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'House' exclusive: Will Hugh Laurie check out next year?

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houseImage Credit: Adam Taylor/FoxWanna good scare? Imagine the end of House. And with Hugh Laurie’s contract up next season, it could happen. “I have no idea” how much longer the show will run, he tells me. “I only hope we’ll know when the time is right [to close up shop]. When people blunder on for five years after [they should have called it quits]… it gets taken out of your hands. Someone will say, ‘That’s it.’

“But for now,” he adds, “I’m immensely proud of the things we did this season.”

As well he should be. The crushing finale alone stands as the actor’s finest work to date (and that’s saying something!). So, given the quality of material he’s still getting to play, it shouldn’t come as a shock that he says “I am open” to continuing beyond season 7.

Laurie maintains that the idea of hanging up House’s stethoscope for good isn’t something he’s had time to dwell on — not yet, anyway. “This sounds like I’m trying to avoid [the question]. I’m not,” he insists. “I have the brain of a hamster and I can’t think beyond 5 o’clock this afternoon. I really am that stupid.

“I can only say,” he continues, “I think we’ll have a sense next year at some point” about whether to keep going.

Now we know what he thinks. What do you think? Is House nearing the end of the line creatively? Or do you agree with me that it’s just hitting high after high? Sound off below!

TV scoop is best served instantaneously, so follow me on Twitter at @michaelausiello