House Hits a Roadblock

by Paul William Tenny

Variety is reporting this morning that House, M.D. star Hugh Laurie went home to the United Kingdom last night for what are said to be "family reasons", though Laurie's representative won't elaborate further, saying only that he'll return to the set sometime on Monday.

As the lead actor of a show in times when television has turned to ensemble casts, this is pretty unusual. Even being gone for a few days is going to delay production and ruin many carefully laid out schedules for the month. Obviously with Laurie being the well-liked star of an enormously important show for Fox, an inconvenience such as this is a small price to pay.

On the other hand, with the writers strike looming, all television shows are under rushed production trying to get as many episodes finished shooting before the work stoppage grinds the writers room to a halt. Most shows have anywhere from three to four episodes in various stages of completion at any given moment, some are being written, some are being prepped, usually at least two are being shot at the same time, and several are sitting in post production.

During normal times, such a delay as this would be not much of a deal, but with only six days left until the WGA's contract expires and a work stoppage becomes available, even a three-day delay could mean having one less episode to air in the weeks and months to come.
in Television


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