Interview of David Shore about Chase and Cameron


Is there anyone likes HOUSE M.D? I like it so much!

MR: There are a whole lot of people on the show now. Has that been challenging, trying to integrate all those characters?

DS: Yeah, like Cameron and Chase are certainly not on screen as much as they used to be, but the stuff they’re doing, I think, takes on a different weight and a greater weight. We are a strange hybrid of a show -- we’re fundamentally a procedural, but there are all of these characters people want to find out more about. And I do too. But I don’t want to change the fundamental nature of the show and there’s only so many pages for us to deal with [character stories]. We’ve got a lot of bodies.

MR: So does that mean some of those bodies will leave the show, that there will be attrition at some point?

DS: Oh, I don’t want that to happen. I like them all.

MR: I happened to mention that I’d be talking to you today in a Web chat last Friday, and I told people to send in their “House” questions. I didn’t expect a lot of them, but I did get quite a few – and a lot of them were from readers who were unhappy with the Chase/Cameron situation. “Where are they? When will they be on screen more?” It sure seemed like some fans were missing those characters.

DS: Well, that’s great. Meaning, that’s what you want to hear. That’s what I mean by being ahead of the curve a little bit [earlier in the interview, we talked about the writers doing the Season 4 "Survivor" challenge as a way to shake up the show before it got too set in its ways].

When you use a character a little less, you don’t want to hear, "Well, it’s about time you did that." It’s good that people want more. We are trying to give all the characters [screen time], all the characters have their fans and we’re trying to give them what they want.

There are no plans to change [Cameron and Chase’s] fundamental roles, we’re not bringing them back into [House’s] team so fast.

I like the fact that they’re not answerable to House anymore, and as a result of that, what they tell House takes on a greater significance. There’s no sense of intimidation. They have grown up, in a way, and we’re having fun with that and we’re trying to do [more of] that. So we’re not losing them. Hopefully we’ll be getting a little more of them than you were getting in the last batch of episodes

MR: In the last bunch of episodes, it seems that one of them might have one scene, and the other one might not be on at all.

DS: Yeah, we’re trying to avoid that. We certainly want them each to have a significant presence [in each episode].

MR: But they aren’t going to be rejoining House’s team, right?

DS: Mmm-hmm [they are not rejoining the team].

MR: It is interesting to see them with this autonomy. There’s a lack of cowering when they interact with House. They’re on a completely different footing.

DS: It does. I don’t think they cowered in fear, but it does change the dynamic. They are now peers, rather than employees.

The other thing is trying to stay true to the reality of the show. They were hired for three-year fellowships to begin with. Both Cameron and Chase had been there for a while at the time of the pilot. And it’s sort of something that becomes I think fake on TV – that people stay in these roles forever. People’s roles change, especially if they’re competent, and these people are competent.

MR: Are the actors restive -- are they wanting more screen time?

DS: They haven’t complained to me. I’m sure they’d like it. They do a good job and they like being here. But I think they also are enjoying [the fact that their characters are] not intimidated by House.

MR: I have to say, when I got to the end of an episode this season, I wasn’t saying, “Boy, I wish there was more of Chase.” I don’t dislike the characters, but there was so much else going on that interested me that I didn’t find myself thinking we should have gotten more of them.

DS: There’s also … I’m going to say something you’re readers aren’t going to like, but as someone running a television show, you have to be very careful – people think they want something and they do want something, but it’s not what they need, shall we say, and it’s not what the show needs. It’s great that they like those characters.

The most obvious [comment] is people saying, “I love the show, can’t you just make House a little nicer?” No. That’s sort of the most egregious example. No, you like him because he is who he is. And if he wasn’t who he is, you wouldn’t like him as much. He wouldn’t be the same person.

And the show as a whole falls into that. And so yes, I changed it. A little bit. And you have to be really careful with these things. It’s a real challenge. You want people to want more of things. You have to be careful on what you deliver.

MR: If the show was going into Season 7 and we were still talking about this crush that Cameron has on House – we’d both be like, “Why are we still talking about this?”

DS: Been there, done that. Yeah, we felt that that had played itself out. (oh,this is a good news!)

[From later in the interview...]

MR: Are there going to be any major cast changes, in terms of people leaving? Will someone exit the roster of ongoing characters?

DS: Something is happening at the end of this year which I think is pretty significant. I’d rather not say what it is.

MR: You can cut anyone but Wilson.

DS: [Laughs] OK.
For me, House is one of those shows that if I am surfing channels I might watch but I don't go searching for it. Having had a fair exposure to doctors over the years, I have encountered some that have House's ego but not his brilliance so it hits home a bit.