A well-known television actor said CBS Chief Executive Leslie Moonves asked whether he would be interested in hosting a late-night show on the network. Deadline.com reports that Neil Patrick Harris made the comment on Howard Stern’s radio show.
The discussion took place before David Letterman said he would be retiring, although the network was already considering what would happen when Letterman decided to step down, the story says. It also took place as CBS’s “How I Met Your Mother,” Harris' hit comedy series, was winding down.
The piece reports: “Harris has become a member in good standing of the Les Moonves Repertoire Theatre, not only starring in ‘HIMYM’ but also becoming a CBS go-to guy for trophy-show hosting. Harris stressed to Stern that he was ‘not in conversation like about-to-make-a-deal — but they called me in and sat me down and asked if it was something I’d be interested in, because I have a good relationship with them from ‘How I Met Your Mother.’”
Harris said he was surprised that Moonves approached him with the idea. He added, “I sat for a time with it while I was talking to him, and I told him 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.”
Stern asked whether Harris would have preferred the later time slot, Craig Ferguson’s 12:30 a.m. show, but Harris said he still had a problem with it being repetitive, as well as smaller audiences. “Now you’re just getting bitter that nobody’s watching it,” Harris said.
The actor added that what he really wants to do is to host a weekly variety show for CBS, and that Moonves was interested in the idea.