UPDATE 1:30 p.m. ET: It’s official. FOX has picked up “House” for an eighth season. The original post is below.
A renewal deal for “House” to continue on FOX is close to wrapping up — and it likely means you’ll be seeing a little less of some cast members next season.
FOX has been looking to cut the license fee it pays producer Universal Media Studios for the series since its ratings have declined in the past couple seasons. According to Deadline, the two sides are finalizing a deal now that will bring the show back for one more season.
To get the cost down, Universal has worked out new contracts with regulars Omar Epps and Robert Sean Leonard — whose current deals end this season — and is in the process of doing the same with Lisa Edelstein. They call for each actor to appear in a reduced number of episodes (18, instead of the full 22), and Deadline says Epps and Edelstein may take pay cuts as well. There’s no word on the status of fellow original cast member Jesse Spencer.
FOX announces its 2011-12 schedule on Monday (May 16).