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In 2004, David Shore and Paul Attanasio, along with Attanasio's business partner Katie
Jacobs, pitched the series (untitled at the time) to Fox as a CSI-style medical detective
program,[6] a hospital whodunit in which the doctors investigated symptoms and their
causes.[7] Attanasio was inspired to develop a medical procedural drama by The New York
Times Magazine column, "Diagnosis", written by physician Lisa Sanders, who is an attending
physician at Yale–New Haven Hospital (YNHH); the fictitious Princeton–Plainsboro Teaching
Hospital (PPTH, not to be confused with the University Medical Center of Princeton at
Plainsboro) is modeled after this teaching institution.[8] Fox bought the series, though the
network's then-president, Gail Berman, told the creative team, "I want a medical show, but I
don't want to see white coats going down the hallway".[9] Jacobs has said that this stipulation
was one of the many influences that led to the show's ultimate form.[9]
We knew the network was looking for procedurals, and Paul [Attanasio] came up with this medical idea that
was like a cop procedural. The suspects were the germs. But I quickly began to realize that we needed that
character element. I mean, germs don't have motives.
—David Shore to Writer's Guild magazine[10]

After Fox picked up the show, it acquired the working title Chasing Zebras, Circling the
Drain[11] ("zebra" is medical slang for an unusual or obscure diagnosis, while "circling the
drain" refers to terminal cases, patients in an irreversible decline).[12] The original premise of
the show was of a team of doctors working together trying to "diagnose the
undiagnosable".[13] Shore felt it was important to have an interesting central character, one
who could examine patients' personal characteristics and diagnose their ailments by figuring
out their secrets and lies.[13] As Shore and the rest of the creative team explored the
character's possibilities, the program concept became less of procedure and more focused
upon the lead role.[14] The character was named "House", which was adopted as the show's
title, as well.[11] Shore developed the characters further and wrote the script for the pilot
episode.[6] Bryan Singer, who directed the pilot episode and had a major role in casting the
primary roles, has said that the "title of the pilot was 'Everybody Lies', and that's the premise
of the show".[14] Shore has said that the central storylines of several early episodes were
based on the work of Berton Roueché, a staff writer for The New Yorker between 1944 and
1994, who specialized in features about unusual medical cases.[7]
Shore traced the concept for the title character to his experience as a patient at a teaching
hospital.[15] Shore recalled: "I knew, as soon as I left the room, they would be mocking me
relentlessly [for my cluelessness] and I thought that it would be interesting to see a character
who actually did that before they left the room."[16] A central part of the show's premise was
that the main character would be disabled in some way.[17] The original idea was for House to
use a wheelchair, but Fox rejected this. Jacobs later expressed her gratitude for the
network's insistence that the character be reimagined—putting him on his feet added a
crucial physical dimension.[14] The writers ultimately chose to give House a damaged leg
arising from an incorrect diagnosis, which requires him to use a cane and causes him pain
that leads to a narcotic dependency.[17]
References to Sherlock Holmes[edit]
Sherlock Holmes serves as an inspiration for the series.

References to the famous fictional detective Sherlock Holmes created by Sir Arthur Conan
Doyle appear throughout the series.[18][19]Shore explained that he was always a Holmes fan
and found the character's indifference to his clients unique.[16] The resemblance is evident in
House's reliance on deductive reasoning[18] and psychology, even where it might not seem
obviously applicable,[12] and his reluctance to accept cases he finds uninteresting.[20] His
investigatory method is to eliminate diagnoses logically as they are proved impossible;
Holmes used a similar method.[11] Both characters play instruments (House plays the piano,
the guitar, and the harmonica; Holmes, the violin) and take drugs (House is dependent
on Vicodin; Holmes uses cocaine recreationally).[18] House's relationship with Dr. James
Wilson echoes that between Holmes and his confidant, Dr. John Watson.[11] Robert Sean
Leonard, who portrays Wilson, said that House and his character—whose name is very
similar to Watson's—were originally intended to work together much as Holmes and Watson
do; in his view, House's diagnostic team has assumed that aspect of the Watson
role.[21] Shore said that House's name itself is meant as "a subtle homage" to
Holmes.[11][22] House's address is 221B Baker Street, a direct reference to Holmes's street
address.[12]Wilson's address is also 221B.[23]
Individual episodes of the series contain additional references to the Sherlock Holmes tales.
The main patient in the pilot episode is named Rebecca Adler after Irene Adler, a character
in the first Holmes short story, "A Scandal in Bohemia".[24] In the season two finale, House is
shot by a crazed gunman credited as "Moriarty", the name of Holmes's nemesis.[25] In the
season four episode "It's a Wonderful Lie", House receives a "second-edition Conan Doyle"
as a Christmas gift.[26] In the season five episode "The Itch", House is seen picking up his
keys and Vicodin from the top of a copy of Conan Doyle's The Memoirs of Sherlock
Holmes.[27] In another season five episode, "Joy to the World", House, in an attempt to fool
his team, uses a book by Joseph Bell, Conan Doyle's inspiration for Sherlock Holmes.[11] The
volume had been given to him the previous Christmas by Wilson, who included the message
"Greg, made me think of you." Before acknowledging that he gave the book to House,
Wilson tells two of the team members that its source was a patient, Irene Adler.[28] Season 3
episode 7 includes a young adult boyhood detective book series written by the patient,
whose final unpublished volume ends in an ambiguous end to the main character
reminiscent of "The Final Problem". The series finale also pays homage to Holmes's
apparent death in "The Final Problem", the 1893 story with which Conan Doyle originally
intended to conclude the Holmes chronicles.[29]

Production team[edit]
Bryan Singer directed the pilot episode and the third episode, "Occam's Razor".[30]

House was a co-production of Heel and Toe Films, Shore Z Productions, and Bad Hat Harry
Productions in association with Universal Media Studios for Fox.[31] Paul Attanasio and Katie
Jacobs, the heads of Heel and Toe Films; David Shore, the head of Shore Z Productions;
and Bryan Singer, the head of Bad Hat Harry Productions, were executive producers of the
program for its entirety.[15] Lawrence Kaplow, Peter Blake, and Thomas L. Moran joined the
staff as writers at the beginning of the first season after the making of the pilot episode.
Writers Doris Egan, Sara Hess, Russel Friend, and Garrett Lerner joined the team at the
start of season two. Friend and Lerner, who are business partners, had been offered
positions when the series launched, but turned the opportunity down. After observing the
show's success, they accepted when Jacobs offered them jobs again the following
year.[32] Writers Eli Attie and Sean Whitesell joined the show at the start of season four; Attie
would stay on the show's writing staff through the series finale, which he co-wrote. From the
beginning of season four, Moran, Friend, and Lerner were credited as executive producers
on the series, joining Attanasio, Jacobs, Shore, and Singer.[31] Hugh Laurie was credited as
an executive producer for the second[33] and third[34] episodes of season five.
Shore was House's showrunner.[35] Through the end of the sixth season, more than two
dozen writers had contributed to the program. The most prolific were Kaplow (18 episodes),
Blake (17), Shore (16), Friend (16), Lerner (16), Moran (14), and Egan (13). The show's
most prolific directors through its first six seasons were Deran Sarafian (22 episodes), who
was not involved in season six, and Greg Yaitanes (17). Of the more than three dozen other
directors who have worked on the series, only David Straiton directed as many as 10
episodes through the sixth season. Hugh Laurie directed the 17th episode of season six,
"Lockdown".[36] Elan Soltes was the visual effects supervisor since the show began.[37] Lisa
Sanders, an assistant clinical professor of medicine at the Yale School of Medicine, was a
technical advisor to the series. She writes the "Diagnosis" column that inspired House's
premise.[38] According to Shore, "three different doctors ... check everything we do".[39] Bobbin
Bergstrom, a registered nurse, was the program's on-set medical adviser.[39]

Hugh Laurie made his own audition tape while shooting a film in Namibia.

At first, the producers were looking for a "quintessentially American person" to play the role
of House.[40] Bryan Singer in particular felt there was no way he was going to hire a non-
American actor for the role.[13] At the time of the casting session, actor Hugh Laurie was
in Namibia filming the movie Flight of the Phoenix. He assembled an audition tape in a hotel
bathroom, the only place with enough light,[40] and apologized for its appearance[41] (which
Singer compared to a "bin Laden video").[42] Laurie improvised, using an umbrella for a cane.
Singer was very impressed by his performance and commented on how well the "American
actor" was able to grasp the character.[13][43] Singer was not aware that Laurie was English,
due to his convincing American accent. Laurie credits the accent to "a misspent youth
[watching] too much TV and too many movies".[40] Although locally better-known actors such
as Denis Leary, David Cross, Rob Morrow, and Patrick Dempsey were considered for the
part, Shore, Jacobs, and Attanasio were as impressed as Singer and cast Laurie as
It wasn't a massive move when I first considered [doing House]. What usually happens is you do a pilot and
of the very few picked up, only about a quarter go to a second year. So I thought I'll have three fun weeks. I
never dreamed I'd be here three and a half years later.
—Hugh Laurie[45]

Laurie later revealed that he initially thought the show's central character was Dr. James
Wilson. He assumed that House was a supporting part, due to the nature of the character,
until he received the full script of the pilot episode.[46] Laurie, the son of medical doctor Ran
Laurie, said he felt guilty for "being paid more to become a fake version of [his] own
father".[40] From the start of season three, he was being paid $275,000 to $300,000 per
episode, as much as three times what he had previously been making on the series.[47][48] By
the show's fifth season, Laurie was earning around $400,000 per episode, making him one
of the highest-paid actors on network television.[49]
Robert Sean Leonard had received the script for the CBS show Numb3rs, as well as that
for House.[50] Leonard thought the Numb3rs script was "kind of cool" and planned to audition
for the show.[50] However, he decided that the character he was up for, Charlie Eppes, was in
too many scenes; he later observed, "The less I work, the happier I am".[50] He believed that
his House audition was not particularly good, but that his lengthy friendship with Singer
helped win him the part of Dr. Wilson.[50]Singer had enjoyed Lisa Edelstein's portrayal of a
prostitute on The West Wing, and sent her a copy of the pilot script.[51]Edelstein was attracted
to the quality of the writing and her character's "snappy dialogue" with House, and was cast
as Dr. Lisa Cuddy.[51]
Australian actor Jesse Spencer's agent suggested that he audition for the role of Dr. Robert
Chase. Spencer believed the program would be similar in style to General Hospital, but
changed his mind after reading the scripts.[52] After he was cast, he persuaded the producers
to turn the character into an Australian.[53] Patrick Dempsey also auditioned for the part of
Chase; he later became known for his portrayal of Dr. Derek Shepherd on Grey's
Anatomy.[54] Omar Epps, who plays Dr. Eric Foreman, was inspired by his earlier portrayal of
a troubled intern on the NBC medical drama ER.[55] Jennifer Morrison felt that her audition for
the part of Dr. Allison Cameron was a complete disaster.[56] However, before her audition,
Singer had watched some of her performances, including on Dawson's Creek, and already
wanted to cast her in the role.[56] Morrison left the show when her character was written out in
the middle of season six.[57]
At the end of season three, House dismisses Chase, while Foreman and Cameron
resign.[58] After an episode in which he "borrows" a janitor whom he calls "Dr. Buffer" to assist
in a diagnosis, House must then recruit a new diagnostic team, for which he identifies seven
finalists. The producers originally planned to recruit two new full-time actors, with Foreman,
who returns in season four's fifth episode, bringing the team back up to three members;
ultimately, the decision was made to add three new regular cast members.[59](Along with
Epps, actors Morrison and Spencer remained in the cast, as their characters moved on to
new assignments.) During production, the show's writers dismissed a single candidate per
episode; as a result, said Jacobs, neither the producers nor the cast knew who was going to
be hired until the last minute.[60] In the season's ninth episode, House's new team is revealed:
Foreman is joined by doctors Lawrence Kutner (Kal Penn),[61] Chris Taub (Peter
Jacobson),[62] and Remy "Thirteen" Hadley (Olivia Wilde).[63] The candidates rejected by
House did not return to the show, with the exception of the last one cut: Amber Volakis (Anne
Dudek), who appeared for the rest of season four as Wilson's girlfriend,[64] and in seasons
five and eight as a hallucination of House's.[65] While Penn and Wilde had higher profiles than
the actors who played the other finalists, Jacobs said they went through an identical audition
process and stayed with the show based on the writers' interest in their characters.[60] Kutner
was written out of the series in episode 20 of season 5 after Penn took a position in
the Obama White House Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs.[66]
The contracts of Edelstein, Epps, and Leonard expired at the end of season seven. As a
cost-cutting measure, the three actors were asked to accept reduced salaries. Epps and
Leonard came to terms with the producers, but Edelstein did not, and in May 2011 it was
announced that she would not be returning for the show's eighth season.[67]

Filming style and locations[edit]

Frist Campus Center is the source of the aerial views of PPTH.

House is often filmed using the "walk and talk" filming technique,[9][20] popularized on
television by series such as St. Elsewhere, ER, Sports Night, and The West Wing.[68] The
technique involves the use of tracking shots, showing two or more characters walking
between locations while talking.[68] Executive producer Katie Jacobs said that the show
frequently uses the technique because "when you put a scene on the move, it's a ... way of
creating an urgency and an intensity".[9] She noted the significance of "the fact that Hugh
Laurie spans 6'2" and is taller than everybody else because it certainly makes those walk-
and-talks pop".[9] Nancy Franklin of The New Yorker described the show's "cool, Fantastic
Voyage–like special effects of patients' innards. I'll bet you didn't know that when your
kidneys shut down they sound like bubble wrap popping."[69] "Cameras and special effects
travel not only down the throat" of one patient, another critic observed, "but up her nose and
inside her brain and leg".[70] Instead of relying primarily on computer-generated imagery, the
interior body shots tend to involve miniature effects and motion control photography.[37] Many
of the sets are dressed with a variety of unscripted props that allow Laurie to physically
improvise, revealing aspects of his character and the story.[9]
The pilot episode was filmed in Vancouver; primary photography for all subsequent episodes
took place on the Fox lot in Century City, Los Angeles.[39] Bryan Singer chose the hospital
near his hometown, West Windsor, New Jersey, as the show's fictional setting.[15] Princeton
University's Frist Campus Center[a] is the source of the aerial views of Princeton–Plainsboro
Teaching Hospital seen in the series.[71] Some filming took place at the University of Southern
California for the season-three episode "Half-Wit", which guest-starred Dave
Matthews and Kurtwood Smith.[72] Part of House's sixth season was filmed at the
abandoned Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital, in Parsippany-Troy Hills, New Jersey, as
the fictional Mayfield Psychiatric Hospital.[73]

Opening sequence[edit]
The opening sequence begins with an MRI of a head with an image of the boxed "H" from
the logo (the international symbol for hospital) in the foreground. This is then overlaid with an
image of Dr. House's face taken from the pilot episode with the show's full title appearing
across his face. House's head then fades and the show's title is underlined and has the
"M.D." appear next to it, producing the entire logo of the show. This was the full extent of the
title sequence in the pilot episode.[74] All subsequent episodes contain a longer sequence
including the names of the six featured cast members and creator David Shore. Laurie's
name appears first, followed by the names of the five other featured cast members in
alphabetical order (Edelstein, Epps, Leonard, Morrison, and Spencer), then Shore.[75]
After the show's title fades, an aerial view of PPTH (actually various Princeton University
buildings, primarily Frist Campus Center)[71] is followed by a series of images accompanying
each member's name; most are shown next to, or superimposed upon, illustrations of human
anatomy. Laurie's name appears next to a model of a human head with the brain exposed;
Edelstein's name appears next to a visual effects–produced graphic of an angiogram of the
heart. Epps's name is superimposed upon a rib cage X-ray; Leonard's name appears on a
drawing of the two hemispheres of the brain.[75] The producers originally wanted to include an
image of a cane and an image of a Vicodin bottle, but Fox objected. Morrison's title card was
thus lacking an image; an aerial shot of rowers on Princeton University's Lake Carnegie was
finally agreed upon to accompany her name.[76] Spencer's name appears next to an old-
fashioned anatomical drawing of a spine. Between the presentations of Spencer and Shore's
names is a scene of House and his three original team members walking down one of the
hospital's hallways.[75] Jacobs said that most of the backgrounds have no specific meaning;
however, the final image—the text "created by David Shore" superimposed upon a human
neck—connotes that Shore is "the brain of the show".[76] The sequence was nominated for
a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Main Title Design in 2005.[77] The title sequence
continued to credit Spencer and Morrison, even when their characters were reduced to
background roles during seasons four and five, and Morrison even after hers was written out.
A new opening sequence was introduced in season seven to accommodate the changes in
the cast, removing Morrison's name and including Jacobson and Wilde's. It was updated in
season eight removing Edelstein's name and added Annable and Yi.[78][79]
The series' original opening theme, as heard in the United States, comprises instrumental
portions of "Teardrop" by Massive Attack.[80] The piece was used in part because of the
distinct tempo which roughly mimics the sound of a beating human heart.[81] An acoustic
version of "Teardrop", with guitar and vocals by José González, is heard as background
music during the season-four finale.[82]

Series overview[edit]
See also: List of House episodes
Anytime you try to summarize a show in one word, you sound like an ass. It's about truth.
—David Shore[83]

Gregory House, M.D., often construed as a misanthropic medical genius, heads a team
of diagnosticians at the Princeton–Plainsboro Teaching Hospital in New Jersey.[74] The series
is structured around a central plot with some supporting secondary stories and narratives
that cross over seasons. Most episodes revolve around the diagnosis of a primary patient
and start with a cold open set outside the hospital, showing events ending with the onset of
the patient's symptoms.[20] The typical episode follows the team in their attempts to diagnose
and treat the patient's illness,[80][84] which often fail until the patient's condition is
critical.[80] They usually treat only patients whom other doctors have not accurately
diagnosed,[71] and House routinely rejects cases that he does not find interesting.[20] The story
lines tend to focus on his unconventional medical theories and practices, and on the other
characters' reactions to them, rather than on the details of the treatments.[6]
The team employs the differential diagnosis method,[84] listing possible etiologies on
a whiteboard, then eliminating most of them, usually because one of the team (most often
House) provides logical reasons for ruling them out.[85] Typically, the patient
is misdiagnosed at least once and accordingly receives some treatments that are at best
useless;[84]this usually causes further complications, but—as the nature of the complications
often provides valuable new evidence—eventually these help them diagnose the patient
correctly.[20] House often tends to arrive at the correct diagnosis seemingly out of the blue,
often inspired by a passing remark made by another character.[84] Diagnoses range from
relatively common to very rare diseases.[86]
The team faces many diagnostic difficulties from patients' concealment of symptoms,
circumstances, or personal histories, so House frequently proclaims during the team's
deliberations, "The patient is lying", or mutters "Everybody lies"; such an assumption guides
House's decisions and diagnoses,[12] and makes the countermeasure of housebreaking a
routine procedure. Because many of his hypotheses are based on epiphanies or
controversial insights, he often has trouble obtaining permission for medical procedures he
considers necessary from his superior, who in all but the final season is hospital
administrator Dr. Lisa Cuddy.[87] This is especially the case when the proposed procedures
involve a high degree of risk or are ethically questionable. Frequent disagreements occur
between House and his team,[88] especially Dr. Allison Cameron, whose standards of medical
ethics are more conservative than those of the other characters.[80]
Like all of the hospital's doctors, House is required to treat patients in the facility's walk-in
clinic.[74][89] His grudging fulfillment of this duty, or his creative methods of avoiding it,
constitute a recurring subplot, which often serves as the series' comic relief.[80][90] During clinic
duty, House confounds patients with unwelcome observations into their personal lives,
eccentric prescriptions, and unorthodox treatments.[74] However, after seeming to be
inattentive to their complaints, he regularly impresses them with rapid and accurate
diagnoses.[18] Analogies with some of the simple cases in the clinic occasionally inspire
insights that help solve the team's case.[20][91]
It's not a show about addiction, but you can't throw something like this into the mix and not expect it to be
noticed and commented on. There have been references to the amount of his consumption increasing over
time. It's becoming less and less useful a tool for dealing with his pain, and it's something we're going to
continue to deal with, continue to explore.
—Shore on House's Vicodin addiction[92]

A significant plot element is House's use of Vicodin to manage pain, caused by

an infarction in the quadriceps muscle of his right leg five years before the show's first
season, which also forces him to use a cane.[93] In the first season, 11th episode "Detox",
House admits he is addicted to Vicodin, but says he does not have a problem because the
pills "let me do my job, and they take away my pain".[b] His addiction has led his colleagues,
Cuddy and Dr. James Wilson, to encourage him to go to drug rehabilitation several
times.[94] When he has no access to Vicodin or experiences unusually intense pain, he
occasionally self-medicates with other narcotic analgesics such
as morphine,[95]oxycodone,[96] and methadone.[97] House also frequently drinks liquor when he
is not on medical duty, and classifies himself as a "big drinker".[98] Toward the end of season
five, House begins to hallucinate; after eliminating other possible diagnoses, Wilson and he
determine that his Vicodin addiction is the most likely cause.[99] House goes into denial about
this for a brief time, but at the close of the season finale, he commits himself to Mayfield
Psychiatric Hospital.[100] In the following season's debut episode, House leaves Mayfield with
his addiction under control.[101] However, about a year and a half later, in season seven's 15th
episode, "Bombshells", House reacts to the news that Cuddy possibly has kidney cancer by
taking Vicodin,[102] and his addiction recurs.[103]

Cast and characters[edit]

Main article: List of House characters

Name Occupation
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Hugh Infectious Disease
Gregory Main
Laurie Specialist,
Nephrologist, Head of
Department of
Diagnostic Medicine

Dr. Lisa Lisa Endocrinologist, Dean

Cuddy Edelstein of Medicine

Dr. Robert
Head of Department of
James Sean Main
Wilson Leonard

Neurologist, Diagnostic
Dr. Eric Omar
Medicine, Dean of Main
Foreman Epps

Surgeon, Intensivist,
Dr. Cardiologist, Head of
Robert Department of Main
Chase Diagnostic Medicine
(series finale)

Jennifer Immunologist,
Allison Main Guest
Morrison Diagnostic Medicine

Dr. Chris Peter Plastic Surgeon,

Taub Jacobson Diagnostic Medicine

Dr. Remy
"Thirteen" Diagnostic Medicine Main Recurring

Lawrence Kal Penn Diagnostic Medicine Main Guest

Amber Double-Ph.D. in
Martha Main Guest
Tamblyn Applied Mathematics
and Art

Dr. Prison clinic

Jessica physician,[105] Diagnostic Main
Adams Medicine

Dr. Chi Charlyne Neurologist, Diagnostic

Park Yi Medicine

Main characters[edit]

The original lead characters of House, M.D.: Wilson, Cuddy, Chase, House, Cameron, and Foreman

Throughout House's run, six of the main actors have received star billing. All of them play
doctors who work at the fictional Princeton–Plainsboro Teaching Hospital in New
Jersey.[74] Dr. Gregory House (Hugh Laurie), the title character, heads the Department of
Diagnostic Medicine.[106] House describes himself as "a board-certified diagnostician with a
double specialty of infectious disease and nephrology".[107] Dr. James Wilson (Robert Sean
Leonard), House's one true friend, is the head of the Department of Oncology.[108] Dr. Lisa
Cuddy (Lisa Edelstein), an endocrinologist,[109] is House's boss, as she is the hospital's dean
of medicine and chief administrator.[110]House has a complex relationship with Cuddy, and
their interactions often involve a high degree of innuendo and sexual tension.[111] In the sixth
episode of season five, "Joy", they kiss for the first time.[112] Their physical relationship does
not progress any further during the fifth season; in the finale of season five, House believes
he and Cuddy had sex, but this is a hallucination brought on by House's Vicodin
addiction.[100] In the finale of season six, Cuddy tells House she loves him. They kiss and
agree to try being a couple.[113] Throughout season seven, House and Cuddy try to make their
relationship work. However, in the finale of season seven, House drives his car into Cuddy's
living room in anger and their relationship effectively ends.
House's original team of diagnosticians consists of Dr. Eric Foreman (Omar Epps),
a neurologist; Dr. Robert Chase (Jesse Spencer), an intensivist; and Dr. Allison Cameron
(Jennifer Morrison), an immunologist.[110] In the season-three episode "Family", Foreman
announces his resignation, telling House, "I don't want to turn into you".[c] During the season
finale, House tells Chase that he has either learned everything he can, or nothing at all, and
dismisses him from the team. Cameron, who has developed an affection for Chase, soon
resigns.[58] This leaves House without a team for the season-four premiere.[114]
Under orders from Cuddy to recruit a new team, House considers 40 doctors.[98] Season
four's early episodes focus on his selection process, structured as a reality TV–style
elimination contest[98] (Jacobs referred to it as a "version of Survivor").[115] House assigns each
applicant a number between one and 40, and pares them down to seven finalists.[116] He
assesses their performance in diagnostic cases, assisted by Foreman, who returns to the
department after his dismissal from another hospital for House-like behavior.[116][117][118] While
Foreman's return means only two slots are open, House tricks Cuddy into allowing him to
hire three new assistants.[119]He ultimately selects Dr. Chris Taub (Peter Jacobson), a
former plastic surgeon; Dr. Lawrence Kutner (Kal Penn), a sports medicine specialist; and
Dr. Remy "Thirteen" Hadley (Olivia Wilde), an internist (nicknamed for her number in the
elimination contest).[119][120] In the season finale, Thirteen discovers she has, as she had long
dreaded, inherited Huntington's disease from her mother, which is incurable.[82]
In the 11th episode of season five, "Joy to the World", Foreman and Thirteen engage in a
passionate kiss.[28] Thirteen is at first reluctant to start a relationship with Foreman, but the
two eventually begin dating and are still together at the end of the season.[100] They break up
early in season six. In the 20th episode of season five, "Simple Explanation", Kutner is found
dead in his apartment with a gunshot wound to the head. Because Kutner left no note,
House suspects foul play, though the death is accepted by the other characters as a
In the seventh episode of season two, "Hunting", Cameron and Chase have a one-night
stand.[122] In the middle of season three, they initiate a sexual relationship that Cameron
insists be casual;[109] when Chase declares that he "wants more", Cameron ends the
affair.[123] By the end of the season, however, Cameron recognizes that she has romantic
feelings for Chase and they begin a serious relationship.[58] After leaving the diagnostic team,
they assume different roles at the PPTH, Cameron as a senior attending physician in
the emergency room[d] and Chase as a surgeon.[98] They become engaged in the season-five
episode "Saviors" (the episode immediately following Kutner's suicide)[65] and are married in
the season finale.[124] When Chase rejoins House's team in season six, Cameron leaves her
husband and the hospital in "Teamwork", the season's eighth episode.[125] She returns as a
guest character in "Lockdown", nine episodes later.[126]
Early in season seven, Thirteen takes an unexplained leave of absence. Cuddy orders
House to fill her position with another woman,[127] but eventually makes the choice for him:
medical student Dr. Martha M. Masters (Amber Tamblyn), who makes her first appearance in
the season's sixth episode.[128] Thirteen returns in "The Dig"—the season's 18th episode and
the show's 150th—in which the reason for her absence is revealed: she was in prison for six
months for having helped euthanize her brother, who was suffering from advanced
Huntington's.[129] While Jacobson and Wilde play central characters (as did Penn), they did
not receive star billing until season seven. They were credited as "Also Starring", with their
names appearing after the opening sequence.[130] In season seven, Jacobson and Wilde
received star billing; new regular cast member Tamblyn did not.[131]

Recurring characters[edit]
The first six seasons of House each included one or more recurring featured characters, who
appear in multiple-episode story arcs.[132] In season one, Edward Vogler (Chi McBride), the
billionaire owner of a pharmaceutical company, appears in five episodes.[133] He donates
US$100 million to the PPTH in return for chairing its board.[134] Vogler represented an attempt
to introduce a villain, a move urged by Fox. By the time the Vogler episodes began to air, the
show had become a hit and the character was soon dropped.[133] Shore said the concept of a
villainous boss was not really viable for the series: "It's called House. The audience knows
he'll never get fired."[12]
Stacy Warner (Sela Ward), House's ex-girlfriend,[135] appears in the final two episodes of the
first season, and seven episodes of season two.[12] She wants House to treat her husband,
Mark Warner (Currie Graham), whom House diagnoses with acute intermittent porphyria in
the season-one finale.[135] Stacy and House grow close again, but House eventually tells
Stacy to go back to Mark, which devastates her.[136]
Michael Tritter (David Morse), a police detective, appears in several season-three episodes.
He tries to extract an apology from House, who left Tritter in an examination room with a
thermometer in his rectum.[137] After House refuses to apologize, Tritter brings him up on
charges of unprescribed narcotics possession and forces him to attend rehabilitation. When
the case reaches court, Cuddy perjures herself for House and the case is dismissed. The
judge reprimands Tritter for pursuing House to excess, and tells House that she thinks he
"has better friends than he deserves", referring to Cuddy's 11th-hour testimony on his behalf.
House is sentenced to one night in jail for contempt of court and finishes his rehabilitation
under the influence of Vicodin.[94]
The candidates for House's new diagnostics team are season four's primary recurring
characters.[138] In addition to the three who are chosen, the other four finalists are Jeffrey
Cole (Edi Gathegi); Travis Brennan (Andy Comeau), an epidemiologist;[138] Henry
Dobson (Carmen Argenziano), a former medical school admissions officer;[98] and Amber
"Cut-throat Bitch" Volakis (Anne Dudek), an interventional radiologist.[120] Each of the four
departs the show after elimination, except for Volakis, who appears throughout the season,
having started a relationship with Wilson.[139][140] In the two-part season finale, Volakis
attempts to shepherd a drunken House home when Wilson is unavailable. They are involved
in a bus crash, which leads to her death.[82][141] She reappears late in season five among the
hallucinations House suffers.[65]
Private investigator Lucas Douglas (Michael Weston), a character inspired in part by Shore's
love of The Rockford Files, appears in three episodes of season five.[142][143] House initially
hires Douglas to spy on Wilson, who has ended their friendship after Volakis's death (the
friendship is subsequently rekindled). House later pays Douglas to look into the private lives
of his team members and Cuddy.[144] If the character had been accepted by the audience,
plans existed to feature him as the lead in a spin-off show.[145][146] In September 2008, Shore
spoke to Entertainment Weekly about his vision for the character: "I don't want to do just
another medical show. What does excite me in terms of writing is the choices people make
and the nature of right and wrong ... and a private investigator can approach that question
much more readily than a doctor can."[147] There was no show featuring Douglas on the fall
2009 network television schedule.[148] He returns to House in season six as Cuddy's
boyfriend.[149] They are briefly engaged until Cuddy breaks it off, realizing that she is in love
with House.[150]

Main article: List of House episodes

Season Episodes Originally aired Ratings

U.S. viewers
First aired Last aired Rank

1 22 November 16, 2004 May 24, 2005 13.3 24[151]

2 24 September 13, 2005 May 23, 2006 17.3 10[152]

3 24 September 5, 2006 May 29, 2007 19.4 7[153]

4 16 September 25, 2007 May 19, 2008 17.6 7[154]

5 24 September 16, 2008 May 11, 2009 13.5 16[155]

6 21 September 21, 2009 May 17, 2010 12.8 22[156]

7 23 September 20, 2010 May 23, 2011 10.3 42[157]

8 22 October 3, 2011 May 21, 2012 8.7 58[158]

Critical reception[edit]
House received largely positive reviews on its debut;[159] the series was considered a bright
spot amid Fox's schedule, which at the time was largely filled with reality shows.[160]Season
one holds a Metacritic score of 75 out of 100, based on 30 reviews, indicating "generally
favorable" reviews.[161] Matt Roush of TV Guide said that the program was an "uncommon
cure for the common medical drama".[162] New York Daily News critic David Bianculli
applauded the "high caliber of acting and script".[70] The Onion's "A.V. Club" approvingly
described it as the "nastiest" black comedy from FOX since 1996's short-lived Profit.[163] New
York's John Leonard called the series "medical TV at its most satisfying and
basic",[164] while The Boston Globe's Matthew Gilbert appreciated that the show did not
attempt to hide the flaws of the characters to assuage viewers' fears about
"HMO factories".[165] Variety's Brian Lowry, less impressed, wrote that the show relied on "by-
the-numbers storytelling, albeit in a glossy package".[166] Tim Goodman of the San Francisco
Chronicle described it as "mediocre" and unoriginal.[167]
Lisa Edelstein's performance as Cuddy was well received by critics.

General critical reaction to the character of Gregory House was particularly

positive.[159][168] Tom Shales of The Washington Post called him "the most electrifying new
main character to hit television in years".[169] The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Rob Owen found
him "fascinatingly unsympathetic".[170] Critics have compared House to fictional
detectives Nero Wolfe,[171] Hercule Poirot, and Adrian Monk,[172] and to Perry Cox, a
cantankerous doctor on the television show Scrubs.[160][170] One book-length study of the
series finds a powerful kinship between House and another famous TV doctor, Hawkeye
Pierce of M*A*S*H.[173] Laurie's performance in the role has been widely
praised.[80][171][174] The San Francisco Chronicle's Goodman called him "a wonder to behold"
and "about the only reason to watch House".[167] Gabrielle Donnelly of the Daily Mail said that
because of Laurie's complex personality, he was "perfectly cast" in the title role.[48]
Critics have also reacted positively to the show's original supporting cast, which the Post's
Shales called a "first-rate ensemble".[169] Leonard's portrayal of Dr. Wilson has been
considered Emmy Award worthy by critics with TV Guide, Entertainment Weekly, and USA
Today.[175][176]Bianculli of the Daily News was happy to see Edelstein "finally given a
deservedly meaty co-starring role".[70] Freelance critic Daniel Fienberg was disappointed that
Leonard and Edelstein have not received more recognition for their performances.[177]
Reaction to the major shifts of season four was mixed. "With the new crew in
place House takes on a slightly more energized feel", wrote Todd Douglass Jr. of DVD Talk.
"And the set up for the fifth season is quite brilliant."[178] The Star-Ledger's Alan Sepinwall
wrote, "The extended, enormous job audition gave the writers a chance to reinvigorate the
show and fully embrace Laurie's comic genius".[132] Mary McNamara of the Los Angeles
Times, on the other hand, took issue with the developments: "the cast just kept getting
bigger, the stories more scattered and uneven until you had a bunch of great actors forced to
stand around watching Hugh Laurie hold the show together by the sheer force of his
will".[179] USA Today's Robert Bianco cheered the season finale: "Talk about saving the best
for last. With two fabulous, heartbreaking hours ... the writers rescued a season that had
seemed diffuse, overcrowded and perhaps too ambitious for its own good."[176]
Season five of House was met with a more positive response in comparison to the previous
season. It holds a Metacritic score of 77 out of 100, based on ten reviews, indicating
"generally favorable reviews".[180] It also holds a 100% approval rating on aggregate review
website Rotten Tomatoes, with an average score of 8.1 based on nine collected
reviews.[181] USA Today praised Laurie's performance and the repercussions of the season-
four finale, stating "a carry-over from last season's brilliant finale, House is firmly in the
forefront. And when you have an actor of Hugh Laurie's range, depth and charisma, putting
him center-stage makes perfect sense, particularly when you've written a story that explores
the character and his primary relationships in a way that seems integral to the
series".[182] The New York Daily News noted that "The show pays more attention to
relationships we care about, hints at a sensible number of new ones that show some
promise, and thus doesn't rely on obscure medical mysteries to carry the whole dramatic
burden", and noted that "the prognosis for this season could be better than last season
seemed to foreshadow".[183] Mary McNamara of the Los Angeles Times highlighted the
performances of the cast, especially Michael Weston as detective Lucas Douglas, calling him
a "delightful addition". She concluded, "So different is the premiere that the
savvy House (and Fox) viewer may expect the revelation that it was all a fever dream. That
does not seem to be the case, and one assumes that Laurie and the writers will be bringing a
different version of their now-iconic character back to Princeton. Not too different, of course,
but different enough."[179] Conversely, The Chicago Tribune's Maureen Ryan disliked
Weston's character, calling him "An unwelcome distraction ... an irritating pipsqueak".[184] She
continued saying "House used to be one of the best shows on TV, but it's gone seriously off
the rails". The Sunday Times felt that the show had "lost its sense of humour".[185] The focus
on Thirteen and her eventual involvement with Foreman also came under particular
At the end of the show's run, Steven Tong of Entertainment Weekly wrote that "House had,
in its final seasons, become a rather sentimental show".[187] In New York Magazine's blog
'Vulture', Margaret Lyons wrote, "More than a hospital drama or a character piece or
anything else, House is a complex meditation on misery." But, continued Lyons, there is a
line between "enlightened cynicism" and "misery-entropy", and "as the show wore on, its
dramatic flare dimmed while its agony flare burned ever brighter."[188] Alan Sepinwall wrote,
"The repetition and muck of [the] middle seasons ultimately severed whatever emotional
connection I had to House's personal struggles."[29]
The show placed #62 on Entertainment Weekly's "New TV Classics" list.[189] The show was
declared the second-highest-rated show for the first ten years of Pro (2002–
Critics' top ten lists[edit]
After its first five seasons, House was included in various critics' top-ten lists; these are listed
below in order of rank.
hide2005[191] hide2006[192] hide2007[193] hid
   
1. 2 Newsday 1. 6 Newsday 1. 2 Los Angeles Times
2. 3 PopMatters  – Chicago Tribune[e] 2. 2 Chicago Sun-Times 
3. 3 USA Today 3. 5 The Boston Globe
4. 4 The New York Times 4. 6 Newsday
5. 7 The Boston Globe 5. 7 The Star-Ledger
 – Chicago Tribune[e] 6. 7 The New York Times
 – Chicago Tribune[e]

U.S. television ratings[edit]

In its first season, House ranked twenty-fourth among all television series and was the ninth-
most popular primetime program among women.[196] Aided by a lead-in from the widely
popular American Idol,[197] the following three seasons of the program each ranked in the top
ten among all viewers. House reached its peak Nielsen ratings in its third season, attracting
an average of 19.4 million viewers per episode.[198] According to Jacobs, the production team
was surprised that the show garnered such a large audience.[199]In its fifth season, the show
attracted 12.0 million viewers per episode and slipped to nineteenth place overall. It
remained Fox's most popular show other than American Idol.[200]
The most-watched episode of House is the season four episode "Frozen",[201] which aired
after Super Bowl XLII.[202][203] It attracted slightly more than 29 million viewers.[204]House ranked
third for the week, equaling the rating of American Idol and surpassed only by the Super
Bowl itself and the post-game show.[205] Below is a table of House's seasonal rankings in the
U.S. television market, based on average total viewers per episode. Each U.S. network
television season starts in September and ends in late May, which coincides with the
completion of May sweeps.

House season rankings in the U.S. television market

Timeslot Season Season TV Viewers

Season Episodes Rank
(ET) premiere finale season (millions)

Tuesday November May 24, 2004–

1 22 #24 13.34[206]
9/8c 16, 2004 2005 05

Tuesday September May 23, 2005–

2 24 #10 17.35[207]
9/8c 13, 2005 2006 06

8/7c (2006)
September May 29, 2006–
3 24 Tuesday #5 19.95[208]
5, 2006 2007 07
9/8c (2006–

9/8c (2007–
September May 19, 2007–
4 16 08) #7 17.64[209]
25, 2007 2008 08
Monday 9/8c

8/7c (2008) September May 11, 2008–
5 24 #16 13.62[210]
Monday 8/7c 16, 2008 2009 09

September May 17, 2009–

6 22 Monday 8/7c #22 12.76[211]
21, 2009 2010 10
September May 23, 2010–
7 23 Monday 8/7c #42 10.32[212]
20, 2010 2011 11

Monday 9/8c
Monday 8/7c
(January– October 3, May 21, 2011–
8 22 #58 8.69[214]
March 2012) 2011 2012 12
Monday 9/8c

Awards and honors[edit]

Main article: List of accolades received by House
House has redefined the medical television show. No longer a world where an idealized doctor has all the
answers or a hospital where gurneys race down the hallways, House's focus is on the pharmacological—
and the intellectual demands of being a doctor. The trial-and-error of new medicine skillfully expands the
show beyond the format of a classic procedural, and at the show's heart, a brilliant but flawed physician is
doling out the prescriptions—a fitting symbol for modern medicine.
—Judges of the American Film Institute on the show's 2005 win[215]

House has received many awards and award nominations.

In 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 Laurie was nominated for an Emmy
Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series.[216] The Emmy board also
nominated House for Outstanding Drama Series in 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009, but the
show never won the award.[217] For the season one episode "Three Stories", David Shore
won a writing Emmy in 2005[77][218] and the Humanitas Prize in 2006.[219] Director Greg
Yaitanes received the 2008 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing for a Drama
Series, for directing "House's Head", the first part of season four's two-episode finale.[220]
The show has been nominated for six Golden Globe Awards and received two. Hugh Laurie
has been nominated six times for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Television Series
Drama; he won in 2006[221][222] and again in 2007.[223][224] In 2008 the series received its first
nomination for the Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series – Drama.[225] House was
nominated for best dramatic series again the following year, but did not win in the
The show received a 2005 Peabody Award for what the Peabody board called an
"unorthodox lead character—a misanthropic diagnostician" and for "cases fit for a medical
Sherlock Holmes", which helped make House "the most distinctive new doctor drama in a
decade".[227] The American Film Institute (AFI), included House in its 2005 list of 10 Television
Programs of the Year.[215]
In 2011, House won four People's Choice Awards: favorite TV drama; favorite dramatic actor
and actress for Laurie and Edelstein; and favorite TV doctor.[228]
Laurie won the Screen Actors Guild's award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in
a Drama Series in both 2007 and 2009.[229] Writer Lawrence Kaplow won a Writers Guild of
America Award in 2006 for the season two episode "Autopsy".[230] In 2007, the show won
a Creative Arts Emmy Award for prosthetic makeup.[231]
In 2005, Laurie appeared on the cover of TV Guide as "TV's Sexiest Man".[196] In 2008,
Gregory House was voted second-sexiest television doctor ever, behind ER's Doug
Ross (George Clooney).[48][232]

In 2008, House was distributed in a total of 66 countries. With an audience of over 81.8
million worldwide, it was the most watched television show on the globe and far surpassed
the viewership figures of the leading TV dramas the previous two years (CSI and CSI:
Miami).[233][234] The following year, it placed second in the world after CSI.[235]
House episodes premiered on Fox in the United States and Global in Canada, which have
identical schedules.[236] The show was the third-most popular on Canadian television in
2008.[237] That same year, House was the top-rated television program in Germany,[238] the
number 2 show in Italy,[239] and number 3 in the Czech Republic.[240] The series is also very
popular in France,[241] Spain,[242] Sweden, and the Netherlands.[243] In the United Kingdom, the
first four seasons were broadcast on Five. Sky1 acquired first-run rights beginning with
season five.[244] The original, English-language version of the show aired in Australia
on Network Ten,[245] in New Zealand on TV3,[246] and in Ireland on 3e, TV3's cable channel.[247]
Episodes of the show are also available online for download: Amazon Video on
Demand, iTunes Store and the Zune Marketplace offer episodes from all of seasons 1
through 8. In 2007, NBCUniversal (the show's distributor) and Apple Inc. (iTunes' owner) had
a disagreement that temporarily kept the fourth season off iTunes.[248] In a statement to the
press, Apple claimed that NBCUniversal wanted to drive up the per-episode price to
$4.99.[249] In September 2008, it was reported that the issue between Apple and NBC had
been resolved.[250] Episodes can now also be purchased in HD on iTunes for $2.99.[251] Recent
episodes are available in streaming video on Fox's official House webpage[252]and all 8
seasons were available on Netflix until April 2017.[253]
Seasons of the show and box sets were released on DVD encoded for regions 1, 2 and
4.[254] Special features, such as anamorphic widescreen (the original release is letterboxed),
depend on region.[255][256][257]

For a charity auction, T-shirts bearing the phrase "Everybody Lies" were sold for a limited
time starting on April 23, 2007, on Proceeds from sales of those
shirts and others with the phrase "Normal's Overrated" went to the National Alliance on
Mental Illness (NAMI).[258][259] House cast and crew members also regularly attended
fundraisers for NAMI and have featured in ads for the organization that appeared
in Seventeen and Rolling Stone. The show's efforts raised hundreds of thousands of dollars
for the charity. Jacobs said that through their association with NAMI, they hoped to take
"some of the stigma off that illness".[260]
Nettwerk released the House M.D. Original Television Soundtrack album on September 18,
2007.[261] The soundtrack includes full length versions of songs featured in House and
previously unreleased songs especially recorded for the series.[262] In 2008, the Spanish
game company Exelweiss designed a cellphone game for the show, which was released in
both Spanish and English versions.[263]
In June 2009, Legacy Interactive announced a licensing agreement with Universal Pictures
Digital Platforms Group (UPDPG) to develop a video game based on the series, in which
players step into the roles of House's diagnostic team to deal with five unusual medical
cases.[264] The game, released in May 2010, included a minigame calling upon the player to
"navigat[e] a restaurant-placemat-style maze, in which a giant sandwich must avoid hungry
physicians on its way to Dr. House's office." It received an F from The A.V. Club;[265] however,
Legacy updated the game by August 2010.[265]

See also[edit]

 House, M.D. portal

 Television in the United States portal

 2000s portal

 List of diagnoses from House

 ^ McCosh Health Center, Princeton University's infirmary, is situated adjacent to Frist, and can be
seen in some shots.[266]
 ^ The line is part of an exchange at the end of the episode between House and Wilson. They are

discussing how House has changed since the infarction in his leg. Wilson asks, "And everything's
the leg, nothing's the pills, they haven't done a thing to you?" House responds, "They let me do
my job, and they take away my pain."[267]
 ^ Foreman further explains his resignation to House: "You'll save more people than I will, but I'll

settle for killing less. Consider this my two weeks notice."[268]

 ^ According to the description in Fox's official House website, "Cameron heads up Emergency

 ^
The Chicago Tribune, 2008 Chicago Sun-Times, and 2009 New York Times lists are not
ranked—they each consist of ten shows in alphabetical order.

1. ^ "House, M.D." Netflix. Retrieved February 6, 2016.
2. ^ Ausiello, Michael (April 6, 2010). "Exclusive: 'House' spins off Nurse
Jeffrey!". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved March 7, 2018.
3. ^ Barraclough, Leo (March 30, 2016). "'House' Set for Russian Remake with Aleksei
Serebryakov in Hugh Laurie Role". Variety. Retrieved March 7, 2018.
4. ^ Eurodata TV Worldwide, Agence France Presse (June 12, 2009). "'House' is the world's
most popular TV show". Archived from the original on April 1, 2012. Retrieved March
21, 2012.
5. ^ Seidman, Robert (February 8, 2012). "Current Season to Be The Last for 'House'". TV by
the Numbers. Archived from the original on February 10, 2012. Retrieved February

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