Michael Ausiello
June 25, 2010 AT 12:00 PM EDT

House boss prescribes romance for Huddy

If last month’s House finale left any doubts that the Fox hit was moving forward with a romance between its title M.D. and his supervisor, Cuddy, the above image from the season 7 premiere — featuring stars Hugh Laurie and Lisa Edelstein getting cozy on location in Malibu — should erase them. ”We’re serious about this,” insists series creator David Shore of the long-awaited coupling. ”It’s something that all network shows are leery about, but we had to do it. [Cheers] had to do it with Sam and Diane, and we had to do this.”

However, Shore is quick to assure fans that House is not going to turn into a soap opera — at least not on his watch. ”It’s not a soap opera,” he maintains. ”But there are relationships on the show. And if House and Cuddy have a fight, it’s going to be about House’s unique perspective on that. It’ll also be about how it affects their ability to diagnose patients.”

Shore also promises that the relationship will be far from obstacle-free. ”Obviously things aren’t going to be simple,” he says. ”Even in [the season opener], there are all sorts of hiccups.” Case in point: Shore hints that all is not as it appears in the photo above. ”What that [image depicts] is rather different from what you’re going to experience when you watch the episode,” he says. ”It’s not Beach Blanket Bingo.”

Still, there’s no discounting the fact that the development marks a major turning point for TV’s most commitment-phobic curmudgeon. As Laurie points out, ”even the appearance of happiness has taken some getting used to. I had a week of happiness training before the season started up, and I’m whistling more than usual.” Edelstein, meanwhile, believes Cuddy is ”ready to go for it…. I think the final scene of season 6 makes that clear.”

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