skip to nav

Fans’ fury over Laurie’s Emmy snub

Viewers love Hugh Laurie in House. But Emmy voters seem unconvinced, says anne bergman in LA

Hugh Laurie, the British television comedian who discovered a whole new career as a serious actor in America, now has a Hollywood-sized salary to match his new-found fame.

His new contract will pay him $300,000 an episode for his role as the misanthropic genius Dr Gregory House in the Fox TV drama series House. That's more money per week than the average American earns in eight years. And a lot more than he ever earned in Britain performing sketches with Stephen Fry and playing in Blackadder.

What's remarkable about Laurie in House is the seeming ease with which every American's idea of a



classic English gent (Eton and Cambridge) has passed himself off as an American. Many viewers in the US are actually unaware that he is not one of them.

Yet just as he was getting his big pay rise earlier this month, Laurie was passed over in this year's Emmy nominations. While the show itself is nominated for Outstanding Drama (up against The West Wing, The Sopranos, 24 and Grey's Anatomy at the August 27 awards ceremony), Emmy voters failed to nominate him for Best Actor in a Drama Series.

Fans of the show are furious. They believe Dr House is the strongest new character on American TV since Tony Soprano and that Laurie's performance is central to the drama - arguably more so than even the James Gandolfini role in The Sopranos. Critics are perplexed at the oversight. Fox executives are outraged. "He is House," said