Hello all, the following is the result of a little Q&A with David Shore, creator of the hit series House. Tonight’s episode is the 150th episode of House, and features the return of Olivia Wilde as Thirteen. Without any further ado, I’m going to post the full transcript and feel free to peruse at your leisure:
R. Seeton, TheDeadbolt.com: Can you talk about the decision to have Thirteen in prison and why it made sense to go that route?
D. Shore: Ultimately, it’s working backwards, and so I obviously don’t want to give anythingaway to the audience before they watch the episode, but it was all about the reason she was in prison more than the fact that she was in prison. You’ve seen the episode, I understand, and there’s obviously a very emotional reason behind it, and a very personal reason behind it. So we had a wonderful combination dramatically of an ultimately personal reason and a very provocative start to the episode and then a lovely long mystery, so that was it.
We bandied around a lot about ideas, which I don’t want to mention because viewers may well think, “Oh, we should have gone with that” and I’d rather not throw that at them. But, it made a lot of sense. It told us something about her. It connected us deeper to her, and it was a lovely little mystery for the episode.
R. Seeton: Well now that you’re at the 150th episode, has the show exceeded your expectations as compared to what you thought before it went to air in Season One?
D. Shore: In every single way. I know this sounds ridiculous, but I wasn’t even imagining 150 episodes. It’s not like I thought, “Could it go 150 episodes? Maybe, no—” or even it’s not even like I thought, could it go 150 episodes and I said no. It didn’t even occur to me, which is so bizarre.
The whole thing has just been a wonderful, exciting ride to be able to take this character and explore him for 150 episodes, 151 episodes, 152 episodes. It’s just been amazing. At the beginning, I just didn’t think there were that many medical maladies we could deal with. I was hoping we’d get a bit of a niche audience. I was hoping this character would touch base with enough weirdoes out there, but apparently, there’s a lot more weirdoes out there than I thought.
K. Clarke, PopCultureMadness: As we know, fans are very opinionated about the series with the ending of the House/Cuddy relationship. A lot of viewers are claiming they like a return to normalcy with the show. How do you feel about that?
D. Shore: I think there’s some truth to that. To a certain extent, it was seen as a bit of a reboot. Having said that, I hate the return to normalcy because I was very pleased with what we did with that. I thought we did something that, in my opinion, could have gone very wrong, and when you’ve got millions of viewers, a number of them are going to believe it did go very wrong. But we worked very hard to keep House as House, and Cuddy as Cuddy, and have fun with them in a relationship rather than—and never to just—one of the directives was less smiling. I never wanted to see either of them just content and happy.
K. Clarke: What are some challenges that you face keeping the show full of fresh material?
D. Shore: That is the challenge. The answer to that is simply to just keep asking yourself that, to keep pushing it. You never want to do stuff—the real challenge is to be aware of the question and not respond to the question by just going, “Oh, that’s fresh and new.” To still be asking the basic question is, what excites me about this story? What is it about this story that’s interesting? Obviously, that we haven’t done before… but just to shock for the sake of shocking is the death of the show. Maybe not the death of the show, but it’s a big mistake. So, it’s the question we’ve had to ask since day one—what is interesting about this story? What is new about this story? What does this story give us that enlightens us in some respect about House or the rest of the team? Hopefully all of them.
J. Becker, Pop Bunker: I wanted to ask about Amber Tamblyn. She’s been fantastic, and I was just wondering if maybe she’s like worked her way into a permanent position, or is she definitely gone at the end of the season?
D. Shore: We’ve got an episode coming up which answers that very question. It’s an Amber-centric episode, a Masters-centric episode. It’s actually right after the—or it’s shortly after the return of Thirteen, or it is right after. I may be wrong. But, it’s all about that, and… loved her. She’s great. The plan was never to have her stay forever, but it became very, very tempting. Then we did an episode dealing with exactly that.
D. Cowan, TV Guide Canada: In a recent interview, Robert Sean Leonard mentioned that he may not return to House after this season. He talked about wanting to pursue more theatre. I was wondering if you can see the show going on without him when he acts as such a great anchor to House himself?
D. Shore: I don’t want to speculate on what would happen if he didn’t make a deal. I can tell you he also said in that same article that he’ll probably be back—I think he said somewhere in there. I’m operating on the assumption that he’s going to be back, and negotiations are ongoing. We love him, and we value him, and you’re absolutely right. That relationship is, I think, one of the cornerstones of this show. That male friendship thing is one of the things I’m proudest of on the show, just the whole exploration of male friendship in, I think, a more honest way than a lot of shows, unfortunately, do it.