Neil Patrick Harris didn’t exactly do somersaults Monday when asked if he was interested in the role, even though recent speculation has put the thespian, best known for hosting CBS’ Tony Awards and a long tenure on the Eye’s “How I Met Your Mother,” on the shortlist of potential candidates.
“I’m super focused on ‘Hedwig’ at the moment, so that hasn’t even been a part of the conversation at all,” said Harris Monday at a press event to lobby for tax incentives for Broadway, mentioning his current role in a revival of “Hedwig and the Angry Inch.” Still, he said, “But I’m a big fan of CBS and Les’,” referring to CBS CEO Leslie Moonves.
Wouldn’t hosting a latenight show on a big broadcast network be fun? “It would be an asinine amount of work,” Harris replied.
“I think Tina Fey is very happy with doing TV and film projects for us,” said Steve Burke, NBCU’s chief executive, meeting with reporters Monday. “I could be wrong.” Last August, Fox gave a commitment to a Universal-produced comedy supervised by Fey.
Burke also suggested NBCU would like to extend its relationship with Jay Leno, who recently vacated the network’s “Tonight” seat to make way for Jimmy Fallon. Burke held out hope Leno would be interested in doing periodic specials for NBCUniversal, much in the way Bob Hope once did for the network.
Burke was effusive about Fallon’s performance, citing the host’s ratings among viewers between 18 and 49. “I think people who watch the two shows have increasingly chosen Jimmy” in the time slot, said Burke. “My bet is Jimmy will do just fine” no matter who inherits the CBS seat.