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'House' exclusive: Olivia Wilde taking leave of absence

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olivia-wilde-beautifulImage Credit: Joseph Viles/FoxHouse will be minus Thirteen when it returns next season.

Olivia Wilde is taking time off from the Fox hit to shoot a starring role in the big-budget sci-fi Western Cowboys & Aliens.

“Olivia will be there at the very beginning of the season, and then she will not be there for a period of time,” explains executive producer Katie Jacobs.

Production on the Jon Favreau-helmed Cowboys — which is set to get under way next month and continue through the summer — is expected to overlap with season 7 of House by at least two months. The film also stars Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, and Sam Rockwell. (Fun fact: Lost boy Damon Lindelof co-wrote the script with Fringe exec producers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci.)

“She had this opportunity and she was really excited about it,” says Jacobs. “We’re very proud of her and very happy for her.”

The seeds of Thirteen’s departure were planted in last night’s season finale when, in the final moments of the episode, the Huntington’s-afflicted doc announced that she was taking a leave of absence from Princeton Plainsboro.

“The two things — the dates that she was going to be away and the story line [we wanted to tell] — worked out,” says Jacobs. “When the story unfolds, it will [all make] sense.”

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