'House's' Hugh Laurie on Lisa Edelstein's departure, show's premature swan song
"Nobody has pounded the table and said, 'Dammit, this is the last, and I'll see you all in court!'" he tells Zap2it of the FOX series, which begins its eighth season on Monday, Oct. 3. "We're all enjoying what we're doing and proud of it. I think that's the main thing. As long as ... it's a worthy endeavor, that's its own reward. I have a feeling that we'll all know come February or so, whether this is something that we should be going on with or not."
Of course, the British-born Laurie has become an old hand in the ways of U.S. network TV, and he readily admits that the decision may ultimately be out of the hands of the show's creative team.
"The network and the studio ... are doing their own sums all the time and they may say, 'Do you mind making it in a photo booth now?,' because dramas are expensive and times are hard and belts are tight," Laurie says. "We have put off addressing the subject in a very sober way because there are just so many unknowables. Right now, we're open-ended. I think anything is possible."
Many hardcore "House" fans have been worried about the show's future in the wake of the departure last season of core cast member Lisa Edelstein, who played the boss and on-again, off-again love interest of Laurie's cranky but brilliant character, Dr. Gregory House. The actress subsequently signed on for a multi-episode arc on CBS's hit drama "The Good Wife."
"[Lisa's departure] came out of left field in my world, too," Laurie says. "I don't know who was privy to what at what time, but it was a great shock to me and everyone obviously misses her very greatly. Not only was she a great asset to the show as a performer, but we also just miss her company, because she is an absolute hoot to have around. She has been snapped up by another show and damn right, they'd be nuts not to. I hope she is having a great time, and I am sure she is."
The show's future also may rely somewhat on the actor's renewed interest in exploring the musical side of his career. His new blues CD, "Let Them Talk," which drops on Tuesday, Sept. 6, has received rave reviews and a "Great Performances" PBS special based on that album premieres on Sept. 30 in most U.S. markets.
"I am hooked on the idea of making music with others and recording with musicians of the most amazing character that I have been lucky enough to be with," he says. "I welcome any chance I get to continue that and sort of inch gradually closer to being worthy of it, if you know what I mean. It was a glorious thing and I would be happy to do that more and more as time goes by."