As if the recent news that he would be hosting the next Oscars weren’t enough, Neil Patrick Harris also just landed his own show.
For years, Harris has been talking about hosting a television variety show. Three years ago, he told Craig Ferguson, “I want to do an Ed Sullivan–y kind of show, with all the variety acts.”
As recently as May he talked to Howard Stern about doing that kind of show, and to have it be a regular, weekly thing.
"I think if it's weekly, and people really want to see it, and you trust that there's a lot of really great shit on there, then you're gonna get the guests to want to come on there," Harris told Stern. “A weekly thing, you'd have more time to prep for stuff, you could pre-tape stuff that would be really exciting, you could flesh it out more."
Word is that Harris was inspired by British variety and comedy sketch shows, like Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway, hosted by Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly.
“As I watched the show, I couldn’t stop smiling. Now that I’ve seen many seasons, my face hurts. It’s a game changer,” Harris said. “Nothing like this has been done before, and its unique structure fits right into my random skill set. I can’t wait to roll up my sleeves and have some fun!”
NBC will carry the new show. Peacock Head of Alternative TV Paul Telegdy confirmed the network’s decision. “We have a natural affinity for this type of show,” he said "It’s in our DNA. There’s a natural progression with this,” he said. “This is something we felt was undeniably an NBC proposition. We’re not going to rush this. We’ll take our time and make a great show.”
The name for the show has not yet been decided, but execs do know that they will not run it on Saturday night, despite being inspired by Saturday Night Takeaway. Their long-running comedy staple, Saturday Night Live, has that filled nicely.
If Saturday Night Takeaway is what inspired Harris to launch this, perhaps this taste of the show will give you an idea of what may be in store.