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Neil Patrick Harris returns to Tonys

Actor set as emcee after 2009 stint

Neil Patrick Harris has locked in his deal to host the 2011 Tony Awards for the second time.

Harris’ 2009 stint as emcee of the legit kudofest helped the CBS telecast log its best ratings since 2006, attracting 7.45 million viewers (up 19% over the 2008 numbers).

The 2010 ceremony, hosted by Sean Hayes, saw viewership decline to 7 million.

Harris, whose regular CBS gig is a starring role in skein “How I Met Your Mother,” is a fave among legiters thanks to a Broadway resume that includes “Assassins,” “Cabaret” and “Proof.” He’s also taken up stage helming, recently directing a starry incarnation of “Rent” at the Hollywood Bowl.

The 65th annual Tony Awards are set to air live from Gotham’s Beacon Theater June 12.

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