CBS confirmed TV’s worst kept secret on Monday (July 13), formally announcing that Neil Patrick Harris will host the the 61st Primetime Emmy Awards.
Rumors of Harris’ recruitment as Emmy host first broke several weeks ago, with certain online sources claiming his involvement was a done-deal, but CBS presumably wanted to wait until the ink was dry on his contract before putting out an official press release, complete with enthusiastic quotes from all involved.
“We already knew Neil as a fantastic actor and performer, but after blowing everyone away as host of this year’s Tony Awards, we couldn’t think of anyone better to emcee the television industry’s biggest award show,” says Nina Tassler, President, CBS Entertainment, in the release. “He is not only engaging as a host, but has great instincts when it comes to live television. We feel like we’re in great hands with Neil hosting and Don Mischer executive producing.”
Harris has earned two straight Emmy nominations for his work as Barney Stinson on CBS’ “How I Met Your Mother” and, barring some sort of unforeseen upset, he’ll have his third nomination to worry about during the Emmy telecast on Sunday, September 20.
The “Doogie Howser, M.D.” and “Harold and Kumar” star earned rave reviews last month for his gig hosting the Tonys on CBS.
“After having had such a hoot hosting the Tonys, I was thrilled to get the call about the Primetime Emmys,” Harris says. “I’m looking forward to the challenge of the show — adding my own voice to it, while honoring the nominees and the entire year in television. But which voice to choose? I’m torn between gangsta, foppish Brit, and robot. Really proud of my robot. We’ll see what happens on the night.”
Adds Emmy producer Don Mischer, “Neil is charming, funny, quick on his feet and very likeable, He has all the qualities you look for in a host. We are really looking forward to working with him.”
In addition to his comedy and song-and-dance chops, Harris has one very important thing going for him: No matter what happens on Emmy night, unless he chokes a puppy or tosses acid on the front row of the audience, it would be nearly impossible for him to get worse reviews than last year’s Emmy hosts, the five nominated reality TV hosts.
“How I Met Your Mother” will have its season premiere the night after the Emmy telecast, presumably giving Harris and CBS the opportunity to make multiple plugs for the comedy.
This year’s Emmy nominees will be announced on Thursday, July 16 at 5:40 a.m. PT.