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'House' will be declared fit to return for eighth season

May 10, 2011 | 10:26 am

HOUSE

Dr. Gregory House will continue to see patients next fall.

Fox has struck a one-year deal with Universal Media Studios to bring the quirky medical drama that stars Hugh Laurie back for an eighth season, the network said Tuesday.

Ratings for "House" have fallen this season. Through last week, "House" is averaging 10.3 million viewers. Last season, its average audience was 12.6 million. Its ratings among adults 18-49 is also off 20%, according to Nielsen.

Still, "House" is a key part of Fox's schedule and since none of its new dramas this season really took off, keeping the show around for at least one more year was important.

"House" is also one of Fox's most expensive shows and one of the delays in getting a new deal done was the network's desire to lower the license fee it pays for the show. Fox is said to have been able to get the cost per episode down to the neighborhood of $5 million.

-- Joe Flint

Photo: Hugh Laurie as House. Credit: Fox.

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