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A Little News for House Fans

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House goes back into production this week, paving the way for the series’ return on April 28 with a run of four new episodes. The final four episodes will conclude a strike-shortened season four. Season four originally was scheduled for 22 episodes, and with the Writers Guild strike taking a three-month bite out of the season, there will only be a total of 16 episodes shot. Beginning April 21, House moves to Mondays at 9:00 p.m. Eastern Time /8:00 p.m. Central with an "encore" (re-run) episode. New episodes start the following week.

Season four only really clicked into high gear in its last four episodes. The first eight episodes dealt with House rebuilding his diagnostic team, replacing Chase (who House fired), Cameron (who resigned after Chase was fired), and Foreman (who resigned and then was re-hired by Cuddy to spy on House) with three new fellows. So what does the remainder of season four hold for Dr. House and Princeton Plainsboro teaching hospital?

David Shore told USA Today last week that a two-part episode originally scheduled to run after the Super Bowl (“Frozen” with guest star Mira Sorvino ran instead) will now conclude season four. Shore said that House (played by the ever-brilliant Hugh Laurie) will be involved in an accident (Fall? Motorbike spill? Someone hits him and he hits his head?) and will suffer some short-term memory loss. House will try to recover those memories and their significance. According to Shore, “it’s going to be big.”

The show’s other head honcho, Katie Jacobs (she also directed the wonderful episode in season three called “Half-Wit”) spoke to an audience at Princeton University. The Daily Princetonian reports that next season House and his best friend, oncologist James Wilson (played by Robert Sean Leonard), will take a “a road trip that will reach into House’s past.”

Jacobs also promised more developments in the adversarial and sharply sexy relationship between Lisa Cuddy (Lisa Edelstein) and House. Last season, the show suggested a past relationship in the episode “Top Secret,” and it’s very clear that House has more than an employee-employer interest in her. And despite their constant sparring, who did Cuddy take into her confidence when she wanted to attempt in vitro fertilization to get pregnant? Not the surficially reliable Wilson, but House. Jacobs teased the audience. What would happen if they did end up in bed together one night? "That’s kinda interesting,” she offered.

Let the speculation begin.

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About Barbara Barnett

Barbara Barnett is Publisher/Executive Editor of Blogcritics, (blogcritics.org). Her debut novel, called "Anne Rice meets Michael Crichton," The Apothecary's Curse The Apothecary's Curse comes out October 11 from Pyr, an imprint of Prometheus Books. Her book on the TV series House, M.D., Chasing Zebras is a quintessential guide to the themes, characters and episodes of the hit show. Barnett is an accomplished speaker, an annual favorite at MENSA's HalloWEEM convention, where she has spoken to standing room crowds on subjects as diverse as "The Byronic Hero in Pop Culture," "The Many Faces of Sherlock Holmes," "The Hidden History of Science Fiction," and "Our Passion for Disaster (Movies)."
  • Jenny


  • John

    Boring, same old thing, more Wilson, more Cuddy and more House, bring back the ducklings.

  • Claire

    Barbara, thank you for the news! I think all the tidbits sound intriguing. The magic that brings to life the ever fascinating House comes from that wonderful mixture of Shore, Jacobs, & Laurie. House may never change but we learn more and more about what created that character!

    One question I have is this: was House working at this hospital before his infarction? The timing in there really is vague to me.


  • Thanks Claire,

    I do not think that House was working at Princeton Plainsboro at the time of the infarction. I think (and this is pure speculation) that House came to Princeton after having lost four jobs (as stated in Humpty Dumpty) and Cuddy, feeling responsible for his condition, hired him. This is the timeline that I imagine (and maybe I’ll write more extensively about it at some point before the April 28 series continuation:
    1985–House gets his MD
    1985-1992 (approx.) House completes fellowships in Infectious Diseases and in Nephrology; goes into private practice and is successful, plays golf, etc.
    1995–House and Stacy move in together (House is 36 years old at the time.
    1998-2000–House undergoes extensive physical therapy, but declines therapy to deal with the emotional trauma of his disability–Stacy goes to work for the hospital; House goes to work at the hospital, becoming a specialist in diagnostics; his relationship with Stacy finally falls apart
    2005–Events of “Honeymoon”–5 years post infarction.

  • sue

    House MD is the best show!

    It sounds like this accident is what David Shore was going to use as the mechanism for bringing the old ducklings back. Hugh Laurie will be a great amnesia victim.

    There is no rhyme or reason to a timeline on House. I don’t think they paid attention to it in the beginning, and then because they couldn’t fix it, they just made things fit into their current agenda. Even what they posted on their website about how long House and Wilson were friends made no sense.

    Case in point. When House took Hector the dog, Wilson’s wife said she named him Hector on their honeymoon when he was a puppy. That was 17 years earlier. Wilson is about 40, which would make him 23 when he was on his second marriage. He would have been in medical school. He was good friends with House at the time, so they had to have known each other longer than 17 years. When TPTB posted answers to viewers questions on the website, they said Wilson and House became friends when House came to work at PPTH. Only off by about 10 years.

    By your time line, the “events of Honeymoon” should have been in 2003. Cuddy said 4 hospital administrators had fired House. House and Stacy broke up in 2000, 5 years before Three Stories in 2005. House would have been 46.

    Having an accurate time line would add a lot to the show. If you try to make sense of the facts they give us, it will drive you crazy.

    It sounds like House will father Cuddy’s child. I have been saying this for a long time. It seems so obvious. Is it so obvious that it isn’t going to happen? Is this something that would change House?

  • Mary

    I don’t really care a great deal about the inconsistencies in the timeline, or that Greg House has two different birthdays. As he himself reminded us (and the class of med students) in the transcendent “Three Stories,” “Time is not a fixed construct.”

  • Claire

    I agree with Mary about not caring all that much about a timeline. Right, “time is not a fixed construct.” We can add that as another Houseism. I am curious about the degree of guilt involved in Cuddy’s hiring of House. I am not sure he would have accepted a position after the infarction. But, maybe he had to. It also seems to me that someone like House would always need to have worked in a teaching hospital or tertiary care type center with his specialty. But probably when they developed the show they didn’t think about the intensity of our curiosity. There are already inconsistencies–his apt/condo in an establishing shot on the upper floors early on and first floor with the 221 B sign (where is is purported to have lived for many years) later on. It’s an alternate universe, fiction, and I have to keep telling myself that! 🙂

  • Susanne

    Isn’t that a little cliche to have house loose his memory partly..I have seen that so many times in my lifetime. Can there be one season where House is not in a serious accident, close to dying or something? At least have someone else take a hit. We will see how it goes

    I do not want any babies on the show..it would look like another soap opera and I don’t want House to change. I am very iffy on the Huddy one night stand…I will judge it before I see it. I really don’t see House in a long term relationship or being a father, the show would meet its end then. However I hope they give the audience something new about cuddy and wilson on their own. I want to know more about them as individuals. The same with the old ducklings and I want them back. The main problem with house/cuddy and wilson they seem to make it like they are the only ones to the show and the other supporting casts are nothing to them. That is not really fair to Morrison,Spencer and Epps. The house/wilson/cuddy dynamic is just the same old boring thing over and over and I would like to see something different.

    That being said I have mixed feelings about the new eps. I am excited but at the same time dreading it.

    Thanks for the news Barbara

  • KMC

    I wouldn’t mind seeing someone else…Wilson maybe…take “a hit” for a change..and seeing how House deals with that…how would he react to almost losing his best/only friend? But I would look forward to the idea of a H/W roadtrip..they have a lot of backstory..one assumes…and I would like to see it explored a bit…without ALL the snipeing and whining

  • Lucy

    Is it true that Cuddy and House attended the same university? If so, could it then be possible that they encountered each other there, and that is where the supposed one night stand took place? I personally love the Cuddy House and Wilson relationship, to me it really makes the show!

  • Barbara Barnett

    The show’s canon would suggest that yes, they both went to U Mich. maybe as undergrads. Maybe she was an undergrad and he was a grad student (he went to Johns Hopkins for Med school, as did Foreman).

    Everyone has their favorite relationship and dynamics on the show. It’s what makes it so much fun!