Are you one of the millions of HOUSE fans still not over the unexpected exit of star Lisa Edelstein? Scratching your head over House’s inexplicable actions during May’s shocking season finale? Worried that this upcoming eight season may be the hit Fox show’s last? Suffice it to say, you’re not the only one. Which is why, when given the chance to chat with executive producer David Shore during Fox’s recent Television Critics Association Party on the shores of beautiful and sunny Santa Monica we jumped at the chance. See for yourself after the jump.
What do you tell fans who are still upset over Lisa Edelstein’s unexpected exit?
David Shore: I tell them I’m upset too. I’m sorry, things did not unfold the way I wanted. But I will say this. I am actually genuinely excited about this year. I am excited about the new dynamics we’re going to see by bringing in new people and in terms of House and the new boss I think that will be good for the show. I think it will breathe some fresh air into the show — not that we needed it — but I think it will and we’ll sort of get back to what made the show great initially.
Is there any chance Cuddy could return for the finale, should this end up being HOUSE’s final season?
I would love that but I have no idea if it would be possible. I can’t say more than that because I really don’t know.
Not to dwell on this, but do you think Cuddy should or could forgive House for his actions last season?
Could or should? Could, yes because he’s just as screwed up as she is. Should, maybe forgive but not forget. You’ve got to learn you know? I keep saying this, I don’t believe he was trying to hurt anybody, I believe he was trying to hurt her house.
Can you see though how the finale might have been misconstrued by those watching at home?
I realized that afterwards, but we were very careful in the cut to make sure you see the people leaving the room. House sees the people leaving the room before does anything. Of course, that doesn’t make it a responsible act!
Did you expect the level of controversy surrounding the finale?
I didn’t expect people to start saying House was a murderer, which I don’t know whether a lot of people did that, but I didn’t expect that which is worrisome because it becomes tricky. You intend ambiguity, but I think it’s one of the first times in the history of show where a significant number of people simply interpreted the episode not in an area where I wanted interpretation. They simply got something from the episode that I didn’t intend to be there. I wanted it to be an act of violence, I wanted him acting out, I didn’t want it to be an attempted murder.
Changing the subject to a more positive one, what will Charlyne Yi bring to the show?
Charlyne Yi is going to bring to the show Charlyne Yi. We’d be idiotic to take Charlyne Yi and try to force her to be something else. I mean, she’s acting at the same time and we are imposing various character traits on her but she is so interesting, just a very interesting human being that is unlike anyone else I’ve ever met. Yet very real, very personable and very vulnerable and that’s really interesting.
Will she be more comedic in tone to say that of Amber Tamblyn’s character last season?
Amber was pretty funny, but she’ll be more comedic. One of the things I like about the show personally in terms of a writing vehicle is the opportunity to be funny and dramatic at the same time so you never want to do one without the other and I think she’s going to be great for that.
Are you writing this season as if it’s HOUSE’s last?
We’re not going into it like it’s the last season, but if it is going to be the last season I want to know that very early and I’ll make sure I do know that very early because I want to end it right. I want to have lots of lead time on that so if there’s going to be a season nine we need to know that early — and I would l love there to be a season nine — but we need to know it early and if we don’t know it early this will be the last year and I’ll make sure we go out great.
Assuming this is HOUSE’s last season, would it be safe to say that this isn’t the type of show where everybody lives happily ever after?
We’re not big on happy endings. We’re not big on pat endings either so I think you can count on a certain degree of ambiguity to the ending. Endings are difficult to do, because much like relationships that people love or hate — endings are difficult.
Do you have a favorite style of series finale?
Yeah and it’s something I can’t duplicate by its very nature. NEWHART, I just thought was fantastic, just that one moment [where Bob Newhart wakes up and realizes that the entire series was a dream from his previous series THE BOB NEWHART SHOW] but obviously I can’t do anything even like that. If you quote me on that you have to say I would never do that and I can never do that!
What’s your take on how THE SOPRANOS ended?
I have a theory on it, that is he [Tony Soprano] is definitely dead. So I’m okay with the ending because of that, that’s the only way it’s okay, in my view he’s definitely dead.
And finally, most Showrunners don’t stick around their series past three seasons let alone seven. What is it about HOUSE that has kept you coming back and excited as ever?
It’s kind of the perfect show for me, this character is kind of my alter ego in some ways and that’s a rare opportunity. As a writer you get to speak to millions of people, but I get to write in a version of my own voice to spout off my on my own personal views of mankind and have millions of people listen and have this sort of success, I don’t expect to get it again, it may happen that would be wonderful, but not this specific and not with this kind of voice.
HOUSE returns with brand new episodes this Monday October 3rd on FOX (Global TV in Canada). Catch up with past episodes you may have missed for free online at clicktowatch.tv