NBC has announced that Neil Patrick Harris will be hosting a 10-episode series inspired by British television show “Saturday Takeaway.” The show will involve “comedy sketches, musical numbers, mini game shows, hidden camera pranks on celebrities and appearances by A-list stars.” Read on for further details.
Peacock's alternative TV head, Paul Telegdy, also said that Harris has consistently been on top of their list of candidates for host. He added that future seasons of the variety show could go on for longer than 10 episodes, depending on viewers' reception. The show will also be filmed in front of a live audience. However, Telegdy did not reveal when exactly the show will go on air.
CBS tried to convince Harris to do replace talk show host David Letterman, but the actor felt he was not up for it.
“I told [CBS’ les Moonves] what concerned me about the longevity of that kind of gig. I think I would get bored of the repetition fast. The structure is so set — I don't have any interest in doing Monologue, Commercial, Sketch, Guest, Guest, Musical Act, Good Night,” Harris told Howard Stern. Instead, he pitched the idea of hosting a variety show.
New York Magazine also reported that multiple networks went into a bidding war for a contract with the actor, and NBC gave the most amenable offer.
Harris expressed enthusiasm for his upcoming hosting gig.
“Nothing like this has been done before, and I can’t wait to roll up my sleeves and have some fun!” said Harris on Time.
The year 2014 has been a solid year for Harris, who won a Tony Award for Best Actor for playing the title role in Broadway's “Hedwig and the Angry Inch.” He also appeared in “Gone Girl” with Ben Affleck and Rosemund Pike. The movie has been a commercial and critical success. He was also chosen to host the 87th Academy Awards in 2015.
Harris is best known for playing Barnie Stinson in “How I Met Your Mother,” which aired from 2005 to 2014.
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Photo source: Wikimedia Commons/Lan Bui