Exactly what House needs
As I watched those interviews, it struck me that a British actor is exactly the person to bring a negative character like Greg House to life. Laurie's considerable talents and comedy background are important elements, but he also brings a sensibility to the character that I bet would not have worked nearly as well with an American actor.
American television audiences don't usually respond well to darker characters. Years ago Buffalo Bill with Dabney Coleman was a great show but never captured ratings.
William Goldman in Adventures in the Screen Trade, if memory serves, talked a lot about the demand for likeable characters.
British audiences on the other hand have made lots of nasty sorts top viewing choices:
- Edmund Blackadder - who sometimes had Laurie a more upbeat sidekick
- Basil Fawlty
- Chef Gareth Blackstock