House (Hugh Laurie) will bid farewell at the end of this season. (Adam Taylor/Fox)

In this way, they avoid beating a dead horse.

Because in this, its eighth season, the Hugh Laurie-starring vehicle is averaging only about 9 million viewers. That’s compared to, oh, say the 20 million viewers it clocked in its third season.

Besides, as the creators/exec producers David Shore and Katie Jacobs, and Laurie noted in their announcement, by April the show will have 177 episode in the can.

That’s a larger library of episodes than NBC Universal needs in order for the franchise to be a solid one in the syndication world. Because, yes, the ageing Fox hit is produced by NBC Universal, owner of struggling fourth-placed network NBC.

“The producers have always imagined House as an enigmatic creature; he should never be the last one to leave the party,” the producers noted Wednesday. “How much better to disappear before the music stops, while there is still some promise and mystique in the air.”

“So, finally, everyone at ‘House’ will bid farewell to the audience and to each other with more than a few tears, but also with a deep feeling of gratitude for the grand adventure they have been privileged to enjoy for the last eight years. 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.”

We’ll pause here, while you contemplate how Dr. House would have reacted to such treacle.

Getting in the last word: Fox entertainment president Kevin Reilly, who said, “While it’s with much regret, and a lump in our throats, we respect the decision Hugh, [and exec producers] David [Shore] and Katie [Jacobs] have made.”