Jennifer Morrison, as Dr. Cameron, has surprisng news for Dr. Gregory House (Hugh Laurie), in season 3 finale of Fox TV program House, M.D.The producers of the highly rated and critically acclaimed Fox medical-mystery drama House are already facing the same dilemma as the producers of Monk (see entry immediately below), as the Fox program enters its fourth year. The producers are initiating major changes to keep the program from going stale.

Season three included another of those annoying "House gets his comeuppance but doesn’t learn anything or change at all" story arcs, this time with a police detective (played by David Morse) hounding him with drug abuse charges. It was boring, stupid, and unnecessary, but at least the producers had the good sense to drop it after a few weeks. In addition, the story showed the stupidity of many of our drug laws and the stubborn asininity of the people who enforce them.

We should give the show’s producers credit for trying to breathe new life into the program in only its third season.

And there was more change to come. In the final episode of the season, all three of House’s interns left his team, voluntarily or otherwise, although whether the departures are permanent shall remain a mystery for the time being. The producers have signed five new actors and actresses to serve as whipping boys and girls for the irascible medical genius during the next season. The new season begins September 25.

E! Online reports that the performers have been signed for eight episodes, but that has yet to be confirmed.

Whether the scheme works in the ratings wars, of course, will probably determine who stays and who goes and whether any of the previous interns returns.