medical privileges before, even in spite of his drug abuse. But hey, I guess it means PPTH really is a drug friendly hospital!

Still, what I like in this episode is that, for once in a long time, it actually offers a rather compelling case with the patient of the week. One with moral, honor code and terribly conflicting dilemma. Yes, you heard me! There is a philosophical depth of sort in ‘Blowing The Whistle’! Who’d have known it was still possible at this point? And the case is so unusually intriguing, it even captivates House’s attention enough to push him to visit to the patient, twice. Something that has not happened in weeks, if at all, in season eight. Brant (Arlen Escarpeta) is an Army veteran who’s been accused of treason after he’s leaked a classified video online, showing US soldiers kill civilians during an intervention. Anyway, Brant is presented with a hard choice: do his military duty and file the document away or, leak it for the world to see, even though it’ll obviously do harm to his country’s reputation and honor. But, Brant’s motivations are not simply patriotic like they may seem to be at first. Every risk he took to leak the video turns out to be more than just an act of completely selfless heroism. What Brant is mostly trying to do is honoring his father’s memory, a war veteran too, who died when he was 10 years old but passed on some very high sense of moral, duty and honor to him.

That’s why Brant stubbornly refuses any treatment that could make him better because he thinks that what he did would have made his father proud. Brant’s brother Hayes (Sharif Atkins), who’s also in the US army, even though he obviously abides by the same moral codes,stronngly disagrees and is then torn by the impossible choice he’s left with to respect his brother’s decision: “So you want me to sign a piece of paper that says my brother is crazy for doing what he thinks is right?

Eventually, we learn that the idealized father Brant is so willing to honor died while driving under alcohol influence, even killing a pedestrian in the accident; something Hayes knew all along but desperately tried to hide from his brother. The dilemma about one’s loyalty to their country or to their family is best summed up by House, in a line that has surprising meaning, considering House’s troubled past with his own father: “You’re not doing this for honor. You’re doing this to please your father. And the pathetic thing is, the man you’re trying to please never existed.”

This sentence, the first one to offer some depth in quite a while, is actually very interesting as it touches upon the subject of choices and consequences. Is House really reflecting upon everything he’s done, and why? I remembered this great confession House made in ‘Son of Coma Guy’ to explain why he’d become a doctor: “(…) this guy knew that he wasn’t accepted by the staff, didn’t even try, didn’t dress well, he didn’t pretend to be one of them. The people around that place, they didn’t think that he had anything they wanted, except when they needed him. Because he was right; which meant that nothing else mattered, they had to listen to him.” Could it be possible that House is now wondering if the choices he’s made, and above all, what has motivated those choices, were really worth the chaos his life has irremediably become? Interesting debate. But to be sure it’s actually a real one, I guess we must wait and see if that’ll deserve a follow-up in the upcoming episodes which, from the look of recent press releases, sadly doesn’t seem like it. But who knows?

At the beginning of the episode, Chase’s first wild guess about the patient is to suggest typhus (which turns out to be the correct diagnosis in the end); to which House rightfully objects that the patient should have lice, hence hair, which Brant doesn’t. I find it strange that, later in the episode, when the patient tells House that he only lost his hair recently, eaten away by guilt when he had to hide away a revolting classified tape, it doesn’t intrigue House all that much or at least remind him of Chase’s first guess. So? Mental fogginess? Poor concentration? Is it possible that the team’s suspicion actually raised House’s curiosity enough to push him to secretly test himself further? What if House had found he was sick for real but had decided not to tell anyone? Seeing that it’s the last season and that David Shore has to remember that this show is a drama when it’s still time, considering that

… Kutner (Kal Penn) is supposed to make an appearance in the series finale

, I’m just wondering if a purposely misleading first seed has not just been offhandedly planted just right in front of our eyes. But maybe I’m just being too demanding…

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Perhaps it will all end with 13's much alluded to and inevitable demise, sad as that will be. It would allow much reviewing of the past and become the catalyst for change needed for House to retire the team. Just speculating.....

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So...I recently rewatched the ending and....

 

 

Do you think House is dead and Wilson is imagining him, or not?

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6 minutes ago, Tanis said:

So...I recently rewatched the ending and....

 

 

Do you think House is dead and Wilson is imagining him, or not?

I haven't watched it since it originally aired so it's been a few years, but I'm pretty sure I recall it blatantly showing House faking his death. He needed to so he could prevent going to prison and thereby get to spend the last days of Wilson's life, by his side. But I probably should rewatch the finally again to refresh on it.

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