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Hugh Laurie in sudden return to U.K.

Hugh Laurie in an undated publicity photo. The production schedule on U.S. medical drama "House" had to be reshuffled Thursday after star Hugh Laurie told producers that he had to go back home, and promptly took an afternoon flight to London. REUTERS/FOX/Handout

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Dr. House is making an unscheduled house call to his native England.

The production schedule on U.S. medical drama “House” had to be reshuffled Thursday after star Hugh Laurie told producers that he had to go back home, and promptly took an afternoon flight to London.

“Hugh had family obligations in England to attend to, but production is continuing in his absence,” said a spokeswoman for Universal Media Studios, which produces the show.

Since the launch of “House” in 2004, Laurie has been separated from his wife and kids, who all still live in England.

A representative for the actor stressed that the trip had been cleared with the producers, and that Laurie is expected to be back at work Monday.

It is understood that the sudden departure is not related to salary negotiations. Last year, Laurie joined the ranks of the highest-paid actors on TV with a new deal that paid him more than $300,000 (145,000 pounds) an episode. (A TV season consists of about two-dozen episodes.)

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

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