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'House' exclusive: Oscar nominee David Strathairn checks in

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The episode hasn’t even been shot and already Hugh Laurie’s upcoming House directorial debut is attracting some serious Oscar buzz.

Actor David Strathairn, who scored an Oscar nomination for his portrayal of Edward R. Morrow in Good Night, and Good Luck, has been tapped to guest star in the Laurie-helmed 17th episode.

“He’s a patient who has scenes with Dr. House,” explains executive producer Katie Jacobs. “I’m excited to [watch] the two of them in a room together.”

Jacobs says Laurie, who was absent from Fox’s press tour party tonight because he was busy prepping for his big episode, handpicked Strathairn for the sure-to-be-meaty part. “Hugh really wanted him to play the role,” she says, “and [David] responded.”

As Jacobs previously teased, episode 17 will be a tense, change-of-pace hour. “I can’t give away the premise,” she says, “but the format is different.”

PHOTO CREDIT: Strathairn: Charles Eshelman/FilmMagic.com