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.