After long and at times contentious negotiations, Fox has renewed “House” for an eighth, and presumably final season.

Many of the cast deals were up after the current season, forcing the negotiations between the cast to become embroiled over talk of its renewal.

Matters were not helped by the show’s ratings slide; it has dropped more than 30% this year in viewership, one of the largest declines on network television. Monday night, it drew less than a 3.0 in the demo.

Still, its one of the most watched shows on Fox not named “American Idol” so its renewal was of little doubt.

There was the potential however that it could have aired on another network. Fox nearly let its window of exclusivity of the show expire, at which point its production company, NBC Universal, could have begun shopping it to other networks.

While the show has been renewed, its cast has not been completely resigned. Hugh Laurie, Robert Sean Leonard, Olivia Wilde and Omar Epps all have deals in place for the eighth season of the show, while Lisa Edelstein and Jesse Spencer have yet to sign contracts.

Given the shows longevity and declining ratings, its eighth season is expected to be its last.

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Jason Woods is a Blast staff writer

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