'House' scoop: Producers thought Lisa Edelstein would return for eighth year


Image Credit: Adam Taylor/FOX

The character of Lisa Cuddy wasn’t expected to disappear after House’s seventh season. In fact, executive producer David Shore told EW that he was planning on Cuddy’s alter-ego, Lisa Edelstein, to be back for more after they shot the drama’s finale.

Shore says he would have crafted a different season-ender had he known her plans. (The actress, whose contract expired at the end of season 7, declined to renew her deal.) “I don’t know how exactly [I would have changed the finale],” Shore told EW during a special charity event for House Thursday that benefitted the Writers Guild Foundation. “I don’t what it would have been. It probably would have involved more closure on the character. I was really disappointed. I am still reeling from it but we just started meeting a few days ago, like we always do this time of year, to try to map out the first half of the next season, and we are having some very frank discussions about what we are going to do.”

House scribe Peter Blake, who co-wrote the finale with Shore, said explaining Edelstein’s departure will end up being the easy part. “Weirdly for me, I think the harder question to answer is, what would we have done with Huddy if she was still on the show? I think both would have been hard, although we all wish Lisa was still here,” Blake said. “The hardest part about her being gone is we lost an important character to write stories about. I think everyone knows that the writers have nothing to do with her departure. It is a big deal because the Cuddy-House dynamic is one the reasons people watch the show. It was one of the driving forces of the show and one of the reasons it kept bubbling up.”

Shore can’t even say if Edelstein will be back for an episode or two to properly finish her storyline. “We have to plan for her not coming back. It might be interesting to get her in for an episode or two somewhere to wrap up Cuddy, probably would make fans happy, but we have to plan, unfortunately, on her not coming back, because there’s no indication that she would at this point.”

Loath to give anything away, Shore did reveal that it’s likely a new character will take over her job. “It depends on how things unfold but there definitely may well be more than one.” Most importantly, he hopes fans don’t lose interest in the Fox drama. “House is not going to be totally changed or different. The show is what it is. I am who I am. I write what I find interesting and always have. We have a veteran team of writers and we are not going to let the show take a nosedive eight years in. We just won’t. Bear with us fans. We will turn this into an opportunity I promise. We will find a way to bring something new to the show that will get them excited again. It’s all about turning obstacles into opportunities. That’s what life is all about. I loved Cuddy and Lisa, but it’s done and now we move forward. We have just gotten started talking season 8 arcs and trying to plan it and figure out what to do. We will devote ourselves to making season eight a great, great season.”

Speaking of high-profile departures, what does this mean for star Hugh Laurie? The big guy’s hinted that he may want to leave after next season. Will he? “I don’t know yet,” Shore said. “I’d have to discuss that with Hugh, and he’d have to decide, and then I’d have to discuss it with the writers ,and we’d have to figure it out. If it is the last season we want to do it right and go big. If it is not the last season, that doesn’t change my standards of quality much. We will still try to make it a great season.”

Finally, Shore acknowledged that Olivia Wilde’s got a thriving movie career now but “she will be back for at least some of the season. We want her for as many of them as we can get her for.” — With reporting from Carrie Bell

Read more:
Lisa Edelstein leaves House

‘House’ confirmed for eighth season

Comments (395 total) Add your comment
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  • Jon

    There’s no way this show is going to last more than another season – they need to write next year knowing it’s their last.

    • Matt

      Especially given the tone of the show, I don’t think a Cuddy/House relationship would ever have been right, save for a series-ender.
      What I hope they do is take care of the characters they still have – and here’s hoping they bring back Cameron, for at least a few eps! Maybe give Chase a character-arc that actually makes sense.
      And maybe devote some time showing that 13 became sort of the glue of the team. I never really liked her until she left, and then in the past few eps this year I realized that she has an interesting relationship with all of the other doctors.
      Here’s hoping.

      • Sally

        ITA! Nothing left to add!

      • Julie in Austin

        It’s possible to extend to show for another many years if House and Cuddy would have the giant, huge, “YOU RUINED MY LIFE!” scene that they’ve needed to have beyond the usual round of “you ruined my life”.

        I don’t think there’s a regular viewer who wouldn’t like to see a resolution to this conflict, if only so the characters can be tossed up in the air and shuffled around again.

      • Jill

        ITA. There’s nothing left with Cuddy, every story (Huddy, Rachel, her mom) has already been done.

        They should bring back Cameron. There are a lot of stories still left with her to tell with her and Chase. Separetely. And House needs someone who will call him on his unethical behavior.

      • Marcie

        Wouldn’t it be funny if Cameron replaced Cuddy?

      • Rose

        No, it would be funny if Stephen Fry played the new hospital administrator.

      • Dahlia

        No, what woudl be really, really funny is if Rowan Atkinson played the new hospital administrator.

      • Tom

        No, what would be REALLY, REALLY funny is if Steve Carell played the new hospital administrator named Michael Scott.

      • Save Eeyore

        @Dahlia. Now that would be a cunning plan.

    • ThomasM195

      Cuddy has been ruining the show for a very long time. I’m glad she’s gone.

      • wkdkween

        I’m with you. Never could stand Cuddy

      • NLP

        I’m with y’all. I wouldn’t say Cuddy ruined the show, but Huddy sure did. That was always a disaster. Shore, et al., have always refused to admit there was a big chunk of fans they alienated who hated that arc.

        It would have endless possibilities if Cameron came back in ANY capacity, in Cuddy’s job or otherwise. They’ve explored all the other characters to death; on the other hand, from the first episode they had given Cameron an interesting background which just got unceremoniously dumped along with Jennifer Morrison. If Shore wants to tie up loose ends, tie up those!

      • Creepy

        I’m glad LE is gone because she took the mess that was Cuddy and the crapfest that was Huddy with her.

      • Ryanne

        you guys are nuts! i loved Cuddy so much.

      • Baltimore

        I agree. I never liked Cuddy. Besides having a big head and no neck, I don’t think she and House ever played a good couple. I think he should woo 13.

      • Elizabeth

        Word. I’m not sad to see Cuddy go at all. The relationship in season 7 was strange at the best moments and disastrous the other 99% of the time. Something must have happened during development to upset the apple cart on that plot. My bet is Lisa Edelstein had some kind of problem doing sex scenes with Hugh Laurie or vice-versa. There really should be celebrity gossip gambling. Why just speculate when you can win money for speculating?

    • Sam

      What are you talking about??!? I’m sure they can replace LE with some cheap, scab actress and everything will be just FINE!
      I mean, look how well that turned out on Criminal Minds–these networks have it all figured out!!

    • Color Me Impressed

      I stopped watching after the season 6 finale because I ended up living in a dorm without cable. I was thinking of catching up at some point, but now I’m glad I didn’t, because from what I hear, this show has gone down the sh*tter. The season 6 finale was a perfect ending; House and Cuddy finally got together, everyone was happy, the end. In my mind that will always be where the show ended; that will always be where the characters ended up.

    • Mark

      Agreed, and since I do not like Lisa Cuddy, they should kill her. Have an episode where is is back with Lucas and he puts a screw driver through her head. I’d kinda like that. I’m sorry, but I just don’t like her.

    • sarah

      house is not the same at all without cuddy, her leaving makes me not even wanna watch the show anymore!

  • Irene

    You know what’s the problem? That you loved Cuddy and Lisa but we still do!

    • yahnis

      Yes!And we still love Cuddy and Lisa!
      And what Shore just say it’s not answer to our question:WHO make her leave?And why they don’t fighting to bring her back?They are all cowards and they scared of big bosses on FOX?They must cut their salary and give to Lisa.They must make FOX to give her proper contract.And now they just tell us that it is done! It’s awful example of relationship between collegues on TV!

      • shaas

        I think she knows that she is at the peak of her acting career and wants to do other things rather than always be known as Cuddy on House the rest of her life.

      • Cheery

        Clearly no one on that show has any loyalty to their “beloved” departing cast member.
        RSL got the ball rolling with that rat-bastard quitting stunt (“I Love Money”), which undoubtedly made OE and LE’s negotiations after the fact that much harder.
        GY wholly blames LE for leaving, even claiming he, KJ and DS “fought the fight.” What, you argued with and tried to pressure LE into taking a raw deal? Or did you actually take the fight TO THE STUDIO and try to convince them to pay her fairly? Probably not the latter.
        And lastly, Hugh Laurie, who’s only had praise for LE in the past, but can’t even comment on his costar of 7 year’s exit? He could take a page out of Mariska Hargitay’s book.
        But unfortunately all of them only seem to care about their own bottom line.
        Good luck trying to recover from such a graceless fiasco.
        I’m done with House.

      • Wha’ever

        @yahnis : Cut their own salariesand give it to Lisa ? Are you insane ? Would you cut in your own salary to give it to someone who’s probably already more payed than you are ? Your fanatism makes you blind and a little stupid it seems.

  • David

    David Shore is an arrogant bastard.

    • jim

      You had better watch out calling someone arrogroant bastards, for i just once told a fellowe employee that i thought that a memebr of my upper mangament was an arrogorant little sh– an it got me fired ha ha ha ha hah lol rotf

      • Wzrd1

        Funny, I’ve said that right to my management’s face, got promoted.

      • @ jim

        I’m pretty sure David isn’t an employee of Mr. Shore’s so that makes no sense.

    • TinKnight

      Jim…yes, calling out a producer whom David will never meet is exactly the same as being careless and badmouthing upper management of your own company…

    • Wzrd1

      He’s arrogant because he’s in charge of the series?
      He mentioned that she is not renewing her contract, not that he was terminating her contract.
      From her acting of late, I suspect she’s just burning out on that role.

      • Tarc

        Nah, she just didn’t sign up for idiotic storylines and indefensible characterization. The scripts are garbage.

    • Iwa Iniki

      Your comment is not appropriate.

    • Becca

      David watch your friggin mouth

      • @Becca

        That’s what David’s saying!

  • cathee

    So why can’t they get her back?

    • Lura

      I think they don’t have the money to pay her as much as they are paying RSL. The fact that they can’t get her to agree to a few episodes makes me think she has some creative issues with the writers as well.

    • Mark

      Because she won’t admit to the fact that in terms of importance, she’s below Hugh and RSL in the pecking order. Plus, she’s probably got some super great tv movies in the pipeline.

    • Brett

      She probably couldn’t stomach the thought of yet another season with Candice Bergen playing her mother.

      • Rose

        I love Candice Bergen, but thought she wasn’t a good choice to play Cuddy’s mom. If she hadn’t already been on the show I would have suggested her as the new hospital administrator.

  • Pink Lemonade

    Cuddy has never been a likeable character to me but the writing has declined for everyone involved. I don’t blame Lisa Edelstein for leaving. This ship has taken on too much water and is going down. Its too bad because it was such an awesome show.

    • Joe

      Totally agree!!! Once the writers no longer have anything interesting to say, its time to get new writers or cancel the show! All the talented actors in the world can’t save a show if they have nothing to say!

      • Wzrd1

        Well, write an episode of quality and send it to them.

      • Dahlia

        Wzrd1, you do know that’s not how it works, right?

    • Higgs26

      I agree as well…we stopped watching House when it turned into more of a soap opera than a medical drama. Early episodes were intriguing because they had to do with solving medical puzzles. Now it is just another nighttime soap. Boring.

    • xynthai

      I feel the same way. Very boring…

      • Freja

        I think it was on the verge of turning into a soap, but if they were actually TRYING to, they might as well have replaced it with that soap House loves so much!

  • Irene

    When your own fans want your show to be over as soon as possible because they are afraid you screw it up even more, it means you are doing something wrong.
    And Lisa’s departure is the worst that could happen if you wanted this show to be “great” again.
    You made some BIG mistakes, Shore.

    • Tia

      I agree with you Irene. I am a fan who stopped watching after the House/ Cuddy breakup because I started to realize the writers must have miserable lives since they write such miserable characters. There used to be such hope in the storylines but now it is time to pull the plug and issue a DNR for House.

    • Creepy

      I’m glad LE is gone. Now I can return to watching House.

  • Laura

    They cant get her back because they ruined her character. What possible role would she play? She can’t still function as his boss and surely he will lose his medical licence.

    • T2

      Again? How many times can a dr. “lose their license” and realistically get it back again (and again)?

      • Adam Selene

        I knew a doc who lost it due to addiction; he joined the Army and practiced under another doc’s license as a PA. After several years and a clean record he applied and got it back.

  • Gabi

    I wonder WHY they didn’t express this when they cut off /dismissed Jennifer Morrison.

    Karma is a hell of a B*tch.
    @David Shore et al: Look what you’ve done to what once was the most brilliant show on TV.

    D*nm! Since S3, I’d like to know what Bryan Singer thinks House MD in general.

    • Sally

      My thoughts exactly!

    • SK

      Jennifer is such a class act and she and her character deserved to be treated better. I honestly feel the show lost it’s humanity when the got rid of her.

  • Nada

    It will be difficult to have a new dynamic after her departure. And for the last season they should focus on House’s fears only, stop with Taub and co. No female characters anymore, they’re all bad written.

    • Irene

      Don’t forget we have lots of hookers and his wife! Great female characters!! Who cares about Cuddy? *irony mode off*

    • Ben Alcobra

      Having Vogler return would give them more dynamic than they could handle. You have to admit, it would be fun to watch them try.

    • Jan

      Martha added a LOT to the show.

    • takakupo

      Classic case of stupid you have there.

      Thirteen was very well written as was Cuddy. If you’re going to try to compare their story arcs to Taub or Foremen than you’re ridiculous. Every character has their own thing going on and if you don’t like it than watch another show.

    • JenR

      My favorite female character on the show is a snarky nurse that pops up once in a while.

  • mushu baby

    I’d have jumped ship too. The show has sucked forever.

    • Ben Alcobra

      Yeah, it sucked so bad for so long that you just had to take the time to read an article about it and post a comment. You work hard at this, don’t you?

      • Oh enough

        Everyone is entitled to an opinion and to voice it, whether a fan of the show or not.

      • Tarc

        And pointing out that a once great show has been awful since the third season is also quite obvious…

      • star struk

        This area is designated for comments. Good or bad. Get over it.

  • Karen

    I am sad that LE is gone. I loved her role even when she wasn’t involved romantically with House. She show can never be the same in my mind. One of the major players is gone.

  • Sally

    I say get rid of 13 and do whatever you need to do to get Cuddy back.

    • Sally

      No, I’d rather have a thousand 13s than one Cuddy. It’s good that she’s gone.

  • Anne

    The main reason Lisa left is because they wanted to slash her salary – despite the fact that House is making TONS of money in syndication around the world. So, for Shore to act like this was all her decision and he’s so bummed is BS. If he really wants her back, all he has to do is offer her old salary back. But he won’t, of course.

  • vicpei

    Well, it seems that Peter Blake has landed faster than Shore, who still thinks all the problem is Huddy. “Bear with us”, what have we done the whole year? What about trying to restaure House’s character, first?
    Delusion, thy name is Shore…
    I am an all time House lover, but I’d rather have them stop now and not embarass themselves a little more. What could House possibly do, next year? Set Wilson on fire?

  • Sid

    Actually she left because they cut her salary (from $175,000 a episode to $100,000) and she walked.

    • Sally

      I am interested to know how you know this info because no offered amount has been revealed to my knowledge.

    • Jean Ritchie

      Simple solution – she should ask her Facebook friends for a weekly donation to make up the difference. If she has a million fans who give an average of a quarter each, she has her goal….

      • natalia

        MILION FANS?? Are you kidding?
        More people hate Cuddy and don’t like LE!actress.
        She don’t have million fans..

      • Creepy

        LOL!! Sally check out the LE and Lisa Cuddy Facebook page, she doesn’t even have a 1000 followers. Most folks didn’t like Cuddy or Huddy and this season’s ratings proved it. They went, down, down, and down some more.

      • Eversist

        What a silly idea. The world doesn’t work that way.

    • Freja

      If I could make that much money, I wouldn’t be complaining. I don’t have anything against her, but really, there are thousands of people making minimum wage that would give almost Anything to make a fraction of what she makes.

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