Actress Lisa Edelstein attends the 5th Annual L'Oreal Women of...

Actress Lisa Edelstein attends the 5th Annual L'Oreal Women of Worth Awards at Hearst Tower in Manhattan. (Dec. 9, 2010) Credit: Getty Images

The "House" is burnin' down: Lisa Edelstein has confirmed that she will not be returning to the Fox hit next season, its eighth, and almost certainly last. 

This is a remarkable exit for all sorts of reasons, but most notably this -- the show never even got a chance to wrap Cuddy's storyline which is almost unheard of for a major character on a major series. Moreover, Cuddy and the House love interest storyline had become so central, so overwhelming, to this season that it's inconceivable it would end this way, and so -- apparently --bitterly.

What happened? Hard to say, but  "EW" got this confirming statement,

"After much consideration, I am moving onward with a combination of disappointment at leaving behind a character I have loved playing for seven years and excitement of the new opportunities in acting and producing that lie ahead.”

Hugh Laurie, of course, has broadly hinted that his time has come as well, though Fox managed to grab one more season from him -- doubtless, his last. Robert Sean Leonard and Omar Epps have re-upped as well.

Still, this is amazing news...

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