Sadly, TV can be a pretty heartbreaking business sometimes.  Characters get killed off, or put on a figurative (sometimes literal) bus because of budget and schedule constraints, and all-too often stories suffer from external forces well-beyond their control.

'House' fans were shocked and disappointed to find out that series staple Lisa Edelstein wouldn't reprise her role as Dr. Lisa Cuddy for the eighth season of the show, the character having been written out after Dr. Gregory House finally crossed the line by driving his car through her (no-pun intended) house's wall.

Well, get ready for a bit more bad news, 'House' fans. 

Despite optimistic hopes of the show's producers, Lisa Edelstein will not return to 'House' before the series closes its doors altogether at the end of its current season on May 21, TVLine reports.  And with a whisper, "Huddy" was no more.

Prior to the series announcing that its eighth season would be its last, series creator David Shore had expressed optimism that Edelstein might return before the show's ultimate end, though at the time Edelstein responded that “I haven’t talked to anyone over there so it would seem unlikely. Who knows what I’ll be doing. I have a lot on my plate. I wouldn’t want to answer that and get anyone’s hopes up. It doesn’t seem like that’s the direction anyone is going in.”

Neither FOX nor Lisa Edelstein's representation have issued any comment on why the character's return never came to fruition before the May 21 series finale, which itself will be preceded by an hour-long special looking back on the show's eight-year run.

Sad face, 'House' fans!  I've never gotten into the show myself, but it's always a shame when major characters have to bow out, and can't return in time for the last leg.  I'm looking at you, Sarah Michelle Gellar, for not returning to the final episode of 'Angel'.  Yes, I'm still holding that grudge.

Tune in for the final Cuddy-free episode of 'House' May 21 on FOX, and let us know your thoughts in the comments below!