Have you been feeling mopey, depressed, and downright sad since “How I Met Your Mother” ended last spring? Have you felt that life just isn’t as much fun since you couldn’t get your Neil Patrick Harris fix week in and week out? Have you read his brand new choose-your-own-adventure autobiography cover to cover at least 10 times since it was released in mid-October, and watched clips of him in “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” on repeat? If so, you might be suffering from NPH withdrawal, but fortunately for you, NBC, the network that gave you Jimmy Fallon an hour earlier, has a cure.
NBC announced Monday that it will produce a U.S. version of the popular long-running British talk and variety show, “Saturday Night Takeaway,” with NPH as the host. That’s right. You better believe it–Neil Patrick Harris is FINALLY getting his own variety show.
I’ll give you a second to catch your breath. Back with me? Good.
For months now, we’ve been teased of NPH’s return to TV. There were rumors that he was going to take over “The Late Late Show” on CBS from Craig Ferguson, the show that follows “The Late Show with David Letterman.” Then, when Dave announced his retirement, there were rumors that NPH would take over for him. Then nothing–until he said, “I don’t want to be David Letterman, I want to be Ed Sullivan.” This is his lifelong dream. He told Howard Stern, “I think if it’s weekly, and people really want to see it, and you trust that there’s a lot of really great shit on there, then you’re gonna get the guests to want to come on there.”
He’s finally going to get the chance to be Ed Sullivan. He’ll have the opportunity to not just sit and talk to celebrities and plug their new movies, books, and lifestyle websites, but the chance to feature broadway performers, singers, new bands, crazy animal acts, and so much more. Doesn’t the fact that this is NPH’s lifelong dream just make this even better?
“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,” said Harris. “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!”
NBC has ordered 10 episodes of the ITV series. It will be produced in New York, and it will not be called “Saturday Night Takeaway,” nor will it air on Saturdays, so as not to confuse people about this other comedy/variety show that NBC airs on Saturday nights. NBC tried a similar variety show format with Maya Rudolph earlier this year, which debuted to mixed results. That was a shame, because she’s amazing.
But with NPH at the helm? Surefire hit. Game-changer. Even if it’s reportedly going to cost $2.5 million an episode to produce. Worth every penny..