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Lisa Edelstein Leaving Role on House

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Lisa Edelstein will not be returning to House, M.D. for its eighth season. Edelstein, who plays Dr. Lisa Cuddy, House’s (Hugh Laurie) boss and love interest, said through her publicist, “After much consideration, I am moving onward with a combination of disappointment at leaving behind a character I have loved playing for seven years and excitement of the new opportunities in acting and producing that lie ahead.”

Just days ago, Katie Jacobs told me that “Lisa is such a valuable member [of the cast]. I challenge any other actress on TV to do what she is so—does so, you know, seemingly effortlessly. She goes between drama, comedy, intelligence, sex appeal. It’s certainly not my plan or David’s plan or the creative team’s plan to not have Lisa in the show, and I can just say that I will not rest until I figure it out.”

The series was just recently renewed for an eighth season, with budget cuts that will mean fewer episodes for some returning characters. Edelstein’s contract was among those up for renewal.

Edelstein’s departure will present a huge challenge to the series’ writers and producers, trying to fill a crucial void in the cast of characters surrounding Dr. Gregory House. A large part of the series narrative depends on the personal and professional relationship of Cuddy and House, and House’s best friend Wilson (Robert Sean Leonard, who is signed for Season 8).

Edelstein’s announcement was greeted with shock as word got out on Twitter that she was leaving the series after seven years. “I don’t even know what to think. I feel shattered,” said one fan on Twitter. Those sentiments are shared throughout the fan community.

About Barbara Barnett

Barbara Barnett is publisher and executive editor of Blogcritics, as well as a noted entertainment writer. Author of Chasing Zebras: The Unofficial Guide to House, M.D., her primary beat is primetime television. But Barbara writes on an everything from film to politics to technology to all things pop culture and spirituality. She is a contributor to the book called Spiritual Pregnancy (Llewellyn Worldwide, January 2014) and has a story in Riverdale Ave Press' new anthology of zombie romance, Still Hungry for your Love. She is hard at work on what she hopes will be her first published novel.
  • BrokenLeg

    Can we all remain polite nd well mannered?

  • Frustrated

    If the show is really banking all their money on OW attracting viewers, then they are the most stupid business people. It should be clear based on The Dig’s ratings that she does not attract the viewers who watch House. She may be this new upcoming movie star, but almost all her movies have bombed terribly at the box office. Even with those movies, she’s not the main attraction.

    What is obvious is with LE’s departure, there’s only one female character left. The sausage fest on this show has never been more obvious than now.

  • ruthinor

    Mar: Starting your thoughts by saying “what makes me puke”…kind of takes away from what you are trying to say here. You have some good points to make, but insulting your audience isn’t going to get you too far. I agree with you that some “Huddies” just don’t know when to quit. Most of the people here are NOT in that category.

    Everyone: Whether or not you like the character of 13, OW had NOTHING to do with LE’s decision. OW made a point of supporting LE’s decision to make an ad for “move” in favor of a woman’s right to choose. In fact, OW is not her real name. If you do a google search you will see that she comes from a well-known, very left wing family. What this also tells you is that FOX doesn’t give a rat’s ass about one’s politics. It cares only about money. The only people who know what really happened are LE and those closest to her as well as the people she had to deal with regarding her contract.

    No one here has any idea whether or not LE has received personal messages of support. Not everyone tweets, nor does everyone want their thoughts all over the web. So, please cool it with the blame game. It gives this website a reputation it does NOT deserve.

  • zingzing

    there was some hanky panky going on behind the scene. the wife wasn’t too happy about it and threatened divorce, so something had to happen. for weeks before her death, she was acting a bit out of sorts, but no one put two and two together. it wasn’t until they discovered the body that doctors were able to determine she had been dosed with a neurotoxin only known to exist in the bellies of lab monkeys in barbados during the barrow years. the doctors immediately investigated barbados and said, “it was warm. unlike edelstein.”

  • BrokenLeg

    252 Frustrated
    I agree totally with you, and your observaions are puely objective ones.

  • Committed

    Doesn’t this all boil down to the product that is being produced? If fans like it, they will continue to buy it, if they don’t, they will walk away regardless of speculation or gossip, contracts or tweets.

    Everyone can debate all they want but the ratings will tell the story so no matter what side of the fence you are on, no matter how great or horrible you feel right now, sit back and watch the numbers. That will be the only true indicator of how this plays out.

  • Tiara

    Personally, I adored Cuddy, and I loved her and House as rivals and friends, but I believe the show ruined their relationship. Before they actually became a couple, I could have easily seen them being together. But as the show went on, it just got worse and worse. I just hope the season finale gives us the old Cuddy, the one we fell in love with, and not the weepy, mushy, House-obsessed one.

    It was really nice to have a somewhat more mature character on a popculture TV show, and it makes me angry that they’re getting rid of that, just like it made me angry that they screwed up the only functional relationship on the show- Taub and his wife- for the sake of drama.

    I wouldn’t mind if House and Wilson hooked up in Cuddy’s departure, since the writers did say it was fair game. But the show just won’t be the same without her. Lisa Edelstein, you’ll be missed.

  • El Bicho

    To quote William Shatner from SNL, “GET A LIFE, will you people? I mean, for crying out loud, it’s just a TV show!”

  • Simon

    @ 256 Commited: I believe you are right regarding the ratings , but next season is the final one, ads slots have been sold and everyone involved is already making money regardless how the show does in the ratings next year. It would have been a different story if they had a few more seasons ahead of them , then they’d be listening to the fans.

  • barbara barnett

    I’ve been away from my computer most of the day. Please, please try to keep it civil for all opinions.

  • Take Five

    Here’s something else to consider (with a nod to Small Microbe, who touched on this subject): The “older actress” was fired from Criminal Minds (Paget Brewster; I think she’s 42), and was replaced by an early 20′s blonde bimbo (sorry for the “bimbo” sobriquet, but I’m 51 and I’m PISSED). So, how much you wanna BET that L.E. gets replaced by a MUCH younger woman (probably blonde), over whom House and all the boys (and possibly even 13) drool from the get go? Cuddy who?

  • Committed

    @259 – Simon: I don’t know if this particular group ever really cared about the ratings too much anyway but in the end that came back to hurt them.

    I would think now, since they all seem to have plans for future shows and since they will have to market them to the same group of people, they would want this to end this one on as high a note as possible.

    I sincerely hope it does.

  • BrokenLeg

    261 @TakeFive
    I do not bet anything, because I’ll surely lost. And that way of funtioning TV things is sad.
    [H]ouse audience I’ve considered once as the most cultured,prepared and educated ones of TV all over the world. The most thoughtful one. And that is on the interval of ages of the “not teen age ones”precisely.That aged ones, with all due respect have other shows. But [H]ouse one is formed mostly by people that can identify themself with same age professsionals of the show.From first years of practice until middle aged ones.
    So I find sad if these “20′s blonde bimbo”( as you say) replacement happens.
    It’s not sad only lost the talent of LE as an actress, but the lost of a character that professional women all over the world can identify with.

  • Jamie

    @254 What do you mean?

  • housefriend

    I will miss Cuddy but the show has been getting better the last few episodes.HL is great, And as far as a love story in the classic sense its House and Wilson. Unique and the most important relationship on the show, As long as medical stories/drama stay so will the audience, The boredom of the House -Cuddy story imo drove away many fans Ratings are up.I enjoy the medical drama and the exploration of House,

  • Habitusa

    This is bizarre. Or maybe I am, because I feel so much alone in my feelings. People in our lives come and go. Sometimes we don’t care, sometimes it hurts when they leave, but don’t we all remain the centre of our own universe? By the same token, House will always be a centre of mine (or the show’s), and it WILL go on without Cuddy.

  • Cardiac Monitor

    #El Bicho #258: Shatner yelled “Get a life” until the convention suits showed him a copy of his contract. After that, it was “Live long and prosper.”

    Edelstein, Star Trek. To-may-to, to-mah-to.

    Thanks for bringing back a great memory; one of my favorite SNL skits!

  • Silvia

    Took me about three days to find this thread! why is it in the video section:? Mental!

  • SO..

    At least like get them married for the last season! Then maybe it could be like she had to go off for awhile then the show could end happily. I mean it’s like so sad if he doesn’t end up with her…=’(