Neil Patrick Harris declined offers to host The Late Show, formerly hosted by late-night legend David Letterman. The deal offered by the CBS CEO Les Moonves, as well as Entertainment Chairman Nina Tassler, was turned down by the How I Met Your Mother actor.
Harris, 40, stated he was taken by surprise when CBS approached him with the offer. The actor confessed that he was certain of what he wanted to do after the hit CBS series ended and, unfortunately, hosting a late-night talk show did not fall in this realm of category.
The decision that Neil Patrick Harris had declined to star in The Late Show came shortly after CBS passed over accepting the possibility of directing a How I Met Your Mother spin-off. The proposed comedy, entitled How I Met Your Dad, was to be focused around actress Greta Gerwig’s character Sally, as she searched for love after struggling to get through a divorce. Although the spin-off has already made its way through a pilot episode, the CBS network reportedly suffered multiple creative differences surrounding the continuation of the series.
One of the many rumors regarding why the network passed up the series was in regards to the allegedly likeability of the main character, played by Gerwig. Although the issue was not centered on Gerwig herself, the question arose of whether or not a series centered on a young woman’s quest for love after divorce could really go all the way in terms of a sitcom’s success. As well as this issue, there have been reports that two of Greta’s co-stars, who as of now remain unnamed, have raised a potentially uncomfortable environment in terms of those who are willing to work with them.
The network’s concern that the sitcom might not pan out is hardly uncalled for; CBS has reportedly cut between eight to six comedies in preparation for the upcoming prime-time season of 2014-2015. This decision was made in an attempt to rectify the network’s declining ratings in the past year; therefore, as big of a success as How I Met Your Dad could have been, the network was clearly in no state to take that chance.
All hope for the How I Met Your Mother spin-off is not yet lost, however. Sources allege that although the most logical home for the rejected CBS sitcom lies at sister network Fox, Fox already has a full schedule when it comes to comedies for next prime-time season. The next most logical network would be tied between ABC & NBC, two networks that pride themselves on promoting the idea of a strong, independent woman who can get by on their own (Parks & Recreation). NBC may have an advantage over ABC, however; ABC has reportedly already ordered a sitcom surrounding young people falling in love entitled Manhattan Love Story. While NBC has also ordered its fair share of comedies, president Jen Salke worked on How I Met Your Mother back in the day, giving the network a strong advantage over others in terms of who will grab hold of the proposed How I Met Your Dad sitcom.
Although Neil Patrick Harris declined The Late Show, fans of the actor’s previous sitcom How I Met Your Mother can still hold out hope for a spin-off. However, it remains to be seen which network will be able to uphold the task of producing the proposed comedy.
By Rebecca Grace