Neil Patrick Harris to Host Variety Show on NBC

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Bringing five-time Emmy Award winner Neil Patrick Harris to the network, NBC has ordered a new primetime variety series based on the hugely popular U.K. format “Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway,” which was created by ITV Studios, Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly. The series is an institution in the U.K., winning multiple awards, including two prestigious BAFTA’s in 2014.

Harris, who has served as an Emmy and Tony Award host and was recently announced as host of the 2015 Academy Awards, will bring his multi-dimensional skills to the forefront of this new hourlong series.

NBC’s new variety series will feature comedy sketches, musical numbers, mini game shows, hidden camera pranks on celebrities and appearances by A-list stars, based on ITV’s U.K. format, “Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway.”

NBC has ordered 10 episodes from ITV Studios America, all of which will be filmed in front of a live audience. Neither an official title nor air date has been set.

“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!”

“All of us here at NBC have been dying to work with Neil, as we’ve watched him brilliantly host the Tonys and Emmys,” said Paul Telegdy, President, Alternative and Late Night Programming, NBC Entertainment. “This series will suit his extraordinary talents perfectly. He is a versatile and thrilling talent for us to welcome into the NBC family.”

“The ‘Saturday Night Takeaway’ format is already popular in many countries, including the U.K., Germany, Portugal, Italy and Belgium. We are delighted that its expansion to the U.S. includes the multi-talented star Neil Patrick Harris,” said Paul Buccieri, Chairman, ITV Studios U.S. Group and Global Entertainment.

Orly Adelson, President, ITV Studios America, added, “We are excited to be launching this series with NBC as the series represents the perfect marriage of an incredible talent with the right format to create the ultimate variety show.”

Harris co-stars in David Fincher’s Gone Girl, currently in theaters. He recently finished a run on Broadway as the lead in “Hedwig and the Angry Inch,” for which he won a Tony Award for best actor in a musical. For nine seasons played the role of Barney Stinson on “How I Met Your Mother,” for which he received four Emmy and two Golden Globe nominations. The star is also slated to host next year’s Academy Awards telecast.

The series will be produced by ITV Studios America. Neil Patrick Harris, Orly Adelson, Siobhan Greene and U.K. hosts Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly will serve as executive producers. The deal was brokered by CAA and WME. The “Saturday Night Takeaway” format is distributed internationally by ITV Studios Global Entertainment.

(Photo Credit: WENN.com)