Bolstered by American Idol, House quickly became a huge hit. At the end of the third season — which remains the show's highest-rated — the producers blew up the formula and forced House to rebuild his entire diagnostic team. It was the first of many bold (and controversial) storytelling choices. In Part 2 of our oral history, the show's creators and cast look back at the show's most memorable plots. (Read Part 1 here.)
In the Season 3 finale, House...
House, a risky, challenging and altogether different kind of medical drama, premiered on November 16, 2004, and turned the genre on its head with a true antihero lead: a doctor who has overt disdain for his patients — and people in general. But thanks to compelling writing and a career-defining performance by British improv-comedy vet Hugh Laurie, the show stayed on the air for eight seasons of abuse (both drug and verbal) and countless diagnoses that were almost never lupus. As House prepares to sign off for good (Monday, May 21 at 8/7c on Fox), TVGuide.com talked to the show's creators and cast about building the Emmy-winning drama from the ground up. This is the first of a two-part series....
The decision to end House after eight seasons wasn't easy — and, it turns out, didn't necessarily have to come at all this year.
According to insiders, star Hugh Laurie and his fellow executive producers David Shore and Katie Jacobs were eager to bring the long-running Fox drama back for one more year, despite conventional wisdom that everyone was ready to move on. One exec believes that Laurie, one of the highest-paid actors on TV (he makes $700,000 an episode), was even prepared to take a pay cut in order to return.
With House's Thirteen MIA while Olivia Wilde shoots back-to-back films (she's expected to return to Princeton-Plainsboro before season's end), House has tapped Joan of Arcadia's Amber Tamblyn to fill the void as med student Martha M. Masters....
Every week, senior editors Mickey O'Connor and Adam Bryant satisfy your need for TV scoop. Please send all questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can you give me any new information about how and why J.J. leaves Criminal Minds? — Renee
ADAM: Although her exit is abrupt, it sounds like J.J. is on to bigger and better. "We've always intimated that J.J.'s character has connections outside of our world — other more powerful elements in the government," executive producer Simon Mirren tells us. "Those powers that she's connected with come back into her life. So basically, what we're saying is, our loss is going to be someone else's gain."
How will House and Cuddy's co-workers respond to their newfound love? — Mary
MICKEY: "Some of them think it's great," says House executive producer Katie Jacobs. "Others think, 'Oh my God, this...