'House' EPs David Shore & Katie Jacobs Talk Time Slot, Cases, Cam & Chase

Hughlaurie With the American economy in serious trouble and the Senate's vote on the stimulus plan coming up Tuesday, President Obama will be the main event in television tonight, knocking House off the schedule for his first primetime news conference as our Commander in Chief. But for those who can't handle the week hiatus from Princeton Plainsboro, I've got a little House fix. The show's fearless leaders, executive producers David Shore and Katie Jacobs took a little time to answer the questions of KTV reporter, Marisa Roffman. And though they were quite coy talking about what's to come, I get the feeling -- from this interview and what I've been hearing elsewhere -- that there are some major developments in store as we move toward the end of the season... moves that could maybe even make Cameron and Chase fans happy again.     

You've just celebrated the 100 episode mark. Does it feel like a lifetime ago that you first started the show?
David Shore: It actually doesn't seem like forever. It seems like it was just last week that we did the pilot.
Katie Jacobs: It does! Once you go in, and you're picked up, you're kind of like this [gestures wildly] the whole time.
DS: Continuously. We've been continuously going, what next? what next?, for five years. [And then] you kind of sit back and go, oh my God, 100 episodes. It's gone by fast.

The show has such a solid following that the audience is finding it wherever it is, as evidenced by the most recent move to Monday nights.
DS: Unfortunately, that's true.
KJ: That [time slot] is not our first choice.
DS: I'd rather be at nine o'clock: larger audience, more adult. But it's not our call, and thank goodness we're doing okay.
KJ: We just focus on making a good show, and hopefully the audience will stick with us.

House has some of the most fascinating medical cases on TV. What's coming up?
DS: Thank you for asking about that, rather than who is sleeping with who on the show. You know what? I love our cases. The cases allow us to explore who we are as people and who House is as a person and who the team is as people, literally.
We look for cases that allow us to say something about House and allow House to do something that says something about him. If we don't have that, we don't have an episode. And we have some interesting cases coming up where patients have brain injuries that allow arguably their real self to come out, and [the team has to ask] who are we really? [Laughs] It's boring, you're right, ask me who's sleeping with who!

Yes, the characters' love lives, I have to at least ask...
KJ: What would you want to see?

I'm much more interested in getting your take on them.
DS: We are going to continue doing what we've always done which is [to take] one step forward, two steps back or two steps forward, one step back.

With all the couples?
DS: With all the couples. It's all about exploring. There's a theme to the episodes. One of the things we try and do on this show, whether you're talking about the medical cases -- which again, thank you for asking about them -- or the relationships, is explore humanity... what makes us human, how we react to situations, the nature of right and wrong in relationships and in medical treatment. And when things go wrong, what do we do and how do we rise above it? That's a very vague answer, but that really is how we try and do it. What situations can we throw them in to explore some aspects of our humanity and House's pursuit of happiness? And how bad can he screw that up?

There has been a lot of concern about the lack of Chase and Cameron airtime since the new team showed up. What do you want to say their fans?
KJ: You know, all I can say is they matter to us deeply. I know a lot of the fans have thought that maybe they had become irrelevant and they haven't. To us, they really do belong in the fabric of the show and as we go on, they will continue to be an important part of the fabric of the show.
DS: These interviews are a constant battle of me wanting my audience to be completely surprised by everything that we have planned and at the same time to satisfy their understandable curiosity. And thank God they have a curiosity. As I've said before, although our use of [Cameron and Chase] has been limited, I've been happy with what we have done with them and would like to find ways to use more of them. We are continuing to pursue that.
KJ: But it's going to come out of what is organic to the story. They had a three year fellowship, and how long can you really work beside House without quitting or getting fired or resigning or killing him? [Their new positions] felt like an organic move. We weren't trying to pull any punches.
DS: We were just trying to be true to our world.
KJ: True to who House is and what that meant. And we're going to continue and try to be true to that experience and where that might go.