Why picking Neil Patrick Harris as Oscar host was a smart move, despite looking like a safe choice

Why picking Neil Patrick Harris as Oscar host was a smart move, despite looking like a safe choice
Harris is a veteran host, and veteran hosts usually do well hosting the Academy Awards. As Scott Feinberg points out, whenever the Academy has tried to think outside the box with hosts lacking hosting experience (Seth MacFarlane, James Franco and Anne Hathaway), it has always blown up in their face. “Hosting the Oscars is, we've learned, not a job that just any funny or famous person can do,” says Feinberg, who adds that Harris” “humor is taste-tested with both the industry (he's revered by his colleagues and nobody's work as a Tonys or Emmys host has ever elicited fewer complaints in the room) and the public at-large.” PLUS: Watch Harris” best hosting moments, and why Harris is a “meh” choice and the gig is a step back for him.

Rob Lowe to star in another NBC comedy pilot, playing a newly sober narcissist dad
The Peacock didn”t pick up his tennis sitcom “The Pro” earlier this year, yet Lowe is re-teaming with the same writers to play a father who decides to embrace fatherhood when his kids are teenagers.

HBO”s new stand-alone service: Burning questions, answered
Expect the new service to cost the same as it does for cable subscribers, about $15.

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“Homeland” got a lot wrong with its portrayal of Pakistan
After watching the South Africa-shot season premiere, Pakistan native Bina Shah asks herself: “If this isn”t really Pakistan, and these aren”t really Pakistanis, then how they see us isn”t really true.” PLUS: Nazanin Boniadi says those calling “Homeland” Islamophobic are wrong, and “Homeland” still has a Carrie Mathison problem.

Dick Wolf: “SVU” will continue “as long as physically possible”
Wolf and his “Law & Order: SVU” cast looked back this week at a Paley Center discussion in New York. PLUS: Peter Gallagher”s daughter is impressed he's on “SVU.”

When remaking a TV show or movie, do studios have to get permission from the creators?
They generally don”t, but studios usually get the creator”s blessing for movie-to-TV remakes. But what about TV reboots?

“Modern Family” doesn”t deserve all the hate it gets – nor does it deserve all those Emmys
“It”s still reliably and solidly funny,” says Jason Lynch, “capable of several genuine laughs each week, which is more than most network comedies can say. But equally evident is the fact that the show, while still entertaining, stopped being groundbreaking long ago, and serves largely at this point as comedy comfort food.”

“Once Upon a Time”s” Julian Morris teases his “New Girl” future
He”s staying beyond the Thanksgiving episode.

“Black-ish” has proven to be a good sitcom, even with its “troll” title
“Calling a show 'Black-ish' is not subversive,” says Rembert Browne, who finally broke down and watched the ABC sitcom after avoiding it for three weeks. “It still is, and will always be, a troll move. But to its trolled credit, the point of the show exists within that title; by way of three generations of black Americans, it shows us how their world is impacted by race right now.”

“The Minority Report with Larry Wilmore” has found its head writer
Robin Thede previously worked as “The Queen Latifah Show”s” head writer and wrote for Chris Rock at the 2014 BET Awards.

Check out “The Walking Dead” storyboards
See the blueprints from the season premiere.