Neil Patrick Harris Says He Declined to Take Over ‘Late Show’ at CBS

Neil Patrick Harris The Late Show
Ray Tamarra/WireImage

Neil Patrick Harris has a long history of success at the CBS network, from his starring role on “How I Met Your Mother” to his multiple Emmy wins for hosting the Tony Awards. So it should come as no surprise that CBS was interested in the multitalented actor to replace David Letterman on “The Late Show.”

Harris confirmed the news on Wednesday’s Howard Stern show that, before CBS hired Stephen Colbert for the “Late Show” post, network chief Leslie Moonves and entertainment head Nina Tassler pitched him the idea of taking over for either Letterman in the 11:30 slot or for outgoing Craig Ferguson at 12:30.

“They called me in and sat me down and asked if that would be something that I’d be interested (in),”’ he told Stern, revealing that the duo even served him “fantastic” sushi at Moonves’ New York office.

“I felt like I knew what my skill sets were, and I kind of knew what it is that I wanted to do after the show with (Moonves), so I was surprised he pitched me that idea,” Harris adds.

Harris ultimately declined the opportunity because he didn’t have much of an interest in hosting a nightly show for a long time.

“I think I would get bored of the repetition fast,” Harris admitted.

But Harris isn’t ruling out the possibility of a weekly show at CBS. In fact, he pitched the executives the idea of hosting a variety program in the vein of “SNL.”

Listen to the interview below:

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  1. shelley says:

    Sad to say, as happy as I am that Colbert is taking the slot, NO One Can Fill Dave’s Shoes. One of a Kind! Love Ya Dave. Gonna MIss You and Craig! :(

  2. Ed says:

    Interesting that they offered him Craig Ferguson’s Late Late Show. Based on the timeline of events, Craig hadn’t even announced he was leaving until after they hired Colbert to replace Letterman. And according to CBS, Ferguson completely blindsided them when he announced. Something doesn’t add up here. Why would they offer NPH Craig’s show if they didn’t know he was leaving yet? I call B.S. not he whole thing; I think CBS kicked Craig to the curb and decided not to renew him.

    • Gabi says:

      I don’t think you have the right timeline. Ferguson stated that he already wanted to leave last time his contract expired and they/CBS persuaded him to stay two additional years. These two years are up this summer and Ferguson was long before decided not to renew. During the announcement he said that they were quietly tying the loose ends and whatnot and suddenly Letterman jumped in with his very own announcement. Additionally CBS asked Ferguson to at least prolong his contract to the end of the year. Perhaps they wanted to choose new host the same way Ferguson was chosen.

      I think though that there were rumours that CBS already talked to some people about LLS in the beginning of the year… explained as “in case Ferguson doesn’t wanted to renew”.

  3. FSN Global 's Rick Fox says:

    Reblogged this on Global News Now.

    • Joel Amster says:

      Sounds about right. They gave him the chance to go out with dignity, but NPH spilled the beans. LOL No big deal, no one watched him anyways.

      • laurie says:

        I watch him, Joel! Much better than NPH anyway. So tired of tasteless TV programming and thank God a few gems like Seth Myers and Jimmy Kimmel will remain. Will not watch Colbert. Sad about Dave and humiliated for Ferguson, a real original like Chelsea.

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