Fox's hit television show House has been officially canceled as it heads into its eighth and final season. Producers David Shore, Katie Jacobs and series star Hugh Laurie officially made the announcement on Wednesday.  

Their decision puts an end to the one of televisions highest-rated weekly dramas. The final episode will premiere in May.

Producers were shocked at how well the show did, according to the statement.  By May, 177 episodes will have been produced about 175 more than anyone expected back in 2004.

The decision to end the show now, or ever, is a painful one . . . because the show itself has been a source of great pride to everyone involved, according to the statement as reported by the Montreal Gazette.

The budget for each episode gradually increased as viewership began to dwindle. Ratings began to drop slightly with the departure of Lisa Edelstein, one the series regulars. For this season, House receives approximately 9.1 million viewers per episode and a 3.5 rating share in adults 18-49. The past season had a 5 and 6 share rating, reported Variety. However, it still is considered one of TV's most popular shows. 

Producers have always imagined House as an enigmatic creature; he should never be the last one to leave the party. How much better to disappear before the music stops, while there is still some promise and mystique in the air, according to a statement reported by Variety. The decision to stop producing episodes appears to have been the creators' and producers' own.

If the show lives on somewhere, with somebody, as a fond memory, then that is a precious feat of which we will always be proud, the producers said.

Last month, Fox Entertainment president Kevin Reilly hinted to critics in Los Angeles that this could be the last season.

Should this be the last season, it's not going to be an unceremonious finish, Reilly told reporters in January, according to the National Post. This is not going to be a case of the pink slip goes out and that's the end of House. . . . We agreed mutually to put a decision off until after the first of the year. It's no secret. Last year, we said it was going to be a close call.

In a statement on Wednesday, Reilly said that he respects the decision of the producers to stop making episodes.

For eight seasons the entire House team has given us and fans around the world, some of the most compelling characters and affecting stories ever seen on television, said Reilly. We thank them, and the fans who have supported the show.