Update: NBC has confirmed that Harris will indeed be hosting a series based on Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway, in a press release. The network has ordered 10 episodes of the show, which “will feature comedy sketches, musical numbers, mini game shows, hidden camera pranks on celebrities and appearances by A-list stars.” It will be filmed in front of a live audience. “As I watched the show, I couldn’t stop smiling. Now that I’ve seen many seasons, my face hurts. It’s a game changer,” Harris said in a statement. “Nothing like this has been done before, and its unique structure fits right into my random skill set. I can’t wait to roll up my sleeves and have some fun!”
Original post: Master host Neil Patrick Harris is getting what seems like the perfect gig: According to Vulture, NBC is enlisting Harris for the U.S. version of the British variety show Saturday Night Takeaway.
“We hear multiple broadcast networks actively bid for the rights to land the Harris-hosted series, with ITV asking networks to agree to an on-the air, ten-episode order for the project,” Vulture’s Josef Adalian reported. “In addition, two sources tell us ITV was asking for a price tag north of $2.5 million for each hourlong episode (and that’s before the substantial marketing and promotion such a project demands).” Adalian also noted that the show will likely be based in New York. Harris recently moved to the city with his family following the end of How I Met Your Mother.
Harris has long expressed his desire to do a variety show, a medium which seems an ideal vessel for his many talents, which include but are not limited to singing, magic, and comedy. The soon-to-be Oscar host recently brought up the variety show concept when talking with Howard Stern about why he didn’t want to take over The Late Show from David Letterman back in May.
NBC recently experimented with a variety show revival when it aired a single episode of The Maya Rudolph Show earlier this year, but its future remained uncertain.