Woah ... there could have been a different kind of "legen ... dary" replacement for David Letterman in the "Late Show" time slot.
Neil Patrick Harris confirmed on the X-rated "Howard Stern Show" on Sirius XM satellite radio on Wednesday, May 14, that several months ago, he had met with CBS executives, including chairman and CEO Les Moonves, and was asked about the possibility of hosting a late-night talk show after Letterman left. The longtime host announced on April 3 that he plans to retire from his long-running series "The Late Show," following years of speculation.
"I told him the things that ... concerned me about the longevity of that kind of gig, that I think I would get bored of the repetition fast and that the structure of it is so set," Harris told Stern. "I don't have any interest in doing 'Monologue, commercial, sketch, guest, guest, musical act, goodnight.'"
Harris, who starred in CBS sitcom "How I Met Your Mother" before it ended its nine-season run in March, has years of hosting experience, but never a talk show. He hosted the Tony Awards three times and the Emmy Awards twice and also served as a guest host on "Live with Kelly and Michael."
The actor also told Stern that the idea of having him host a show at 12:30 a.m. was also discussed. "The Late Late Show" currently occupies that time slot, which follows the "Late Show." On April 28, Ferguson announced he would leave his series in December. His reveal came less than two weeks after CBS announced Stephen Colbert, of the Comedy Central series "The Colbert Report," would replace Letterman.
"It's still nightly -- you're still coming out with the same content, but now you're just getting bitter that no one's watching it," Harris added about the 12:30 a.m. show idea, laughing.
Harris also said he pitched Moonves an idea of a weekly variety show instead and signaled that it remains a possibility. The actor is currently playing the lead character in the raunchy Broadway musical "Hedwig and the Angry Itch." At the Tonys and Emmys, he showcased his singing and dancing skills onstage.
"I think if it's weekly and people really want to see it, and you trust that there's a lot of really great [expletive] on there, then you're gonna get the guests to want to come onto your thing," the actor said. "You'd have more time to prep for stuff, you could do pre-taped stuff that would be really exciting, you could flesh it out a little bit more."
(Pictured above: Neil Patrick Harris appears on stage during opening night of the rock musical "Hedwig and the Angry Itch" on Broadway in New York on April 22, 2014. Credit: Adam Nemser / Startraksphoto.com)