Neil Patrick Harris Wasn’t First Choice To Host The Oscars

It wasn’t a huge leap to figure why Neil Patrick Harris was chosen to host the Oscars. After all, Harris has hosted the Emmys and the Tonys. That said, he wasn’t the Academy’s first choice to host the awards in 2015.

In fact, Harris was just one name on a long list of people. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the search for the perfect host didn’t land producers at Harris’ feet. In fact, producers of the 2015 awards ceremony begged Ellen DeGeneres to come back after being a huge success in 2014.

Although it wasn’t said why DeGeneres turned down a big return, perhaps it’s because many hosts don’t fare well on the second consecutive go-around? According to the outlet, DeGeneres was firm in rejecting the offer despite the praise she received from viewers and the huge Twitter plug.

Next up was Chris Rock, who would have been an edgy choice for the Academy Awards. Like previous host Seth MacFarlane, Rock is known for his off the cuff humor that pushes hot buttons. Although it would have been interesting to see Rock find a middle ground or veer in the other direction, he said no.

If you think Neil Patrick Harris is third on the list, think again! The producers’ third pick was Julia-Louis Dreyfus, who had fun playing with hosts Amy Poehler and Tina Fey from her seat at the Golden Globes. She would have been a very exciting choice to host the Oscars but Dreyfus turned the offer down. Hopefully that doesn’t mean she won’t participate in a viral video like she did for the Emmys.

With the top three on the list turning producers down, this made them turn to Neil Patrick Harris. Harris fits given that he has strengths in comedy, appeals to everyone with a television set, and is a consummate song and dance man — which the Academy eats up. When Neil announced the news, fans seemed to be excited about the pick.

Even Ellen Barkin is excited to see the actor host the awards.

Are you surprised about the initial picks for host?

[Image via CBS]