‘House’: Paging the showrunner

Update: We received enough great questions to turn this around quickly so questioning is now closed. I have sent your queries along to Katie. I hope to post the answers on Monday. Thanks.

House exec producer/co-showrunner Katie Jacobs is our next Q&A subject, and it should be a fun one.

“House” is not your typical hospital drama, thanks to the tour de force performance from Golden Globe winner Hugh Laurie (right) as the prickly Dr. Gregory House and the top notch writing, directing and producing.

Jacobs has been with the Fox show since its inception in 2004 and in addition to her exec producing duties she’s directed episodes, including Season 3’s “Human Error”; “Half Wit,” the Season 3 ep that guest-starred Dave Matthews; and the powerful Season 4 finale, “Wilson’s Heart.”

Jacobs’ latest directing effort airs Tuesday and is titled “Last Resort.” It guest stars Zeljko Ivanek, the Emmy-winning actor from FX’s “Damages.” Catch a preview of the episode here.

Get your questions ready for this versatile and creative exec producer (pictured below with co-showrunner David Shore at the 100th episode celebration). You can ask her about anything, like your favorite episodes, the future of “Huddy” or how they come up with those crazy medical cases. Be inventive. And have fun.

Housecake1) Hit the comment button below and ask your question. We’re going to try to turn this one around quickly. I’ll see how many great questions we have by Friday at noon.
2) You may ask more than one question but we are looking for quality, not quantity. Asking more will not guarantee that you’ll get an answer. In the spirit of fairness, we try to give plenty of folks a chance.
3) Read through the other comments to make sure you’re not repeating something that’s already been asked.
4) I’ll email the very best questions to Katie. The answers will be posted shortly. I’m aiming for Monday but we may keep it open longer if necessary. Keep checking back.
5) The person who asks the question Katie likes best will win a DVD set of Season 4.

Thanks for reading Season Pass. While you wait for the answers to this Q&A, please read our completed sessions with showrunners and actors from your favorite series. Check out the menu there on the right for links.

Posted by Kathy Lyford

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  1. I just started to see the show this summer, I stuck with it.

  2. Nice hosting! It’s my first time to read like this article.bndgre

  3. Bev says:

    Why would a good program like House let a very “Anti Semetic” Line get thru the script on TV.
    I am referring to 1/19/09 episode where House when looking for a lawyer says to one Dr. that”s “He’s from the 13 Tribes so he should know some “Shyster’s”. Who are your writers and which one is the Anti Semite?

  4. ANGLEA says:


  5. Florian Gerritsen says:

    Hi, before I ask my questions I would just like to congratulate you and the crew of House for putting such a great show together. My questions are as follows, first of all, I noticed that Wilson’s middle name is Evan, which makes his initials J.E.W. (James Evan Wilson), was this intentional (since he’s jewish) or is this a coincidence. Second, I read in a 2006 TV Guide interview that David Morse (Tritter) would not return to House, has it now, two years later, been re-considered because he’s a really great actor. Thank you, and good luck with any further seasons.

  6. Housecall says:

    Hello Ms.Jacobs. I know you’ve heard mention of a House Convention in Princeton and we have been anxiously waiting for the cast and crew of House to sign on to this event.Nami-Mercer (House Charity Tees) is one of our charities for this event.
    Of course the locale is ideal and the strong connections between the show,cast members,directors, writers, producers of House and Princeton- strengthen the ties to this area for such an event.
    Fans from all across the world have helped to create this event in Princeton, which is being sponsored by The Princeton Regional Chamber Of Commerce.
    We do understand how busy you are in production, especially after last year’s horrid strike, but we would appreciate hearing your feelings in regards to the possibility of such an event anytime between now and the end of the series.
    Thank you so much!

  7. GiGi says:

    Are Chase and Cameron ever going to be more than glorified extras again–as individuals, not necessarily as a couple? Or is it time for their fans to give up and move on?

  8. Sarah says:

    All I want to know is why did you decide to drastically cut down on the amount of screentime per episode for Jennifer Morrison and Jesse Spencer? why not Lisa Edelstein or Omar Epps? Are they ever coming back as regulars? I’m tired of being kept in the limbo, I would rather know and move on.

  9. Diane says:

    How common is it for a non-writing producer to be a co-showrunner? It seems to make sense, since showrunning sounds like a huge job involving a lot of non-writing producing duties, but it doesn’t seem that common. Are you an anomaly? How do you split the duties with David Shore?

  10. Jodi says:

    How far in advance do you plan a characters developmental arc? For instance, it has been revealed in the Season 4 that House was abused as a child, and in Season 5 that John House is not his birth father. Have you had these critical bits of info — things that shape a person and their view of the world — mapped out since the inception of the character? Or were they ideas that came to you as the character of House developed over the years? Either way, going back to the beginning and looking at the stories and at House’s behavior makes the viewing of those old episodes quite different — wracked with whole new meanings — than on viewing them prior to these reveals.
    House is one of the single most intelligent shows ever on TV … thank you for not condescending to the audience, and thank you also for not paying attention to all the Internet “shipping” hoo ha that goes on. Please just continue to do what is best and what grows most organically from each character.

  11. Mary says:

    I was thrown for a loop when House at the end of a show had a young lady show up at the door that he let in only on the provision that they didn’t have to talk – wo.
    Can it be possible that House is “impotent” with women who love him?
    Please tell “Bertie Wooster” he’s been one of my favorite actors for many years.

  12. Rebecca Lipman says:

    Last week with “The Itch” we started to see some of the old team back together, with Cameron taking her most active role in solving a case since Season 3. I was wondering, especially in light of the opening credits never changing, do you plan to eventually bring back Chase and Cameron fully, and fire the newer members of the team?
    Thanks so much for running such a great show, and bring the Huddy storyline coming!

  13. Diane says:

    Hi Katie, a couple of questions:
    The show’s always been a blend of medical procedural and more ongoing character-oriented stories. But in the last year or so the balance seems to have shifted further toward the personal serialized stories and away from the ethical/philosophical questions of the medical stories. It seems risky to alter the formula of a show that was critically and popularly successful, seeing ratings highs, earning Emmy nominations and critical accolades. Did you see it as risky? What prompts that risk – fear of potential audience boredom? Or the writers’ and producers’ potential boredom? Responding to the vocal online audience who latch on to the personal elements? Natural progression of a series? Trying to match TV viewing trends of serialized vs. non-serialized shows? None or all of the above?
    Can we just buy Hugh Laurie an Emmy already?

  14. Libby says:

    I just started watching the show this summer and I’ve become enthralled with it. The richness of symbolism and metaphor in the writing, the humor and wit of the characters, and the consistently dazzling performances of Hugh Laurie keep me constantly amazed and delighted. I am still working on the puzzle of the show itself, and my question is this:
    Are the opening credit images in “House” visual metaphors for the roles the characters represent in the show? Also, do you know how the show will finally end?

  15. JB says:

    Can you please explain to this baffled fan what it is about the characters of Foreman and 13 that they must be prominently featured, above all the other characters, in many many episodes? They bring very little charm and very many yawns.
    Also, how do fan reactions/complaints/desires influence — or not — the decisions that are made about the direction of the show and the characters?

  16. Lily says:

    First of all, HOUSE is the only show that I NEVER miss. Not once since the very first episode. I was completely mesmerized by Hugh Laurie’s acting, and it is that, that keeps me coming back for more.
    I’m afraid what I’d like to say today is not complimentary though. I’m sorry, but you wanted to know.
    First: I really, really miss CLINIC DUTY. Some of the funniest moments of the show came out of that. Would you bring it back, please?
    Secondly, I really, really do NOT like 13. PLEASE listen to the fans and make her go away??
    Third:I would like to see House meet his real father some day and I would like his father to be played by, GERALD MCRANEY.
    Fourth: In the final episodes, many years from now, I would like to see SELA WARD come back. I still believe that she is the only one for House. The way he always looked at her said it all. And Sela was wonderful as Stacy.
    Fifth: As much as I adore Wilson, I NEVER want a House/Wilson ship….NEVER!
    And finally: PLEASE make sure that Hugh knows how much he is appreciated and loved.
    Thank you for listening to my thoughts.

  17. Boffle says:

    Love House. Love Hugh. Love the writers. Love all the people that put together the most consistently compelling show on tv.
    In “The Itch,” shown on Armistice Day, Hugh Laurie mentions the Battle of Ypres, which was also the background for the fourth season of Blackadder (Laurie played the naive, gung-ho Lt. George). Was that just an amazing coincidence or a tiny gem of writing meant to honor that brilliant finale and the victims of WWI or perhaps even Laurie’s on-set improvisation?
    The depth of the writing on this show is amazing: there are dozens of similar touches which seem to be so lovingly sewn into the show’s metaphorical bespoke tailored jacket.

  18. Colin C says:

    House has been one of my top five shows since it debuted. As an aspiring TV writer who’s just started writing spec scripts, I’ve been thinking about tackling a House episode, but the medical side of the stories (not to mention the medical jargon) has me intimidated. How does the writer’s room come up with all these crazy medical conditions? Let alone write them?

  19. Mindy says:

    Will we ever hear more about Wilson’s long lost brother? Also, will there be more attempts by House, risky or otherwise, to find ways to ease his own chronic pain? It appears that his limp has worsened this season. Is this a portent of bad times to come?

  20. Perle des Antilles says:

    I often defend this show to people by saying it’s performing a public service, getting people to realize that diagnosis is not an exact science, that tests aren’t always conclusive, that one’s symptoms may not be attributable to a single disease, etc. Do you see this show as doing more than just providing entertainment? (Not that just being entertaining would be a bad thing! Not when it’s this intelligent, funny and thought provoking.)

  21. PC says:

    Earlier this season, House confirmed that his dad wasn’t really his dad…will we get to see more family drama with confronting his mom in the future perhaps? Also, other than the obvious House, who is the general favorite character to write dialogue and storyline for? Thanks!!

  22. Stella says:

    Hi, Ms. Jacobs! Congratulations on putting together so many seasons of what is (in my opinion) the best show on television. I look forward to House so much every week, and I’d like to take the opportunity to thank you for giving me a regular diversion. My question is born of my admiration for your show’s cornerstone, Hugh Laurie. As a longtime fan of Mr. Laurie’s, and an admittedly huge admirer of his brilliant comedic work, I’m thrilled to think that in Gregory House he’s landed the role of his career. Can you describe what it’s like, from your point of view as a leading creative force behind the scenes, to work with someone who is known by his fans to be a charming, but aggravating perfectionist? I’m curious to know how this well-documented trait of this very talented man affects the creative process of the show. Thank you, and I wish you and everyone at House the best of luck in the seasons ahead!

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