Portal:House, M.D./Selected episode/3
"Pilot" is the first episode of the television series House. The episode premiered on the FOX network on November 16, 2004. It introduces the character of Dr. Gregory House (played by Hugh Laurie)—a maverick antisocial doctor—and his team of diagnosticians at the fictional Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital in New Jersey. The episode features Dr. House's attempts to diagnose a grade-school teacher after she collapses in class.
House was created by David Shore, who got the idea for the curmudgeonly title character from a doctor's visit. Initially, producer Bryan Singer wanted an American to play House, but British actor Hugh Laurie's audition convinced him that a foreign actor could play the role. Shore wrote House as a character with parallels to Sherlock Holmes. The show's producers wanted House handicapped in some way, and gave the character a damaged leg arising from an improper diagnosis.
The episode received generally positive reviews; the character of House was widely noted as a unique aspect of the episode and series, though reviewers such as Sherwin Nuland of Slate believed that such a cruel character would not be tolerated in real life. The initial broadcast of "Pilot" was watched by approximately seven million viewers, making it the sixty-second most-watched show of the week.