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Hugh Laurie was almost named Emmy ceremony host!

August 30, 2007 |  4:16 pm

Lauriecollw

Fox Network came thisclose to naming someone other than "American Idol" emcee Ryan Seacrest as host of the Emmycast on Sept. 16: Hugh Laurie.

Laurie was actually the early first choice of several top Fox exex, who lobbied strongly for him to get the job, according to a TV academy source. Others tubthumped for Seacrest, who's a logical choice since he already hosts America's most popular regular TV program plus specials like New Year's Eve countdowns. The standoff at the network was to blame for any host being named so late. Last year Conan O'Brien's appointment was unveiled in mid-May — three months before the Seacrest announcement this year.

In the end, Fox decided to go with its "Idol" star over its "House" star because exex felt Seacrest would draw a larger TV audience and because viewers might be confused seeing Laurie in an unfamiliar role.

But Laurie, in fact, is an accomplished entertainer beyond just that Doctor Grouch act you see on "House." He's a darn good pianist, for one thing. He performs in a few bands — 16:9 and Poor White Trash — and tickles the ivories in the "House" episode he submitted to Emmy judges in the race for best drama actor, "Half-Wit."

But most noteworthy of all are the wild performances he gave on "A Bit of Fry and Laurie," the outrageous comedy sketch show he did between 1986 and 1995 with Stephen Fry on the BBC. Click below to see Laurie in drag and other loopy poses.


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Comments

hugh laurie should have hosted the emmy's this year. I can't believe he has'nt won one yet. his one of the greatest actor's there is.

Hugh Laurie would've taken the Emmy up to another level. We need fresh materials and smart humors intead of the same 'ol stale crap.

Dumb Fox Network!

It would of been hella awesome if Hugh Laurie hosted the Emmy's. I'm sorry but Ryan isn't funny at all, I find him annoying and boring. I've had enough of Ryan Semencrest. GRR!

That was the absolute biggest mistake that Fox could've made. What a bunch of fools and going on the grand assumption that the general public would be freaked out about House and Hugh Laurie. The man has more talent in his pinky than in Ryan's entire body. I guess they don't want to give the general public any marks for having brains. How pathetic.
Hugh would've rocked as Emcee.

As "Chandler Bing" would say, "OH...My...God!!" Are they seriously kidding us? We'd be confused regarding Hugh and Ryan? Somebody's confused all right but it isn't us! It's about time people woke up to the fact that Hugh Laurie is a multi-talented entertainer who'd blow Seacrest off the stage and is not just HOUSE! They could have even had Hugh teaming up with Stephen Fry again! That would have been awesome! But I guess "those brilliant execs" were going after that "all American look". Did they feel the audience would be offended if a Brit took the stage...or maybe that Hugh would upstage American entertainers as he's already done with just his acceptance speeches. God....I hope the people that made this decision are now unemployed! Quit talking down to the public. Your excuses are so condecending that it's embarassing! And if Hugh does not win an Emmy this time, I'll literaly go through the TV.

They chose Seacrest over Laurie because "they didn't want to confuse viewers"? How stupid do they think we are?
Newsflash--people who watch House tend to be more intelligent. Sorry that I can't say the same for viewers of "American Idol".
Or may they were worried they would confuse "House" fans who only watch the show in hopes that their particular pairing will hook up? Not a brain cell to spare among the shippers--I suppose the Fox execs do have a point.
Either way, I'm not watching the Emmycast--but I've gotta say that was a stupid decision.

What the hell? Why did they do that?! I can't stand Ryan! He's so annoying- I can barely stand to watch him on American Idol! Fox is such a stupid network; it really is. If it weren't for House, I would not watch it or anything else for that matter. God, are they freaking serious?! House brings them MONEY! Why wouldn't they use Hugh as the host when he's the star of a show that BRINGS THEM MONEY?! God, they're so freaking stupid! I definatly will not be watching the Emmy's, so Fox can just forget that. We see enough of Ryan in a lifetime. Hugh would have been a MUCH better choice than him. Seriously, he would.

Alright, rant over.

Would have loved to see Mr. Laurie as host. I don't generally watch the Emmys, but would have watched this year if he were the host. Hugh Laurie is multi-talented. Ryan Seacrest is not an interesting person. He is just sort of there. Maybe next year, Hugh? Hope so.

I could believe Hugh turned them down like Allybear posted:
As far as I can judge him from interviews, I thnk that would be a nightmare for him, having to host such an entire show for such a crowd of people.
He seems rather shy in real life.

This is so disappointing! I would prefer not knowing that we could have had Hugh hosting the Emmys this year.

I could see Fox's reason for not choosing Hugh Laurie being that they would not want to confuse the viewers with Hugh both hosting AND winning an Emmy (maybe even two Emmys, if the show wins, too). Has something like this ever happened before?

I think Hugh might get another chance, when House is over (which - I mean the show being over - I hope will not happen for a long long time).

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

Hugh Laurie > Ryan Seacrest

any day of the week.

bad move. BAD move. :/

Don't believe the spin some PR person was forcing on you. When they were the original producers, the American Idol guys wanted Hugh as host but he turned them down. He was approached by the network to do it, and Hugh turned it down again. Then the new producers went to him one more time, and Hugh rejected it a third time. There's been an outstanding offer for him to be a presenter, and he won't even accept that.

It's Stephen Fry, not Steven.

this just proves why fox is the dumbest network around....first they cancel great shows like wonderfalls, undeclared, and reunion, then they renew shows which don't deserve to be renewed like war at home and til death, and now they do this stupid mistake. hugh laurie is hilarious, as he has proven in his past acceptance speeches, while ryan seacrest is annoying.

"...exex felt Seacrest would draw a larger TV audience and because viewers might be confused seeing Laurie in an unfamiliar role."

Yes, because it's so confusing to me when Steve Martin hosts the Oscars and he doesn't have the huge nose he had in Roxanne. And one time Whoopi Goldberg hosted the Oscars and I couldn't understand why she wasn't channeling the ghost of Patrick Swayze. Thank you to FOX for trying to avoid confusing me further.

Did you ever bothered to watch another show where Hugh Laurie shines although in completely different manner than in the House?
The show is named "Black Adder" and he plays there since the season two.
He's not a "star" there - the star is Rowan Atkinson - Aka Mr. Bean.
You gotta like the "english humor" to enyoy the show.

Who at Fox believes we just can't get ENOUGH of Ryan Seacrest? I mean, come on--the only place they haven't stuck his smug, ghastly image is on milk cartons (and PLEASE that is not a suggestion!!!)

Hugh Laurie would have been the best choice as host of the Emmys EVER!! As for their lame excuse of "viewer's might be confused...." WHAT??? Mr. Laurie hosted Saturday Night Live last season and was totally brilliant. I do believe "viewers" have enough intelligence not to get "confused" DUH! What a bunch of idiots!! Guess what? I won't be watching.

There is NO competition here - Hugh Laurie far surpasses Ryan Seacrest in the 'perfect Emmy host' department! Who makes these final decisions??? It completely boggles the mind!

Wow, they really made a huge mistake. Hugh Laurie would have done a fantastic job hosting the emmy's. That's really too bad.

I can't believe they picked Ryan Seacrest over HUGH LAURIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Don't we see enough of Ryan Seacrest? I doubt he will draw a larger audience than Hugh. Come on, HE IS DR. HOUSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Remember that old saying "Ignorance is bliss". Well this is a prime example. I think I'd rather have remained ignorant of this new glaring oversite of Mr. Laurie's many talents and long standing ability to rise to any occasion and make it a memorable one (Hello, just listen to his acceptance speeches). As you have pointed out, just looking at his resume should have shown them that he is more than capable of handling the scripted as well as the improv that can come with hosting any event. Not only handle it but do it with grace, style, wit and humour.

What is most shocking is this comes from the folks that basically employ him! What an amazing vote of confidence for the fellow that has FOX's respectibiity resting on his shoulders. What? Do they think people tune into AI to watch Mr. Seacrest? Thank you Mr. and Ms. Fox Exec, you may step back into your closet now.

But thank you Mr. O'Neil for the news and allowing me to wallow in the world of what could have been. At least it is comforting to know that some things never really change. FOX is still FOX and any selection related to the Emmys usually ends as the wrong one.

Let's hope that Mr. Laurie at least walks away with a much deserved trophy this year and another chance to have some fun rockin' out at a post party with BFTV!

Brilliant clips! Ugh, how on earth did they pick lame-crest over anyone, let alone Hugh Laurie? People who watch awards show watch because they like *talent*. I refuse to watch this year. I'll tune back in next year if they pick someone who's not repulsive.

Damn, double damn and damn with a bit of damn on the side!

You're saying we could have had the witty, hilarious, lovely and clever Hugh Laurie to host the Emmys and instead we got the mysteriously ubiquitous and decidedly unfunny Ryan Seacrest? That's like saying, oh you could have had the Rolls, but we we chose the Hyundai for you. Aaargh!!!

Damn, that wouldv'e rocked...


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