"House M.D.," the FOX medical drama that stars Hugh Laurie as an anti-social, cynical and brilliant doctor, has been canceled after eight seasons.
The final episode is set to air in May. The show's ratings have fallen considerably since its 2004 debut and especially after Lisa Edelstein, who played the boss and a love interest of Laurie's title character, left the series last spring.
"While it's with much regret, and a lump in our throats, we respect the decision Hugh, David and Katie have made," FOX President of Entertainment Kevin Reilly said in a statement to OnTheRedCarpet.com on Wednesday, February 8.
Laurie, who is one of the highest-paid television stars, Katie Jacobs and creator David Shore serve as executive producers of the show, which debuted in 2004 and airs in syndication worldwide. Laurie's character, Dr. Gregory House, is an expert at diagnosing rare or complicated medical conditions. His team uses unconventional methods to treat patients with ailments he deems "interesting" while deciphering the person's expected lies.
Laurie, Shore and Jacobs issued a joint statement, saying their decision to end the series "now, or ever," was "painful."
"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," they said, quoting House's mantra.
"House M.D." also stars Robert Sean Leonard as an oncologist and personal friend of House, as well as fellow veteran cast members Jesse Spencer, Peter Jacobson and Omar Epps, whose characters started out as House's junior colleagues. Others have been played by Jennifer Morrison, who now stars on the ABC fantasy-themed series "Once Upon A Time," and Amber Tamblyn.
Olivia Wilde played free-spirited doctor Remy 'Thirteen' Hadley on and off since 2007 before concentrating largely on a blossoming film career in 2011. Charlyne Yi and Odette Annable joined the show at the start of the current season and also play doctors.
The most recent episode of "House M.D.," which aired on Monday, February 6, was watched by an estimated 7 million people. It earned a rating of 2.5 among viewers aged 18 to 49 and ranked in fourth place in its time slot, behind ABC reality show "The Bachelor," the CBS sitcom "How I Met Your Mother" and NBC's breakout singing competition series "The Voice."
The show's first season garnered an average of 13.3 million viewers. Season 7, which began in September 2010, had about 10.3 million. The season 7 premiere itself was watched by about 10.6 million viewers and earned a 4.2 rating. The season 8 premiere, which aired in October 2011 and marked the first episode without Edelstein, was watched by 9.77 million people and earned a 3.9 rating.
"House M.D." has won five Emmys, although none for acting, and has been nominated for 25. Laurie has been nominated for an Emmy six times for his role on the show. He also won two Golden Globes.
WHAT'S NEXT FOR THE CAST?
In 2011, Laurie filmed the movie "Mister Pip," which is based on a novel by Lloyd Jones. Laurie plays Mr. Watts, the only white man left in a village in Papua New Guinea that has been largely destroyed due to war. Amid the fighting, he visits a school every day to read to students from the Charles Dickens novel "Great Expectations" and inspires a young girl. The movie is set for release later this year.
Laurie began acting while he was studying at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom. He was a member of Footlights, a comedy theatre club, in the late 1970s and met actor Stephen Fry and actress Emma Thompson. The two male actors formed a comedy duo called Fry and Laurie and appeared together on numerous UK shows throughout the next 25 years.
Laurie started appearing on U.S. screens in the 1990s. He appeared in the 1996 movie "Spice World" and the 1998 film "The Man In The Iron Mask," which stars Leonardo DiCaprio. Laurie played a plane passenger on an episode of the NBC sitcom "Friends" that year as well.
The actor has done a lot of voice work and has portrayed characters in films such as "Stuart Little," "Monsters and Aliens," Hop" and "Arthur Christmas."
Like his character on "House M.D." Laurie is an avid music fan and can rock an electric guitar, as well as other instruments. He has often played with the celebrity charity group Band From TV, which has featured his "House M.D. co-star Spencer as well as Teri Hatcher, Greg Grunberg, James Denton, Zachary Levi and Jorge Garcia.
After she left the series, Edelstein went on to play the recurring role of Celeste Serrano on the CBS legal drama "The Good Wife." The actress did not appear to hold a grudge after she left "House M.D." On September 28, the start of the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah, she Tweeted a photo of herself and Shore, saying "Happy New Year from me AND David Shore!"
She, Epps, Jacobson and Leonard have no announced projects in the works. Spencer, who was a soap star in his native Australia before "House M.D." debuted, is set to appear in the 2012 film "The Girl Is in Trouble," a murder mystery starring Wilmer Valderrama and Paz de la Huerta.
Wilde last year appeared in films such as "In Time" with Justin Timberlake and "TRON: Legacy" with Jeff Bridges. She recently shot four movies, including the comedy "The Longest Week" with Jason Bateman and "Blackbird," a crime drama starring Kate Mara, Rooney Mara's sister, and Charlie Hunnam of "Undeclared" and "Sons of Anarchy."
Wilde is also set to appear in at least four films set to be released in 2013, including "The Incredible Burt Wonderstone" with Jim Carrey, James Gandolfini and Steve Carell, another actor who was snubbed at the Emmy Awards for his work on "The Office."