After eight series, House – the hit medical drama that made a US star out of British actor Hugh Laurie – is to cease production in April.
In a joint announcement, executive producers David Shore and Katie Jacobs and series star Laurie said: ‘After much deliberation, the producers of House MD have decided that this season of the show, the 8th, should be the last:
“By April this year they will have completed 177 episodes, which is about 175 more than anyone expected back in 2004.
“The decision to end the show now, or ever, is a painful one, as it risks putting asunder hundreds of close friendships that have developed over the last eight years – but also because the show itself has been a source of great pride to everyone involved.
“This sounds like fancy talk, but it really isn’t. House has, in its time, intrigued audiences around the world in vast numbers, and has shown that there is a strong appetite for television drama that relies on more than prettiness or gun play.”
In a separate statement, Fox president of entertainment Kevin Reilly said: “While it’s with much regret, and a lump in our throats, we respect the decision Hugh, David and Katie have made.
“A true original, on the page and amazingly brought to life by Hugh Laurie, there is only one Dr House.”
In the series, which currently airs in the UK on Sky1, Laurie plays Gregory House, an unconventional and misanthropic doctor who solves puzzling medical cases at the Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital in New Jersey.
House was among the 10 top-rated TV programmes in the United States from 2005-2008 and was seen in some 66 other countries. But US ratings have slipped in the past two years to about half the 20 million viewers who once enjoyed the show.