House has been bringing its intense medical drama to television sets for almost eight years, but sadly this season will be its last.
A joint statement from House creator David Shore, producer Katie Jacobs, and star Hugh Laurie let fans know that Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital will be closing its door at the end of the current season.
But fret not, executive producer Greg Yaitanes assured fans via Twitter that the series finale will be “amazing!” Shore is going to be writing and directing the final episode, which is set to air on FOX on May 21st.
The unified statement paid homage to the loyal fans of the series and explained the decision to end the show:
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.
Viewers may not be surprised by the decision. Not only have the ratings been slipping over the past several seasons, but it is clear that the show has lacked focus for some time. Fans of the show endured a seventh season that diverted its attention with too loose of a plot. That being said, it’s still one of television’s better shows and it will be sad to see it go.
You can catch House on Monday nights at 8:00 p.m. E.S.T. on Fox until May 21st.