LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- FOX is keeping its Tuesday drama "House" on staff as the network has ordered five additional episodes of the series, bringing its season total to 18 installments.
"House" has quietly become FOX's most-watched drama series this season, averaging 6.69 million viewers through its seven airings, even outperforming "The O.C." (6.40 million) on average. More importantly, "House" has been building significantly from lead-in "The Rebel Billionaire: Branson's Quest for the Best" (4.23 million on average) as last week's installment posted a stunning 84% growth from the struggling reality series.
While traditionally most series consider a full season to be 22 episodes, "House's" late start means that 18 installments should be more than enough to cover the 2004-05 season.