Suit Up! Neil Patrick Harris Scores His Very Own NBC Variety Series
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?