Looks like NBC is betting that Oscar host favorite and Gone Girl creep, Neil Patrick Harris is the next Carol Burnett or Ed Sullivan. In a damned clever move, the network just ordered up 10 episodes of Harris’ (as yet unnamed) series, which will film in front of a live audience, and feature “comedy sketches, musical numbers, mini game shows, hidden camera pranks on celebrities and appearances by A-list stars.”
Based on ITV’s Saturday Night Takeaway (aka Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway), the idea for a variety show has been percolating in Harris’ brain for quite some time; the actor told Howard Stern he’d countered CBS’ offer to take over for Letterman or Craig Ferguson with just such a series, but apparently Les Moonves wasn’t sold. (Your loss, dude.) Original series executive producers Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly will join NPH as producers. Harris called Saturday Night Takeaway a game-changer, and he clearly wants to shake up our comedy landscape. “Nothing like this has been done before, [Uh…?] and its unique structure fits right into my random skill set. I can’t wait to roll up my sleeves and have some fun!”
Harris is supremely likable, and I do think such a series will do well (depending on when it airs; “not expected” to be Saturdays). That said, I’d rather have seen it go to a cable channel, where Harris could go wild. What say you, commenters? Will you watch?