'House' EP David Shore on the shocking season finale and the show sans Cuddy


Image Credit: Adam Taylor/FOX

The creative team at House has their work cut out for them next season following the departure of one of their beloved leading ladies, Lisa Edelstein. But David Shore is more than up for the task. This morning, following last night’s shocking finale, Shore called up EW to reflect on the episode, the season of Huddy, and what fans can expect next season.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: I have to start off by asking, did House want to run over Cuddy and Co.?
DAVID SHORE:  No. I think he was aiming at the house — not at the people. Obviously, he was taking a huge risk, but I don’t think he was trying to kill anyone off, but I think he was risking killing some people.

Did you see the crash, that grand gesture, as closure for him or just a boiling over of emotion?
Both and probably so much more. I hate to tell audiences what to think of gestures. We write the gestures, and the gestures are motivated, but complicated. So I’m sure it’s all those things and more.

What’s the “and more” in your perspective?
Well, I’m sure there was a lot more going on in his head — what he was trying to achieve, what he was thinking about, what he wasn’t thinking about.

That last shot we saw him in, are we to assume he fled to a different country?
Yup. Far away.

Last time time I talked to Greg Yaitanes, he mentioned that the Huddy existence had sort of become a bigger thing than y’all expected. Initially, when writing this finale, was this crash meant to be an eventual clean slate for them, a reset?
It was a clean slate and a reset. I’m not sure those are different things. That [relationship] was something we enjoyed, but we don’t want to just continue retracing our steps. We want to move on to new things and different things. And perhaps to some extent go back to simpler times on the show. The purer times of House the character. We’d had enough — for the moment — of the relationship stuff. We’ll find more to do in the future. We wanted to be able to explore different aspects] in the future.

When you went into the finale, were you aware of the cast situation you’d be in? Did you get a chance to write accordingly? (Edelstein announced last week she would not be returning for the show’s eighth season.)
No. We lucked out, I suppose, in that regard because [the finale] does allow for that creatively. But that was not what was intended. That was not what was planned. We have to figure out what’s going to happen. With problems, come opportunities. We’re looking forward to figuring out where we go next year and what cool stuff we’re going to do.

I think fans are excited to see where you go. Any idea what that looks like at this point?
You’re going to have to watch next season.  [Laughs]

In retrospect, what’s been the highlight storytelling wise, for you?
You know, the Huddy stuff, it couldn’t work indefinitely. I never thought it could work indefinitely. House is just not somebody who is born to be in a nice, domestic relationship. But I did enjoy the relationship. I enjoyed the trip. I think we did a good job of letting House be House and Cuddy be Cuddy while still, at the same time, being House and Cuddy. I enjoyed that.

Switching gears really quick to Taub (Peter Jacobson), you left his story in a hilarious place. Two pregnancy announcements with two different women in two weeks?
I’m amazed at how many people have since told me that, “Oh yeah, I got a friend who’s in a similar situation.” [Laughs] So I’m sorry! I’m sorry, world.

What made you want to do that to him?
This is a character who just can’t control himself it seems. He loves his wife. He’s capable of great love, but also great mistakes. So throwing him in the middle of it seemed like an attractive option.

Lastly, the show is really good, I feel, at reinvention. You get House into these situations — like the psych ward — where it seems like there’s no way back. Then, you find this tiny thing to reset things with. Can we expect something similar here or can we expect a total 180 change?
In a way, I think you can expect a similar recurrence. I never want to completely turn this show into a different show. That’s too easy. The challenge to me is to have life go on and yet it still be part and parcel in that life. Life goes on.

Follow Sandra on Twitter: @EWSandraG

Read more:
‘House’ finale: …and everything came crashing down
Lisa Edelstein leaves ‘House’
‘House’ confirmed for eighth season

Comments (179 total) Add your comment
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  • DW

    Funny how the interviewer compliments Shore for always providing the semblance of change, then reverting everything back to what it was. That’s the opposite of what makes good TV, and why House’s ratings are slowly sliding into the toilet.

    • ben

      Thats my main problem with the show. There is no real character development, House somehow always manages to return things to status quo. Oh well.

      • Matt

        There are 2 things that do bother me with House: I wish they would bring back Cameron, but mostly I wish they would re-do Chase’s character arc; he was almost a man of the cloth, and when he’s with the patients he seems so serene and attentive, yet they sort of force the character into situations and storylines that don’t make any sense. For instance, this year they’ve made him into some sort of dirtbag. I do wish they cultivated the characters more, and consider the character development with care.

      • parkR

        I always felt that if House wasn’t going to change, then the Patient of the Week (or relative) needs to punch him in the face to make me feel better that he is an A$$. Also at some point I’m going to have my limit of Brilliant but A-Hole TV shows (House, Psych, Mentalist, etc)

      • ugh

        @parkR – shawn spencer on psych is not an A-hole! he’s adorable.

      • parkR

        @ugh – he’s a loveable a-hole, don’t get me started on how he treats Gus

      • Zakry

        I think you need to look up “character development.” If you don’t see it in this show, you don’t know what it means.

    • Matt

      Yes and no; (hindsight is 20/20 here, but) I think when they did decide to make lasting changes, it was the wrong ones (like writing Cameron out, etc.). Having said that, I do agree with you with respect to the finale. Having House come back to the same hospital in 1 or 2 episodes would feel pretty cheap. And to be honest, I think it’s an evolve-or-die situation with House; I think people can brighten up and learn to live happily, and I used to think House could too…until I read that the exec-producer thinks otherwise.

      • ben

        It would be very nice to see house stay in (Mexico? the Caribbean?) for a while. Make a decision and stick with the consequences for more than 20 minutes.

        And good god, I hope the writers don’t give us a premiere where the hospital has to make a House or Cuddy decision due to the restraining order.

    • Eurydice

      I don’t know about the ratings, but this is certainly why for me House has gone from must-see to once-in-a-while. I think it’s possible to retain the character of the show without keeping the character frozen in place. But it isn’t even that the characters have to develop – it’s that if they aren’t going to develop, the writers should just shut up, accept it and move the plot along. If House is always going to be a drug addict, then there’s no point in going on and on about his addiction – they might as well do a weekly show about the law of gravity.

    • Rose

      Why do they keep saying the ending was shocking? The previews made it clear that House was going to drive his car into Cuddy’s house. It wasn’t a surprise or shock. It was just stupid. House has done a lot of stupid things, but they are mostly in keeping with House’s character so you believe what he does. But there was nothing that made it seem like House would actually drive his car into Cuddy’s house and skip the country. It just seemed false.

      • kitten kaboodle

        I was hoping that he was going over there with the hairbrush to give her a bare-bottom spanking, with panties-down cornertime.

      • Jeff

        Ah, if only this were a cable show, just maybe….

    • Dysthymia83

      “People don’t change, not in any meaningful way” -House

    • Tatjana

      And that’s why I won’t watch House anymore, and I have adored this show

      • Zakry

        What’s why?

    • jplyzzle

      Oh my god, people. It’s a tv show. It’s interesting week to week, some good, some not so good, but it’s better than american idol or dancing with the nerds. What exactly would make everyone happy? I challenge everyone to give us a storyline that would be acceptable. Please.

  • I Don’t Watch TV

    I cannot believe that House strangled John Locke last night. What a bastard! There are easier ways to get information on the Visitors. I hope that the Glee Team on L&O: Cleveland take House down. It’s bad enough that he was stealing everyone’s powers by slicing their heads open with his telekinesis.

    • ben

      Cool story brah.

    • Matt

      I love you.

    • Jen

      You are the wind beneath my wings.

  • UGH

    House? More like Slum these days….

    • Matt


    • Chris

      The PC term is Hazardous Living Structure, Mr. UGH. If that’s your real name.

  • AuntieMM

    I own the first 3 seasons and loved the show……….but now I don’t even bother. Too much Thirteen then too much House and Cuddy….not to mention the Taub storyline (give me a break, they cancelled soap operas with 30+ yrs. cred with better plots). This must be a cash cow for Fox but they can do better!

    • Everyday American

      They should bring back David Morse. That was the last really good season, IMO. Have House being investigated for Cuddy’s disappearance and have Morse’s detective character investigating it.

      • trystan

        I would love to see Morse come back. He’d actually have something to put House away for this time.

      • BHM1304

        He is doing just fine on his other show that just got picked up for a third season. Compared to the garbage pile that is “House”. “Treme” is simply a much better gig for an actor of Morse’s talent.

      • Jeff

        Please, I hated that douchey cop Morse played – his character was as unbelievable as House’s.

    • EV

      I also have seasons 1-3. After those seasons, House was over.

      House has always been a show based in a completely unreal world: in the real world, House would never be a practicing doctor. House was in a psych ward yet still practices medicine? He does drugs and recklessly performs surgery on himself and is not immediately committed? Not likely. Now, attempted murder. He is done as a doctor, there is no way he can come back from this even in a TV show not unless Cuddy wakes up and we find House taking a shower in her house. The show has jumped the shark.

      I can see the next season being a kind of “where in the world is House” adventure where the ducklings have a problem and they call him long distance for ac consult in whatever exotic place he is hanging out. Maybe we will never actually see him but only hear his voice over the phone; the show will be renamed as House’s Angels. Stick a scalpel in it: the series is done.

  • Chris

    I know that some people don’t like Cuddy, but I don’t see how they can do the show without her. Unless they plan on having House away from the hospital for most of the season, which may not be a bad idea. Honestly, they should end the show now, because I have a bad feeling about next season. No Cuddy, limited Wilson appearances-Hugh Laurie can only carry the show so far.

    • Creepy

      I believe you answered your own question with your statement. People don’t like the Cuddy character and the ratings this season prove that.

  • Luna

    Ok this confirms that David Shore is insane and that HouseMD is dead..

    • Rose


  • MiaS

    How slow are those tv cops that they couldn’t track down a guy walking with a limp AND and a cane??

    • Chris

      You know TV Cops-it takes them a whole damn hour to catch anyone.

    • Rose

      It was funny that House was able to limp all the way to the airport and catch a plane to another country. Does he always have his passport with him?

      • Anonymice

        Don’t need a passport to go to Mexico. Only to come back.

      • Lois

        Shore says House was in a different country far away. Mexico is next door to the US, not far away.

      • Mellissa

        Well, Mexico is still 3000 miles away from New Jersey, so I’d consider that real far away.

      • jb

        yes, you do need your passport to go to Mexico (both by air and since a year ago, by car).

  • lostfan

    i agree with auntieMM the writing off of camerom was the start of the end. the first three years i consider the golden age of the show and with cuddy gone what is the point?. the original cast plots have gotten terrible. they have run the show off the rails and pat themselves on the back for it.

    • KwadGuy

      Seasons 1-2 were the golden age. Season 3 was good. After that, there are bright moments in an increasingly annoying/silly mess. Last night’s season finale was really really poor.

      • Sally

        Totally agree! I think they should stop right now. Writing out Cameron was the first mistake, pursuing Huddy the second, and this finale was the third big mistake.
        Hugh should concentrate on his career as musician, he obviously loves this a lot more, and it seems to make him a lot happier. (And he’s amazing to watch live in concert!)

      • alf

        ITA as well. Though I think, in hindsight, dumping the original fellows was the first major mistake followed by the increased focus on House/Cuddy. This show is just a mess now– though I will say season 7 makes season 5 look like a masterpiece.

  • Jennifer

    The creative team at ‘House’ should all be fired – the show hasn’t been worth watching in at least 2 seasons.

    • Zakry

      I bet you actually haven’t.

  • p

    i don’t like how much time is spent on taub. he gets more back story than the other doctors which i find random. i also thought the ending with him crashing the car was fitting. it gets annoying when your friends keep saying “tell us how you feel! show us how you feel!” what did they expect?

    • goose

      Yeah because when people annoy me I just drive into their home with my car, after just seeing them in the specific room I’m aiming for and knowing full well there is a young child in the house.

      • ugh

        its HOUSE! they should know better than to expect him to just talk about his feelings. he does crazy things like cut his leg open and practice medicine while high.

      • Rose

        House tends to do things to himself (drugs, alcohol) when he’s upset. He usually doesn’t attack others physically, just verbally.

      • Mellissa

        Most people don’t take the amount of Vicoden that the character of House does. Nor are most people as depressed as the character of House is.

      • EV

        As I said in earlier posts, even House’s depression makes no sense: he is not bad looking, is a genius inside and outside of the office (he can say “how old is your sister” in Korean), has the perceptions of a profiler, is musically inclined and is an established doctor. His physical pain can be managed. What is there to be unhappy about? In the real world, people would envy House. I envy House and he is a make believe character.

      • Zakry

        But you are not House. Stop expecting rational behavior from him and enjoy the show.

      • EV

        Zakry – I have always said that everybody lies, even writers. Even fantasy shows have to follow some kind of logic. Still, bros before hos (House was once so cool).

      • Jan

        EV, depression is an illness. External factors don’t make a person “get with the program! You have no reason to be depressed.”

  • InsolentRob

    “Moving On” was a disorganized mess. If that episode is any indication of what David Shore has in store, I’ll pass.

  • Right

    “I think we did a good job of letting House be House and Cuddy be Cuddy while still, at the same time, being House and Cuddy.”

    Uh, no David, you did a crap job of that.

    But you keep telling yourself whatever makes you happy. And you can be astonished that ratings keep falling, even though what you’re doing is just so ‘cool’! I guess we’re all just not as smart as you, and have no sense of what makes a good story.


    • Rose

      The ratings are falling because of the crappy writing. Shore is living in a dream world if he thinks the writers have done a good job the last couple of seasons.

  • ih8lousyTVwriting

    This show has gone so far down hill for me that when I read a reasonable case for the possibility that the crash was a hallucination (if Wilson was right–that House had taken half a month’s prescription of Vicodin in three days–it certainly seemed plausibe), I actually seized on it eagerly. It seemed so much more acceptable than the possibility that it really happened.

    I’ve really come to loathe the House that has emerged since the break-up. He reminds me of certain boys in middle school who enjoyed blowing up frogs, a combination of Beavis and Butthead and The Brian (from Pinky and The Brain)–he’d lost his irony, his elegance, his occasional moments of sober reflection and wisps of empathy. I loathe the guy who bullied his ex into attending his nasty wedding. And I really, really hate the guy who rammed her house and broke his friend’s arm because she had moved on. All those years they looked out for him, saved his life over and over, helped him cope, and he deliberately blows up in their faces. F him.

    If Shore et al didn’t know how to write a romance between two difficult people with heart and honesty, they should have hired someone who could. Cf Gone with the Wind, for god’s sake. It can be done. Even if they decided in the end that it wouldn’t be long-term, there was no reason to frame it in such a ludicrous and hateful manner (cf Casablanca). Yeah, that’s what I mind: the hatefulness. House was a jerk, but only this year did he become completely hateful. I don’t want to spend an hour a week with a completely hateful character.

    If the producers are smart they’ll cancel the last season. I’m a long way from middle school now and I know what happened to a lot of the creepy guys who blew up frogs–they went in for multiple divorces and finally died alone in horrible living quarters when their drug-and-alcohol-saturated livers blew up inside them. I will not believe in a season in which House turns up at PPTH, tanned, rested and ready for more medical adventures. That’s a fairy tale. They should’ve quit with last year’s finale and let us all spin out our own stories from that last image of clasped hands. Then I could at least go on watching my DVDs of the show. As it is, I’m looking for a way to Brillo it from my brain.

    • Dicazi

      I don’t think the crash was a hallucination, because of Cuddy’s and Wilson’s scenes. House was gone by then, and why would he hallucinate them without his being there??

      • ih8lousyTVwriting

        He could hallucinate their reactions the way people who dream can imagine what others think of them. He’d certainly have a good idea of what each of them would say in a situation like that.

    • Jennifer

      Well said!

      • Jennifer

        . . . sorry – that ended up in the wrong place. I was commenting on “ih8lousyTVwriting”‘s comment when I said, “Well said!”

    • Keir

      Excellent post, ih8lousyTVwriting.

      I found the ending *disgusting*, quite frankly. House attempted to murder his ex-girlfriend, 3 other adults, and potentially a toddler. For all House knew Rachel could’ve been playing on the floor, he wouldn’t have been able to see whether she was in the room or not when he looked through the window.

      I don’t care what he’s addicted to or what damage taking experimental medication might’ve done to his brain as well as his leg. I don’t see how the show can come back from that.

      Are we supposed to be cheering him on and laughing at his antics next season? Were we supposed to think crashing through the wall was edgy and cool? If it wasn’t a hallucination then he didn’t seem remorseful.

      If the powers that be had truly wanted Lisa Edelstein to stay (and I have my doubts) presumably Cuddy would continue as Dean, and presumably House would eventually be allowed to come back to PPTH as the story would demand, so we’d potentially have a woman employing the man who had recently tried to kill her. If that prospect was part of Lisa Edelstein’s decision then I deeply respect her for it. I’m glad she has left, and I hope she gets a new gig soon.

      If Jesse Spencer’s contract is still in negotiations I hope he jumps too.

      • brian

        Agreed. House is now nothing more than a disgusting boor (as he was previously, but there was hope).
        Hard to cheer this mess on when he’s pi$$ed on his long suffering friends, and frankly, us. Very difficult to care at this point what happens to him, and POTW is not interesting enough to remain engaged. The show should perhaps just end right here.

    • EV

      Actually, a hallucination might be possible although that would mean that once again, he is psych material and his license would really be gone next season. The fact that the show ends with him apparently in some tropic paradise, drinking BUT not drunk, with a smile on his face means that he is either truly malicious, absolutely insane or just living in a Vicodin-induced dream.

      • ih8lousyTVwriting

        I was thinking about a lecture I attended a few years ago, given by John Cleese of Monty Python fame. He was asked if he would do over anything in any of the Python shows or films and he said yes, the scene in Life of Brian where Brian is on the cross and winces with pain. That took the comedy out of the sequence, Cleese said, because it’s never really funny when someone actually gets hurt.

        That’s why the finale was un-funny and fell so flat with so many viewers. Yes, no one was seriously injured–but Cuddy and Wilson looked completely shattered. They had loved and cared for House, pulled him back from the edge for years, and in one gesture he showed what that meant to him: nada, nothing, zippo, zilch. “I love you, I trust you, it’s not your fault,” all set-up lines for an ugly FU, not just from House to his only friends but from the “creatives” behind the series to their viewers, who left a lot of us feeling punked as well. They led us on to care about this character, made us think there was something loveable about him at heart, and—PSYCHE!–it turns out we were punked.

        No, David Shore, a writer shouldn’t take all his direction from fans, but if they are all yelling “Your House is on fire!” you might at least look up from your iPad.

      • EV

        I long ago stopped caring about House. I have to confess, I barely watch the show anymore. House is all angst and little doctor; the cases are so boring, I am never quite sure what the doctors are trying to fix. Someone poisoned the series after season 3.

    • peter brook

      Albeit, I’m still a House fan from the very first pilot episode, I can agree with many of the points you brought up. Esp. that of House being so full of hatred! Here is where the problem lies:For every episode, House has a new writer(s) and they give a new conflict however, they hardly know anything about what has made these characters for so many years! They watch a couple of previous espisodes and go from there. David Shore needs to have a closer looks so us audience has some continuity within the narrative and character development. Not just a Protagonist who only repeats gesture.

      • ih8lousyTVwriting

        “For every episode, House has a new writer(s) and they give a new conflict however, they hardly know anything about what has made these characters for so many years”

        Ever since the season premiere I’ve wondered if all the writers were given the basic story arc for the year: “Huddy happens, Huddy falls apart, life goes on”; with orders to make every episode “the most shocking yet.” Then they all moved to different parts of the country and never talked again except for occasional texting (“Jst had Hse jump off 12th flr balcony into hotel pool–gd lck w/next epi!”)

        To be fair, I’ve wondered the same about The Office, my other former favorite show. Michael Scott also became hateful and I couldn’t even watch the Jim/Dwight conflict anymore.

        Theory: Writers for a series can’t stand the repetition after five years and begin, conciously or un-, to try to kill the show themselves. I suppose I can’t blame them but producers should recognize when their writers “turn” and bring in fresh blood–preferably writers **who love the show** and have **great new ideas** for it.

  • Kelley

    I have really enjoyed 13 a lot since Olivia Wylde came back from shooting TRON. Hopefully they will continue to feature her more.

  • Troy

    You should have asked him this question – “How are you going to resolve the issue that House committed attempted murder, or at least felonious assault, and should open next season in prison for several years, with his medical license revoked, without coming up with some lame explanation and turning off whatever fans the show might still have after that absolutely ridiculous season finale?”

    • Rose

      At the very least House should be in a mental institution for his behavior. But jail is also an appropriate place. Back working at the hospital as if nothing happened is not the appropriate place.

    • EV

      Yep, I made the same comment earlier on this page — see my reply to Auntiemm.

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