Neil Patrick Harris has addressed reports that he’s a viable candidate to replace David Letterman when the late-night host retires in 2015.
Harris, who is currently performing on Broadway in “Hedwig and the Angry Inch,” said he hasn’t had any conversations about the “Late Show” thus far.
“I’m super focused on ‘Hedwig’ at the moment, so that hasn’t even been a conversation at all,” said Harris when the New York Observer asked whether he would consider the gig.
“But I’m a big fan of CBS and [CBS’s chairman and chief executive officer Les Moonves], so who knows?” he then added.
The feeling is likely mutual. Moonves chose Harris as the host of the Emmy Awards the last two times the CBS network broadcast the honors, in 2009 and 2013.
With that under his belt, Harris understands how much work is involved in hosting a show with a monologue, interviews, musical guests and ratings pressure.
“It would be an asinine amount of work,” he said.
But, CBS knows that he can rise to the challenge. In both his turns as Emmy host, he earned positive reviews. But more importantly, last year’s ceremony bagged the telecast’s biggest audience in seven years with 17.3 million viewers.
In addition, he’s relatively free. “Hedwig” run aside, Harris and CBS’s “How I Met Your Mother” aired its series finale last week, with series-high deliveries in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic along with 12.9 million viewers.
Harris popped up on media lists of possible Letterman replacements in the hours that followed the “Late Show” veteran’s announcement last Thursday that he’ll be retiring.