Fox has made a decision on the fate of one of its dramas in
question, announcing Wednesday that the current eighth season of House would be the show's last.
"After much deliberation, the producers of House M.D. have decided that this season
of the show, the eighth, should be the last," said executive producers David
Shore, Katie Jacobs and Hugh Laurie in a statement. "By April this year
they will have completed 177 episodes, which is about 175 more than anyone
expected back in 2004."
Fox Entertainment President Kevin Reilly signaled last
summer that this season would likely be House's
last, after series co-star Lisa Edelstein declined to renew her contract at the
end of season seven. The network is also facing somewhat of a shelf-space
problem with new drama Alcatraz
performing well and a solid preview for Touch,
which will start its run in March (the fate of the fall's Terra Nova still remains undetermined).
"While it's with much regret, and a lump in our throats, we
respect the decision Hugh, David and Katie have made," said Reilly in a
statement. "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."
House is produced
by NBCUniversal-owned Universal Television, which has led to speculation that the series could be
picked up by NBC. In Wednesday's announcement, the producers seemed to leave
the door open, however slightly, for a new home for the series.
"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 statement said.
NBC Entertainment Chairman Bob Greenblatt, for his part,
seemed lukewarm to the idea of picking up the series at TCA last month, before
Fox had decided House's fate.