Neil Patrick Harris, the Emmy and Tony Award-winning and previous Emmy and Tony Awards host, will do the honors for the 87th Academy Awards for the very first time.
Even for someone as seasoned at hosting as Harris is, getting the Oscars gig is a pretty big deal. We know he’s adept at keeping the energy up during lull periods of awards shows (and we know the Oscars is chock full of them) but his song and dance act, one that worked out well for Hugh Jackman, should be a piece of cake for NPH. The four-time Emmy winner and Tony winner is going to have big shoes to follow with Ellen DeGeneres’s hosting turn bringing in the biggest Oscar audience in 16 years (the year Shakespeare in Love won). It drew an average audience of 43.74 million total viewers. Her ‘Oscar selfie’ set the mark for the most retweeted image in Twitter history.
It will be a curious night as Harris is a co-star in one of the potentially big Oscar films this year, Gone Girl. While he’s not assured a nomination himself (or at all, really), his co-star Rosamund Pike is a likely nominee along with the film and possibly director David Fincher. The outcome of those potential nominations and wins or losses should provide him with some spontaneous material.
Craig Zadan and Neil Meron will be producing the Oscars for the third consecutive year, which will air on ABC February 22, 2015.