It looks like House may have suffered a premature death as the ending of the show didn’t necessarily have to come at all this year.
We’re told that Hugh Laurie along with executive producers David Shore and Katie Jacobs were actually eager to bring the show back for at least one more year in order to give the fans a proper ending to the long-running Fox drama, so much so that Laurie was willing to take a drastic pay cut in order to make it possible. Fox initially was happy to oblige as it wasn’t eager to lose the show since it was pulling a solid 3.5 rating among adults 18 to 49.
What led to the show being scrapped was Fox wanted a hefty discount on the per show licensing fee of house which currently is $5 million and Universal did drop $1 million off the fee but apparently Fox went for the jugular wanting a more substantial discount along with a short order 13 episode season instead of the normal 22 episodes. Unfortunately, the gap was so wide between the offers that Fox decided it was not worth negotiations and just canceled House outright.
Universal and Fox have battled out budgets for most of the show’s existence including last year when budget cuts forced Universal to dismiss Lisa Edelstrin (Cuddy) and make other changes to the show. This year’s negotiations were down to the wire and had they continued House would not have been able to film a farewell episode.
In their statement announcing the show’s end, Shore, Jacobs, and Laurie addressed their desire not to prolong House’s exit: “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.”
They added, “The decision to end the show now, or ever, is a painful one. The show itself has been a source of great pride to everyone involved.”
Universal TV maintains the rights to shop House elsewhere, but NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt has already said that he won’t seek to move it onto his network. In the end, House will have produced 177 episodes, “which is about 175 more than anyone expected back in 2004,” Shore, Jacobs and Laurie said in their statement. That’s what we’d call a full House.