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Fate of House, M.D. Still Up in the Air

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So what happens if Universal Media Services (UMS) and Fox were not able to come to terms by midnight last night regarding the status of Fox’s hit series House, M.D.? Variety reported that as of Thursday night, both sides were far apart on terms for a new contract that would bring House back to Fox for an eighth season. It appears that no deal had been reached, by the deadline’s passage late Friday night.

It’s been reported UMS has been seeking the same terms it’sHugh Laurie and Amber Tamblyn in House, M.D. courtesy FOX had in the current contract, negotiated before the series’ fifth season. FOX argues, according to Variety, that due to a decline in ratings, the network wants a reduction in its what it pays to air the medical series starring Hugh Laurie. If no deal had been reached by the end of Friday’s negotiation session, Universal believes it would be free to air the show on one of its own networks; Fox disputes that assertion, saying that the contract it has with Universal doesn’t allow it. Universal’s networks include USA Network, Bravo on cable, and of course its flagship peacock, NBC.

In the meantime, the network only has commitments for an eighth season from star Hugh Laurie and Olivia Wilde, who plays Remy Hadley. Both actors have options in their existing contracts that would obligate them for next season. Other series regulars, including Robert Sean Leonard (Wilson), Lisa Edelstein (Cuddy) do not have contracts beyond the current season, which ends in May. Leonard is currently bound for Broadway, which is by all accounts his first love.

If House comes back for an eighth season, deals will still need to be worked out with most of the supporting actors as well as David Shore, whose contract with UMS expires the end of this season. In a conference call last week with television journalists, Shore noted that both FOX and Universal both want an agreement, and he is moving forward with plans as if it will happen.

According to Deadline Hollywood, the Friday night deadline was set by the parties; it is non-binding, and they can continue negotiating until a deal is struck. The real deadline comes with next month’s “Upfonts,” held to each May to showcase the fall lineup for advertisers. It is also when the networks announce their fall lineups.  The FOX “upfront” is scheduled for May 16, as is NBC’s.

If the parties cannot come to an agreement, one of several things may happen: the show moves to an NBC network, where it’s already heavily syndicated on both USA Network and Bravo, or the season seven finale will be the series finale. As of Sunday evening as I write this, there has been no public word on the state of negotiations.

So what do you think will happen? Will House be back next season on FOX? Will it move to another network? Or will Season 7 be the end for Dr. House? Or…?

Scheduling note to my readers: Due to the Passover holiday, which begins tomorrow evening, my regular review of House will be delayed until Wednesday evening. Unfortunately, I’ve had no access to a screener for “Last Temptation,” so please do not read my silence as disinterest. I’ll be back Wednesday with my “Last Temptation” review, and will tweet when it’s up. To all of my Jewish readers around the world, I wish you all a wonderful Z’man Cheiruteinu (season of our freedom) and a lovely Pesach season!

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About Barbara Barnett

Barbara Barnett is Publisher/Executive Editor of Blogcritics, (blogcritics.org). Her Bram Stoker Award-nominated novel, called "Anne Rice meets Michael Crichton," The Apothecary's Curse The Apothecary's Curse is now out 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)."
  • Belle0308

    Any chance that the show is going to end this year and they are throwing the negotiation thing out there so that the end is a shock to the fans? Its something that has occurred to me, but I didn’t know if it was at all realistic.

  • RedTulip_Ana_Worried

    @19 – Flo
    “For how good “House” is, it deserves to remain so until the end and it’s time to think about this ending”

    @16 – Jackie
    I’m of the mindset that the 8th season of “House” will happen and the ends, loose or not, will fall into place.
    I think it too, the reference I did to Unwritten was only a reflexion about a possibility…which also can be a new way to write HouseMD…I mean: House growing up and David Shore writting his “adult story”…(after the last spoilers this thing is around my mind)

  • Flo

    I’m not that worried either. I think there will be a season 8.
    However I hope it will be the last. I don’t know any great Tv show, which didn’t end before, that managed to keep being great past 6/7 seasons.
    For how good “House” is, it deserves to remain so until the end and it’s time to think about this ending.

  • David: Have no idea to what you’re referring.

  • David

    Sorry to tell you but acourting the to the Jews of the first century and before; Nissan 14 was Sunday.

  • Jackie

    Barbara – Wishing you and your family a Happy Passover. I’m looking forward to your critique of “The Last Temptation” later this week. I did view the episode last night after company left and the kitchen was tidied up.

    To RedTulip_Ana – The dialogue that you quoted from the “Unwritten” episode reminds me of the movie “Casablanca”. The Epstein brothers who wrote the script for this classic movie were literally doing writes and re-writes minutes before filming. There’s one line that Rick (Humphrey Bogart) said that is so very similar to the above. “It’s still a story without an ending.” I’m of the mindset that the 8th season of “House” will happen and the ends, loose or not, will fall into place. The one show that I loved “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman” (love those medical shows!), ended abruptly when CBS decided that the ratings weren’t high enough for the 8 o’clock hour on a Saturday night and wanted to go in a different direction after 5 or so years on the air. Fox has relied on “House” so heavily over the last seven years, that they would be extremely foolish to let this show disappear with only a season left. My fingers and toes are crossed as well.

  • RedTulip_Ana

    I sincerely hope that we have not yet to say goodbye to HouseMD. It was a great show for years, and I hope still remains.
    I transcribe here the end of “Unwritten”. I just hope we have more luck and David Shore continue telling us more stories about House.
    – Alice: I’d like to thank you.
    – House: Great. You can dedicate the next Jack Cannon to me.
    – Alice: I can’t.
    – House: Are you still in pain?
    – Alice: No. You did everything you said, and more. I can finally move on. Thank you.
    – House: Move on, Where?
    – Alice: I want to write books for adults.
    – House: What about Jack? Your last book didn’t answer anything.
    – Alice: The way I ended Jack’s story is perfect. Each reader can decide what fate they want for him themselves.
    – House: You — but that’s stupid! That doesn’t make any sense!
    – Alice: How many answers do you get in real life?
    – House: This is a book. Books have beginnings, middles, and ends. You can’t just leave it on a cliffhanger — Who does that?
    – Alice: I’m sorry. His story’s done. There’s really nothing you can say to change my mind.

  • The only fly in the ointment here is that after they re-up for a new season, they’ve still yet to negotiate contracts with most of the cast–and David Shore. So it’s slightly more complicated. Also the fact there are 2 different networks involved here.

    I agree. I believe they’ll have an agreement by the Upfronts and everyone will be smiling.

  • MusicandHouse

    spoilertv.com and tvline and entertainment weekley also list House as safe for returning, so I’m pretty sure it will return. Negotiations always work like this. Both sides play chicken until they get what they want and a deal usually doesn’t come until the last minute.

  • DebbieJ

    P.S. Another article on TV Guide.com lists House, MD on the Looking Good column of which shows are coming back and which are not. Meaning it’s possible there won’t be an 8th season but highly probable there will be. 🙂

  • DebbieJ

    I just read an article on TV Guide.com about 25 shows that are in jeoparday of not returning next season and House, MD isn’t even on the radar. I won’t worry until DS and KJ starts to (publicly) worry.

  • @yahnis14

    Barbara!Pesah sameah!From Israel with love!
    And I hope they will come to right decision-SHOW MUST GO ON!!!!!!Amen:)))

  • Jill

    Barbara how very wrong of me not to wish you a very blessed passover.

  • Jill

    As much as I hate to say it, I think House is done, there are signs that this is the fact, although I hope I am very wrong. If Fox really wanted the show back next season they would of done what ever it takes to get it back. This so far is not the case. Then there would be talks to get actors back, RSL has already made his feeling knows about this whole mess. HL has returned to England ready to move on, even though he still has a S8 contract. Theb there has been the extra twits and pics abou the last episode and wrap. I have had a bad feeling for a while about this talks mess. Why dont they just admit it. Its pathetic if this is the way business is done in Hollywood. But again I say I hope I am very VERY wrong!

  • blargh

    Just let it die. It’s been getting progressively worse every season since, like, season 4.

  • MusicandHouse

    lets hope this gets worked out because the season 7 finale can NOT be the series finale. I am just not ready for this show to end, especially if it does so on a cliffhanger (which it probably will since all of the showrunners anticipate an 8th season)

  • Eileen

    I wish you a Z’man Cheiruteinu as well. Chag Sameach!

  • Bertnernie

    Wishing you a Happy Passover to you and your family. Here is hoping that House is renewed for another season, as it would be a shame to let it die an unnatural death. There is still so much to tell and experience. Everything is crossed and even managed to braid my very short hair for extra luck.

  • rjw

    Happy Passover to you,Barbara.Also,here’s hoping for a successful resolution so there’s a season 8 for (in my opinion) the best show on TV!

  • Same to you! Fingers and toes 🙂

  • Happy Passover Barb and thank you for all you do. Let’s cross fingers and toes and hope for the best:)