Hugh Laurie, whose long-running Fox drama “House” is winding down after eight seasons, let his feelings be known after reports surfaced that he was tired of the show and it was his idea to kill it, TVGuide.com reports.
Fox recently announced that the show’s current eighth season, which wraps up in May, will be its last, as previously reported. But Laurie clearly isn’t happy about how the show’s cancellation has been handled in the media.
TV Guide printed a statement from Laurie that says in part:
“Some newspapers, obviously dissatisfied by the statement we released last week, have suggested that ‘the truth’ — a modern journalistic shorthand for ‘not even remotely the truth but it’s creepy enough so let’s go with it’ — behind our joint decision was that I was sick of going to work. The evidence for this was a remark I made five years ago about a different subject.”
Laurie’s statement also says: “Let me say unequivocally that I love my job, and work harder at it than most journalists work at theirs. As we explained in our press release, we were trying to preserve some of the character’s mystique; we never wanted to over-stay our welcome. Very possibly, we could have continued with a re-worked formula — House gets a job in a shoe shop and high jinks ensue — but none of us could face that. We wanted to keep the band together and go out with as much dignity as we could muster.”
TV Guide’s Mike Schneider reported separately that the real culprit in the show’s demise was economics, particularly involving Fox and Universal.
The story reported: “The network wasn’t looking to let go of ‘House,’ which averages a 3.5 rating among adults 18-49 and 9.1 million viewers — good numbers for a drama in its eighth season. Universal TV, the studio behind ‘House,’ was also anxious to keep producing the show, which adds millions of dollars to NBCUniversal’s bottom line. ‘Universal was the lead horse, the one driving a renewal,’ one source says. ‘It had the most desire and ambition to do another season.’"
The report adds: “Fox, which currently spends $5 million an episode for ‘House,’ wanted to see a cut in the show’s license fee before considering a renewal. And although Universal was willing to take back some costs, it wasn’t as large a discount as Fox wanted. Insiders also say Universal was pursuing a 22-episode order, while Fox would only commit to a final 13-episode season. ‘Universal came off as aggressive,’ one exec says. ‘It was such a big gap that [Fox] didn’t pursue the discussions.’ Universal insiders say the studio was surprised by the decision and had been willing to work out a compromise.”