'House' Star Heads Home Unexpectedly
Producers say Hugh Laurie asked for time off
Laurie returned to his native England Thursday afternoon (Oct. 25) to tend to family matters, according to a statement from Universal Media Studios, which produces the show. Hollywood being Hollywood, though, the actor's request set tongues wagging as to whether Laurie was somehow unhappy with the show, his salary or anything else, the showbiz trade papers say.
Not so, according to both the studio and Laurie's own publicist. "Hugh had family obligations in England to attend to, but production is continuing in his absence," the studio's statement reads. "The producers said that he asked for time off, and they were happy to facilitate it."
Laurie is expected back on set next week, his rep tells the trades.
"House" has gone through some on-screen changes this season, as the doctor has been auditioning a new team after dumping his old one at the end of last season. It's still a big hit, though, averaging better than 19 million viewers per week this season.