After eight seasons, multiple awards, and a viewing audience of 81.8 million people in 66 countries, the TV series House is ending its long and successful run on May 21st.
Hugh Laurie embodied the character of Gregory House flawlessly, a brilliant doctor who was devoid of a bedside manner and was dealing with his own constant physical pain. Acerbic and brutally honest with his patients, he truly is an iconic character that will go down in television history.
But it might be the softer side of House that viewers will remember, his affair with his boss, hospital administrator and Dean of Medicine, Lisa Cuddy (Lisa Edelstein) and his edgy relationship with his confident and perhaps his only friend, oncology specialist, Dr James Wilson (Robert Sean Leonard).
The creator of House, David Shore, spoke with journalists about the end of an era.
When you look back at House, what surprises you about what the show has become?
The most fundamental surprise to me is that it has wound up being more than a niche audience, although in this day and age, you can have very large niche audiences. Right from the beginning, from the time we cast Hugh, I knew it was going to be a show that I would like.
I thought maybe some people, who were a little like me, would like it. I never imagined it would get the following it has gotten, and the international following. That’s reassuring, on many levels.
Did the direction of House change from the vision you conceptualized?
Not really. The great thing about Hugh Laurie, from my point-of-view, is that he and I have shared the same vision of this character from day one. We read a lot of people and we met with a lot of people and nobody seemed to get it. And then, he came in and he was House.
If you watch his audition tape, which you can from the Season 1 DVD, he was doing the same thing then that he’s doing now, and it was without any direction or coaching. He put himself on tape, over in Africa, and sent it in to us, and he obviously was thinking the exact same things that we were.
It’s been a wonderful collaboration for me.
Over the years, House has done some pretty reprehensible things. Was there anything that you thought might have gone a little too far?
No, not really. As long as there was a House-like motivation, which means not just self-aggrandizement or self-enrichment, as long as it was ultimately about solving that puzzle, which in turn meant getting somebody better, pretty much anything went.
I know there was a real outcry when he drove his car through Cuddy’s wall, which was never intended to cause her harm, it was meant to cause her home harm. That was an irrational act from a rational man, which was what we intended and why we had to pay a price the next year.
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