The fourth season of House premiered on September 25, 2007 and ended on May 19, 2008. This season is the shortest one in the whole series due to the Writer Guild of America's strike which stopped production of the series and instead of 24 episodes, 16 were finally produced.
Among other important storylines, Wilson starts dating Amber, an applicant for House's team who didn't make it to the final three positions, Thirteen's apparent disease, Foreman's struggles not to be seen as 'another House' due to similarities in their behaviour/methods and Taub's backstory related to cheating on his wife.
Having previously fired Chase, and with Foreman and Cameron quitting, House starts a competition between forty applicants for the vacant positions. He eventually narrows them down to seven, firing one each episode. In the episode "Games", he fires Amber "Cutthroat Bitch" Volakis (Anne Dudek), hiring Dr. Chris Taub (Peter Jacobson), Dr. Lawrence Kutner (Kal Penn) and Dr. Remy "Thirteen" Hadley (Olivia Wilde) as his new team. Dr. Foreman rejoins the team after his dismissal from another hospital.Meanwhile, Amber begins a relationship with Wilson.
Interrupted by the 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike, the number of episodes was reduced to 16 instead of the planned 24. Executive producer Katie Jacobs explained that it was hard for the writers to finish the story arcs started during the season with eight episodes fewer. Season four also introduced seven actors to the cast; in addition to Jacobson, Penn and Wilde, who became regulars, Andy Comeau portrayed Travis Brennan, an epidemiologist; Edi Gathegi played Jeffrey Cole, a geneticist; Carmen Argenziano appeared as Henry Dobson, a former medical school admissions officer; and Anne Dudek portrayed Amber "Cut-throat Bitch" Volakis, an interventional radiologist. Each of the four departed the show after elimination, except for Volakis, who remained recurring until the finale, having started a relationship with Wilson.
For this season, Jennifer Morrison and Jesse Spencer had a reduced number of appearances, though they continued to be main characters.
House, M.D. - Season Four was released on DVD in region 2 on the 27th October 2008.
According to Variety magazine, FOX Broadcasting made an early decision in February 2007 to renew House for a fourth season.
Season 4 was a sharp departure from Season 3. In the finale of the previous series, House’s entire team of fellows was fired or quit, leaving him without a staff. Apparently, the producers felt the show needed a cast shake up and, to be fair, the character House noted in Alone that it was strange for him to have had exactly the same staff for three straight years. In the Season 1 episode DNR, Foreman admits that he is on a three year contract, which would have ended at about the end of Season 3.
However, none of the cast members left at this point, they just filled different roles. Foreman, who initially tried to move on, instead wound up as a supervising fellow over the new hires. Cameron moved to the emergency room and started a relationship with Chase, who moved to the surgical department in an attempt to become board certified.
The plan was to hire three new cast members to fill the team. In fact, the process to do this was almost as chaotic as the process House set up himself. However, of the forty “applicants” for the open fellowship positions, fewer than half had speaking roles in The Right Stuff and in reality only six actors had a real shot at staying on. However, even the cast members were kept in the dark until the last moment about which ones would be kept on.
However, the biggest impact on Season 4 was the Writer’s Strike, which shut down production on the series for about three months. As a result, Season 4 is the shortest season, with only 16 episodes being produced in all.
After losing his original diagnostic team that he loved so much, House decides that he doesn't need fellows as he feels that he can handle a case all on his own but after taking a long time to solve a case, Cuddy insists that he start looking for possible doctors to join his new team. House grudgingly accepts and gets forty applicants together and has a reality show style contest to see which lucky three applicants will stay on to get the vacant fellowship openings. Meanwhile, Cameron and Chase come back to work at the hospital, while Foreman starts work in a job similar to House's at another hospital. However, Foreman is soon fired for doing exactly what House would do and winds up back at Princeton-Plainsboro. House wants nothing to do with him, but Cuddy insists he can only hire two new fellows and must have Foreman on his team to keep an eye on him.
After some false starts, House decides on a fortyish plastic surgeon, Chris Taub, and a young rehabilitation specialist, Lawrence Kutner. He also manipulates Cuddy into hiring Number 13, a beautiful but mysterious internist. Meanwhile, Foreman stays on, and becomes more and more like House with each passing day.
Meanwhile, House starts fearing the loss of his best friend when it is revealed that Wilson has been dating Amber for several months without letting House know. Meanwhile, everyone starts speculating about why Number 13 is being so guarded, and Foreman lets it slip that he thinks she is bisexual, leading to rampant speculation by the rest of the medical staff.
Tragedy strikes when House is injured in a bus crash, suffering a concussion. He is sure that one of the other passengers on the bus was suffering from a medical condition, but his injury prevents him from remembering who it was or what the condition was. Finally he remembers - for some unexplained reason, Amber was on the bus with him and she was badly injured in the crash and is being treated as a Jane Doe patient at another hospital. Wilson eventually learns that the reason Amber was on the bus was to attempt to get House home safely after a night of drinking, leaving House and his friendship in risk.
- House tries to work on his own. Wilson retaliates by stealing House’s expensive guitar and holding it for ransom until he starts interviewing candidates.
- House invites 40 applicants to compete for the three open fellowships. Ten are fired immediately and twenty others are eliminated by the end of The Right Stuff.
- Foreman starts with his own diagnostic department and New York Mercy Hospital. However, when he breaks hospital rules to save a patient, he is fired. Half the medical establishment thinks he’s crazy and won’t hire him - the other half is too scared to.
- Cuddy initially tries to hire Foreman at an increased salary, but when it becomes clear he’s unemployable, she gets him back on his old salary.
- House tries to pester Foreman into quitting, but when Foreman stands his ground and shows his worth, House accepts him back.
- House finds out one of the applicants, Henry Dobson, isn’t really a doctor, but keeps him on anyway.
- House forms two teams to compete for the openings. Thirteen comes up with the same diagnosis that House did, but when the patient doesn’t respond to treatment, he soon dies. House finds out later that Thirteen didn’t make sure the patient took the proper medication. Surprisingly, House keeps Thirteen on, but fires her teammates Jodi Desai and The Twins.
- House electrocutes himself to prove there is no afterlife to Wilson, but pages Amber first who manages to revive him in time.
- Thirteen becomes the first applicant to hit a right diagnosis.
- House fires Henry Dobson because their thought processes are too similar.
- A patient who mimics the person he’s with reminds Foreman that although he often has to do crazy things, he really enjoys the practice of diagnostic medicine.
- Chase starts a pool on which applicant will get fired next. House doesn’t fire anyone so he can split the pool with Chase.
- Foreman is left in charge of the team while House goes to work diagnosing a sick CIA agent. Foreman turns out to be right all along when House comes back and realizes Travis Brennan faked an illness in the patient. Brennan is fired.
- Because House can’t tell Cuddy where he went to while he was as the CIA because she won’t believe him (and didn’t believe Wilson when he told her the same thing), she hits both House and Wilson with more clinic duty.
- House offers the attractive doctor at the CIA, Samira Terzi, a job and she comes to Princeton to accept. However, she turns out to be useless and he fires her at the next opportunity.
- Taub defies House with a patient who needs reconstructive surgery. House tries to fire him, but Cuddy won’t let him because the patient trusts Taub. House finds out Taub has no where else to turn as he’s prohibited from practicing plastic surgery as a result of his infidelities. He fires Samira instead.
- Taub becomes the second applicant to hit the right diagnosis.
- A patient finally has lupus!
- House offers a challenge that the person who get’s Cuddy’s thong is safe for the week and can nominate two people, one of whom will be fired. Cole appears to win the contest. However, when he chooses his best friend Kutner as one of the nominees, House realizes that Cole got Cuddy’s thong by offering to let her pick one of the nominees. He fires Cole instead.
- Under pressure from Cuddy to finalize his choices, he asks her for advice. He winds up picking her choices. Taub and Kutner. However, Cuddy was suggesting those choices thinking House would reject them because she liked them. She tells him to hire Thirteen too. She then realizes House manipulated her into hiring all three. Amber is the odd one out.
- The budget committee cuts free cable to the patient’s rooms. With Cameron on the budget committee, House orders his team to “convince” Cameron to work to reinstate free cable. They fail and House tells him it was a lesson to make sure they don’t play games with him again. However, he tells them to pay so he can have cable again.
- House falls for a psychiatrist patient who he is treating remotely at the South Pole. However, she hooks up with one of the staff at the station instead.
- Amber and Wilson start dating. House initially tries to break them up but, when that fails, they work out a compromise to share Wilson’s free time.
- Foreman figures out Thirteen’s secrecy is an attempt to hide her bisexuality. She neither confirms nor denies this, but the rumor spreads quickly.
- The nurses go on strike.
- House kidnaps the star of Prescription Passion to treat him and winds up saving his life. However, he does it at the expense of a $200,000 fine to the hospital for treating the patient without a confirmed diagnosis.
- In order to keep an eye on House during a hospital inspection, Cuddy tells Cameron to stay with House to complete his unfinished charts. He asks her to return to the team, but she refuses.
- House survives a bus crash, but is certain one of the bus passengers’ life is in danger. He finally remembers Amber was on the bus with him. They find her at Princeton General and try to bring her back to PPTH for treatment. However, when they figure out that she accidentally overdosed on her flu medication, they also realize they were too late to have treated her once they found her. Amber is soon removed from life support after she is brought off anaesthetic to say goodbye to Wilson.
- Hugh Laurie as Dr. Gregory House (16/16)
- Lisa Edelstein as Dr. Lisa Cuddy (16/16)
- Omar Epps as Dr. Eric Foreman (15/16) (episodes 2-16)
- Robert Sean Leonard as Dr. James Wilson (16/16)
- Peter Jacobson as Dr. Chris Taub (15/16) (episodes 2-16)
- Kal Penn as Dr. Lawrence Kutner (15/16) (episodes 2-16)
- Olivia Wilde as Thirteen (15/16) (episodes 2-16)
- Jennifer Morrison as Dr. Allison Cameron (13/16) (episodes 2-7, 9-11, 13-16)
- Jesse Spencer as Dr. Robert Chase (13/16) (episodes 2-7, 9-10, 12-16)
- Anne Dudek as Dr. Amber Volakis (14/16) (episodes 2-9, 11-16)
- Edi Gathegi as Jeffrey Cole (7/16) (episodes 2-8)
- Andy Comeau as Travis Brennan (5/16) (episodes 2-6)
- Carmen Argenziano as Henry Dobson (3/16) (episodes 2-4)
- Michael Michele as Samira Terzi (2/16) (episodes 6-7)
- Meera Simhan as Dr. Jody Desai (2/16) (episodes 2-3)
- Melinda Dahl as Doctor #15A (2/16) (episodes 2-3)
- Caitlin Dahl as Doctor #15B (2/16) (episodes 2-3)
- Jennifer Crystal Foley as Rachel Taub (1/16) (episode 16)
- Maurice Godin as Dr. Lawrence Hourani (1/16) (episode 1)
|1||Alone||September 25, 2007||House is off his game without the team, and Wilson uses an extreme tactic to force him into interviews.|
|2||The Right Stuff||October 2, 2007||House is forced to choose a new staff... and gathers 40 applicants to start narrowing down the field. Meanwhile, an Air Force pilot wants House to treat her secretly so she doesn't ruin her chances of becoming an astronaut.|
|3||97 Seconds||October 9, 2007||Down to 10 candidates for his team, House splits them into 2 groups to diagnose a patient whose short lifespan has been made even shorter. Foreman leads his own team to diagnose a patient at his new workplace.|
|4||Guardian Angels||October 23, 2007||A woman seeing her dead mother stumps the recruits, especially once she begins seeing a recent victim.|
|5||Mirror Mirror||October 30, 2007||A victim of a mugging presents with neurological symptoms and begins to mirror the behaviors of his doctors. Foreman joins the new fellows in seeking a diagnosis; Cameron and Chase takes bets on whom House will fire next.|
|6||Whatever It Takes||November 6, 2007||House is taken by jet to help diagnose a dying CIA agent, leaving Foreman in charge of the team trying to find out why a young woman passed out after a drag car race.|
|7||Ugly||November 13, 2007||House and his team are hampered by a reality television crew whilst battling over possible diagnoses for a craniofacial surgery patient.|
|8||You Don't Want To Know||November 20, 2007||A magician's heart stops during a performance. At first House dismisses the case, but later changes his mind when complications arise. House has a contest to determine the next one to leave the team.|
|9||Games||November 27, 2007||House treats a rock musician, and some of the candidates have to get past their personal biases, Wilson misdiagnoses a patient, and the winners are named.|
|10||It's a Wonderful Lie||January 29, 2008||House is equally obsessed with a mother and daughter who don't lie, and using Christmas to create discord among the team members.|
|11||Frozen||February 3, 2008||When a researcher at a South Pole base becomes ill, House must diagnose the case at a distance. Meanwhile, House tries to find out who Wilson is dating, and his new staff tries to get him cable.|
|12||Don't Ever Change||February 5, 2008||A woman collapses at her wedding. She led a different life style before her marriage, House insists she hasn't changed. Wilson starts dating Amber.|
|13||No More Mr. Nice Guy||April 28, 2008||House encounters a patient who is too nice for his own good, which is a bigger problem than his emergency room diagnosis; and House competes with Amber for Wilson's attention.|
|14||Living The Dream||May 5, 2008||House finds himself at odds with his team when he becomes convinced that an actor on his favorite soap, "Prescription Passion," has a serious medical condition.|
|15||House's Head||May 12, 2008||A bus that House was riding crashes. House claims there's a victim on the bus that's dying, but not from the bus accident. He stops at nothing to figure out who the patient is and what is ailing them.|
|16||Wilson's Heart||May 19, 2008||The team works to save someone close to a central character's heart. The key is inside House's head, but he is in a bad way himself.|
| Previous season:|
| Next season:|
|July 2010||August 2010||September 2010|
|Allison Cameron||Season 4||Season 6|