'House' to end 8-year run this spring

David Hiltbrand says Hugh Laurie already all but engraved his name on next year's best-actor Emmy with his season-opening performance of "House."

It's official: The doctor is out.

Fox's "House," starring Hugh Laurie as the acerbic, pain-ridden diagnostician Dr. Gregory House, will wrap up its practice this spring after eight seasons of strange and not-so-wonderful mysteries and maladies.

"The decision to end the show now, or ever, is a painful one, as it risks putting asunder hundreds of close friendships that have developed over the last eight years -- but also because the show itself has been a source of great pride to everyone involved," said a statement released by Fox Wednesday evening that was credited to Laurie as well as to his fellow executive producers, David Shore and Katie Jacobs.

"Since it began, 'House' has aspired to offer a coherent and satisfying world in which everlasting human questions of ethics and emotion, logic and truth, could be examined, played out, and occasionally answered. This sounds like fancy talk, but it really isn't. 'House' has, in its time, intrigued audiences around the world in vast numbers, and has shown that there is a strong appetite for television drama that relies on more than prettiness and gun play."

To that, I'd only add (for now) that in a medium too preoccupied by "Jersey Shore" and "The Real Housewives of New Jersey," "House," which was set at a fictional hospital in the Garden State, at least gave the impression that not everyone in New Jersey is a complete idiot.