Another reason has emerged for Fox’s recent announcement that “House” will end its run at the conclusion of this season: Hugh Laurie is tired of working on the show.
The actor — who plays the title character and, in many ways, carries the whole show — said in a recent interview that he has no appetite to continue.
It really came down to the long hours the show requires. And, after eight seasons, he’s ready for a break, Laurie said in a newspaper interview published in London that was picked up by the New York Post here.
“There are very few things in life that are so deliciously enjoyable that you want to do them for 16 hours a day, every day — including sex and fine dining,” the British-born actor said in the interview, according to the Post’s account.
“We are on such a conveyer belt, and it can get overwhelming. . . . It’s not the playing the character over and over again” that was a problem, he said.
“It’s the coming to work over and over again. You know, we have done 170 episodes now, I think. That’s about 50-60 feature films-worth. . . . You want a break, you really do.”
When we read this story, we were of two minds. One was: It’s too bad for all the people who work on the show, who depend upon it for their livelihoods, that Laurie, the guy on whom the whole show depends, wants to quit. On the other hand, that’s his right because he has borne the lion’s share of responsibility for ensuring that the show succeeded or failed. So, in many ways, it’s his decision to make.
Of course, such decisions also have a lot to do with ratings. In its most recent outing — last Monday night (Feb. 6) — “House” averaged just 7.09 million viewers, about where it’s been all season. And that’s probably not enough for an aging show to get renewed anyway.
We’ll miss “House,” though, because Laurie really did create one of the most indelible characters in the history of television. Alas.