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Is the Roof on Fire? Because Fox is Letting "House" Burn.

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Industry | February 9, 2012 |

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Industry | February 9, 2012 |

Having killed, divorced, or driven off every single female character to appear as a regular in any capacity, “House” finally ran out of steam and will be cancelled after this season. I’m putting it that way just to be churlish, but had you ever noticed that every original male character has been on the show start to finish, but every female character that they either started with or picked up along the way has left?

It’s not really news that “House” was nearing the end. Ratings have been slipping, and the show had run out ideas about five seasons ago. The jumping ship of Cuddy and the subsequent sending of House to prison really just broke the suspension of disbelief. It’s a shame too, that with the level of acting on the show, and the kernel of an original idea, that they never managed to break out of the going-through-the-motions procedural. There were moments of brilliance: the two hour season premier of a couple years ago, of House checking himself into a mental hospital, was one of the better stand alone episodes of television of the last decade. But despite those flashes, they just never let the character really evolve.

Mrs. SLW and I happened to stumble across Hugh Laurie on PBS on a Saturday night (because we are just that bourgeois), and were captivated for a few minutes until we realized that we were actually just bored. See, Saturday nights are terrible on PBS, they always have some off the wall music, which is fine if you have musical taste with breadth and depth. But if you think music peaked with the Gin Blossoms, things like jazz and opera are just mystifying, it must feel the way a guy without the front of his tongue feels about trying to understand why chocolate is appealing.

In any case, Hugh Laurie was down in Louisiana playing blues with various famous local musicians. We at first thought it was strange because Laurie was speaking with a right thick English accent, which is of course jarring after seeing him for years on “House.” Then we realized that it wasn’t the accent that was throwing us, it was the fact that he wasn’t being a dick, that his eyes weren’t shining with pure contrary prickishness.

That emphasizes just how totally Hugh Laurie was able to inhabit that character, and it’s a testament to the originality and impact of the character, even if he evolved little over the course of the series.

No word yet, but I assume they’re going to fill the slot by either bring back “Firefly” or “Arrested Development.”

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Steven Lloyd Wilson is the sci-fi and history editor. You can email him here or follow him on Twitter.