Interview with House MD writers Friend and Lerner


When we last we saw Dr. Gregory House at the end of “House’s Head” (part one the House season finale), he was barely alive, lying on the floor of a bus. The entire episode was a weird and emotionally powerful rollercoaster ride, as we follow House (played to perfection by Hugh Laurie), while he tries to reassemble bits and pieces of his memory after being involved in a bus accident.

Using flashbacks, hallucinatory visions, and dreams to make sense of his foggy and fractured memories, House risks his life to identify a possibly fatally ill fellow passenger, knowing that the clock may be running out. A final and extremely risky attempt to recreate the scene just prior to the crash, which House enhances by using a dangerous Alzheimer’s drug, causes his memories to flood back, but also sends him into cardiac arrest. Cuddy and Wilson revive him and, in a very tense moment, House manages to croak out the words. “It was Amber. Amber was on the bus with me.” Part two which airs this Monday evening on FOX is sure to leave us with more questions than answers — and a whole summer to discuss and analyze what it all means for House and his colleagues.

I had the opportunity to speak with two of the finale’s writers, Garrett Lerner and Russel Friend (who are also series executive producers), to get their thoughts on the season finale, the character of House, and the future for the series, which is heading into its fifth season this September.

The season finale originated with a story idea from the creative mind of Doris Egan. “House wakes up in a coffee shop and doesn’t know how he got there,” they explained. “He knows that something bad has happened: he’s seen a fatal symptom in somebody, but can’t access his brain.” 

Everyone on the staff, said Lerner, thought it was a great story idea, and plans were made to craft it into a blockbuster two-part story. Part one was intended to get the coveted post-Super Bowl slot, taking advantage of the huge audience (and justify the equally huge cost). “People would then tune in Tuesday (the series regular time slot)” and hopefully continue to tune in weekly.

But Egan was already working on episode 12 (“Don’t Ever Change”) and was too busy to work on the two-parter. So Lerner and Friend along with David Foster and Peter Blake sat in a room and thrashed out the script. But, with the WGA strike looming, it became clear that there would be no time to ready it for the Super Bowl, so “Frozen” was substituted.

Designed to be a big-budget project and very expensive for series television, they were not certain that the network would be willing to pay the incredibly expensive production costs when the episode was moved from the post-Super Bowl slot. “We thought the episode would never see the light of day,” admitted the Lerner and Friend. “But to their credit,” Friend acknowledged, the network approved the expenses and it became a two-part season finale.     Continued at Blogcritics…..

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3 thoughts on “Interview with House MD writers Friend and Lerner

  1. House is a fantastic drama!..I await patiently
    every week for the next ep…House and Wilson
    are amazing as friends and colleuges…my fav.
    part of the show…’House’s Head” was an
    awesome piece of writing, I like Amber’s
    character, I hope she isn’t killed off the
    show. She brings some stability to Wilson’s
    life..all he has had lately is House’s imput
    into every aspect of his life…One thing I
    have always wanted to see on House..(if Amber
    is no longer part of the cast)..is a
    Wilson/Cameron angle..they both wear their
    hearts on their sleeves..closer in age to one
    another….”Spin” was was one of my fav eps.
    They actually connected when they had the heart
    to heart in House’s office…wouldn’t it be
    something if Amber dies and Cameron seeing
    Wilson hurting tries to console him, and falls
    in love with him….just food for thought..
    keep up the good work..House is the best show
    on TV..hope it will be around for a while..

  2. The bus crash wrecked her kidneys..the
    amantadine she took for the flu symptoms
    bonded with her blood and couldn’t filter
    through her body…which caused her heart to
    race and damaged it…then her liver shut down..

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