Harris, also a candidate to host the Emmys this year for the Eye, will also serve as a producer of the June 9 kudocast, alongside the kudos’ longtime exec producers Ricky Kirshner and Glenn Weiss. Harris previously hosted the Tonys in 2009, 2011 and 2012.
Harris is one of the rare screen stars who’s also established real stage cred among legiters, having appeared on Broadway in “Assassins,” “Proof” and “Cabaret.” He also starred in the 2011 New York Philharmonic presentation of “Company” (which screened in cinemas and was later released on DVD and Blu-Ray) and has directed L.A. stage productions including “Rent” and “Nothing to Hide.”
With his fourth stint as Tony host — following emcee outings in 2009, 2011 and 2012 — Harris outpaces Jackman, who hosted three times, but still comes in behind Angela Lansbury, who’s been a Tony host a total of five times.
Planning for the Tony Awards ceremony at Radio City Music Hall is currently in overdrive, with last week’s nominations announcement at last giving the producers a sense of what titles and performers they’ll have to showcase.
The Tonys are generally the lowest-rated broadcast of major entertainment awards: Last year the show brought in six million viewers, down from 6.9 million the previous year. Legit fans, however, are generally a wealthy bunch with disposable income, and so rep a desirable demographic for CBS.
“I’m very excited to be back hosting the Tony Awards at the legendary Radio City Music Hall,” Harris said. “It’ll be more impressive than ever — if my math is correct, it will be 267 times bigger than last year. Oh, wait. No, that can’t … hold on … carry the one … I’m awful at math. But rest assured, the show will rock!”
Said CBS Entertainment prexy Nina Tassler: “Neil is a multi-talented performer whose showmanship, wit and energy command the stage of live events. He is a master of ceremony who truly loves celebrating the performing arts with the highest level of entertainment, and it’s quite obvious to the audience he’s having a lot of fun along the way.”
The co-star of “How I Met Your Mother” is a three-time Emmy winner, two of those coming for his Tony hosting duties.
Weiss is directing the Tonys for the 14th consecutive year.