The Baltimore Sun

The pile of dough 'House' builds to be bigger for actor Hugh Laurie

Hugh Laurie will reportedly become one of TV's highest-paid stars under the terms of a new deal with Universal Media Studios.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Laurie's pact will keep him with his hit Fox drama House through the 2011-2012 season. The trade paper says Laurie's new salary will be roughly $400,000 per episode, or more than $9 million a season.

Laurie, whose original House salary was only in the mid-five-figure range, might also get a producing credit of some sort.

The fifth season of House premieres Tuesday. During his run on the series, Laurie has won a pair of Golden Globes and been nominated for three Emmys.

A Twist of fate

According to Billboard, rock pioneer Chubby Checker's classic tune "The Twist," which helped inspire a global dance craze, is the most popular No. 1 hit single of the last half-century.

"I'm glad they've finally recognized it," Checker, 66, said of his song, which ruled the charts twice, in 1960 and 1962. Checker said that the tune was as important to history as the creation of the telephone.

Santana's "Smooth," featuring Rob Thomas, is the No. 2 most popular, followed by Bobby Darin's "Mack the Knife," LeAnn Rimes' "How Do I Live," and the perpetrator of that other dance craze, "The Macarena" by Los Del Rio.

An animated Depp

Johnny Depp and his Pirates of the Caribbean director, Gore Verbinski, are teaming up for Rango, a CGI-animated feature about household pets. Variety says Depp will play the title character - an unspecified pet - who "goes on an adventure to discover its true self."

The Simpsons' Halloween

The Sci-Fi Wire at says this year the Simpsons Halloween special will be a parody of It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown and will feature Bart as Charlie Brown, his buddy Milhouse as Linus, and Lisa as Sally.

Celeb meets celeb

Ryan Seacrest Productions and Paris Hilton have struck a deal to develop a series.

And here's the surprise, the series would be scripted, People magazine reports.

Details on the new series are not yet available.

Paris Hilton's My New BFF will air this fall on MTV starring the 27-year-old heiress and reality-TV star.


Actress Barbara Bain, 77.

TV producer Fred Silverman, 71.

Rock singer David Clayton-Thomas, 67.

Actress Jacqueline Bisset, 64.

Radio-TV personality Tavis Smiley, 44.

Filmmaker Tyler Perry, 39.

Singer Fiona Apple, 31.

Actor Ben Savage, 28.

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