Five moves in on ‘House’

Brit web hopes drama can out-do 'Joey' ratings

LONDON — NBC Universal Intl. Television Distribution has sold terrestrial broadcast rights to medical saga “House,” starring Hugh Laurie, to British web Five.

Show will be broadcast Thursdays at 10 p.m., bowing June 9. Station heads hope “House” will be a more consistent performer than its most recent high-profile U.S. purchase, “Friends” spinoff “Joey.”

Laurie, a Brit thesp best known for comedic roles, stars as Dr. Gregory House, an antisocial doctor who specializes in diagnostic medicine.

“House” premiered in the U.S. on Fox and became a top 10 ratings hit, netting an average of 18 million viewers weekly as the lead-out to “American Idol.”

Director of acquisitions Jay Kandola said: “Five is already acknowledged as the home of America’s finest crime dramas, and in acquiring ‘House’ we are broadening the range of our drama offering and appealing to an even wider audience.”

Five has deals in place with NBC Universal for the “Law & Order” franchise.

Hallmark scooped U.K. pay rights to “House” in February.

“House” is made by Heel & Toe Films and Bad Hat Harry Prods. with NBC Universal Television Studio.