The TV Academy Gets It Right: Why Neil Patrick Harris is Such a Stunning Choice for Emmy Host

Jul 1, 2009  •  Post A Comment

The folks at the TV Academy clearly have gotten the message.

Variety has word tonight that "How I Met Your Mother" star Neil Patrick Harris is in final talks to serve as host as this year’s Emmys. It’s news that is, at once, fully logical– and completely mind-blowing.

It’s a no-brainer because anyone who watched Harris helm the Tony or TV Land Awards knows that this man has mad hosting skills, as the kids might say (20 years ago). He’s charming, funny, and, most of all, fully in command of his audience.

With CBS this year’s Emmy home, and "HIMYM" moving to a new timeslot on the Eye this fall, executives at the network would have been insane not to fight for Harris as host.

But this is the Emmys we’re talking about. The TV Academy.

nph.jpg

Logic doesn’t always enter into the equation when you’re talking about any big organization and its annual award shows. So many different factions need to be satisfied when decisions are made, often times the only possible choice is the safe one.

How else to explain the decision to have a hodgepodge of reality hosts (horribly) handle last year’s Emmys? It was a compromise.

And that’s why the call to give the show to Harris is such a stunner.

Yes, he’s been nominated for an Emmy before, but his show hasn’t. I’ll bet a big chunk of the Academy hasn’t even heard of "HIMYM."

Remember, this is an organization that as recently as 20 years ago thought it made sense to have John Forsythe host the Emmys. Three different years! (OK, it was during the "Dynasty" craze, but still…).

Most past Emmy hosts have been either very well-known comics (Conan, Ellen, Garry) or very big primetime stars (Ryan Seacrest, Angela Lansbury, Tim Allen).

Who knows– maybe Harris isn’t such a radical choice. Perhaps, when nobody was looking, "HIMYM" graduated from buzz show to blockbuster. It certainly had the ratings last season to qualify as one of the biggest sitcoms on TV.

No matter the logic. The Academy deserves credit for agreeing to the Harris choice. He will bring new blood and new interest to a show that is sorely in need of both.
While everyone’s in a radical mood, two other suggestions:

First, why not ask Carter Bays and Craig Thomas– the creators of "HIMYM"– to serve as head writers for this year’s Emmys? Conan O’Brien brought his team with him when he hosted the show; why shouldn’t Harris?

The Academy and CBS also should lean heavily on some of TV’s most fertile comic minds to pitch in to make this year’s show memorable.

That means getting the Lonely Island team (that’s Andy Samberg’s crew) to produce a series of short films for the show. Samberg killed at the MTV Movie Awards; he and his boys need to be enlisted for the Emmy cause.

And, on a non-Emmy note, CBS should immediately sign a holding deal with Harris anticipating his post-"HIMYM" career.

No, I’m not talking about a deal for another sitcom. How about these six words:

"Late Show with Neil Patrick Harris." 

11 Comments

  1. Here’s hoping that the suits at CBS take your last six words to heart. Fantastic idea!

  2. I have been saying for AGES that one day NPH is going to be Johnny Carson with a late show and all of Hollywood completely LOVING him. :)

  3. We must stop this thing from changing our children into queers.

  4. We must stop this thing from changing our children into queers.

  5. YES! He has proven himself a great awards host! Oscars-you are next!

  6. frank – you’re a moron.
    no one can “make” you gay.
    it’s genetic.
    straight people raise gay kids and gay people raise straight kids. your environment or what you watch on TV WON’T MAKE YOU GAY.
    You however are still a moron!
    btw – late Night with NPH would be a winner!

  7. I am very disappointed. Craig Ferguson was the first choice to host the show this year. I don’t know why people in the networks/industry aren’t paying more attention to Craig. He is a great M.C./Host and would do an excellent job as this year’s Emmy host. He did a great job at the People’s Choice Awards a few years ago and he just hosted the annual Fireworks program, held in Boston, for the second year in a row; not to mention his successful late night talk show that he has hosted for the last four years! He can host anything. One day soon all the Hollywood “moguls” will be pretending they are his fans who “knew all along” how talented he is.
    Wake up Hollywood! America has!!

  8. Neil is a great choice. He’s also totally unassuming in person. He actually introduced himself when I met him. And this was during HIMYM and after the Tony awards. I live in West Hollywood , have friends in the business and nice is not always the case.

  9. Neil is a great choice. He’s also totally unassuming in person. He actually introduced himself when I met him. And this was during HIMYM and after the Tony awards. I live in West Hollywood , have friends in the business and nice is not always the case.

  10. Sorry for the double post below. I imagine that Craig is headed to bigger things. Such as replacing Letterman. Just a thought. As for post HIMYM, perish the thought. Removing Coby Mulders(SP) from television would be a crime. And I’m gay. One of my favorite episodes is the one where Barney is trying to convince Robin that marrying Ted would be a bad idea because he would wake up and see her without makeup. Her response that she isn’t wearing any evokes one of the classic TV lines: My God, you’re beautiful.

  11. “Who knows– maybe Harris isn’t such a radical choice. Perhaps, when nobody was looking, “HIMYM” graduated from buzz show to blockbuster.”
    actually, it was dr. horrible’s sing along blog that launched the recent interest in Harris. He is amazingly stunningly entertaining, and my feeling is that HIMYM is not an adequate vehicle for his talents.

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