‘House’ not locked at Fox

Net, Universal Media Studios don't have deal done

With Fox’s upfront set for Monday, the network has yet to make a deal to bring “House” back to the network.

Negotiations with the show’s owner, Universal Media Studios, are ongoing, and the two remain in an exclusivity window. Fox and UMS are trying to come to an agreement on who will pay what percentage of the pricetag for season eight.

Fox is looking for a significant reduction in license fees — some sources say up to 20% — despite the show’s ever-growing costs. Another sticking point is that Fox would like a one-year deal for the show while UMS would prefer a two-year pact.

To complicate matters, “House” cast members Robert Sean Leonard, Omar Epps and Lisa Edelstein are not under contract for an eighth season. UMS will exercise options for star Hugh Laurie and Olivia Wilde if the show goes forward.

Both sides refuse to comment on the negotiations but are optimistic a deal can get done by Monday, when Fox will announce its fall lineup to advertisers. If talks fall apart, UMS will be able to shop the drama to other nets.

Meanwhile, “House” creator-exec producer David Shore is expected to begin fielding offers soon on a new studio deal. His most recent pact with UMS, where he has been for the past eight years, is about to expire.

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