When House returns for its eighth season this fall, a familiar face will be missing.
Lisa Edelstein, who has been a regular on the Fox medical drama since its inception, has opted not to return to the Hugh Laurie-toplined series, according to a source close to production.
Edelstein was among several cast members, along with Omar Epps and Robert Sean Leonard, whose contracts expired at the end of Season 7. In an effort to reduce costs on the aging Universal Media Studios production, producers asked Edelstein, Epps and Leonard to take salary cuts for Season 8. While Epps and Leonard agreed, Edelstein chose to move on.
This puts House in a creative dilemma as Edelstein’s character Dr. Lisa Cuddy has embarked on a dysfunctional relationship with Laurie’s Dr. Gregory House this season.
Edelstein’s exit isn’t the first on House. Jennifer Morrison, who was a regular on the show and currently on ABC’s upcoming Once Upon a Time, departed in 2010 after a recurring stint in Season 6 to close out her story line. Kal Penn also left the show to take a job at the White House.
The seventh season finale is set to air next Monday at 8 p.m. on Fox.