Lisa de Moraes
Lisa de Moraes
The TV Column

Emmy and Tony can’t seem to get enough of Neil Patrick Harris

You’re going to see a lot of Neil Patrick Harris on the trophy-show circuit.

CBS announced Wednesday that it had tapped its Monday-comedy star to host the Primetime Emmy Awards in September. That’s because it’s CBS’s turn to air the show, which the major English-language broadcast networks take turns broadcasting. Last year, when it was ABC’s turn, Jimmy Kimmel hosted.

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Pulitzer Prize winner, Peabody recipient, Medal of Freedom honoree -- Lisa de Moraes is none of these, but she is an authority on the bad direction, over-acting, and muddled plot lines being played out in the TV industry's executive suites.

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Harris is also hosting CBS’s broadcast of the 67th annual Tony Awards on June 9.

“I couldn’t be more honored and excited to be hosting this year’s Emmy Awards,” Harris said in Wednesday’s announcement. “And what perfect timing — I’ll just do the exact same script I’m about to use for the Tonys. ‘And the Emmy for Best Revival of a Musical goes to “Breaking Bad!” ’ See, told you it works.”

Harris is better than most at hosting live trophy shows and has gotten mostly rave reviews over the years for his work.

He hosted the Primetime Emmy Awards last time CBS aired it, in 2009. And he hosted the 63rd, 65th and 66th Tony Awards. Heck, he won two Emmys for hosting the Tonys (2009 and ’11).

The only reason that Harris hasn’t hosted the Academy Awards is because that show airs annually on ABC, and “How I Met Your Mother” is produced at Twentieth Century Fox, not ABC-parent Disney, so ABC has no incentive to showcase him on the mother of all trophy shows. Same holds true for the Golden Globe Awards, on which NBC has a broadcast lock.

“Neil is the quintessential host — engaging, entertaining and a true showman — with a passion for celebrating the medium we all love,” CBS Entertainment President Nina Tassler said in Wednesday’s announcement.

Not coincidentally, “How I Met Your Mother” begins its final season on CBS in the fall, kicking off the network’s much-changed Monday lineup, which will include the launch of the comedies “We Are Men” and “Mom,” and the serialized drama “Hostages.”

CBS understandably wants to drive as many viewers to “HIMYM” to Mondays-at-8 this coming season. One easy way to help that is to have Harris host as many trophy shows as possible.

CBS will broadcast the Primetime Emmy Awards the night before CBS’s final season debut of “HIMYM.”

Female among ‘Men’

In other CBS news, the comedy “Two and a Half Men” will look more like “My Three Dads” next season.

A youngish chick is being added to the cast of the long-running show, as a series regular. She will be the previously unknown love-child of the departed Charlie Harper (Charlie Sheen). She shows up at Harper’s house, although Dad’s dead, and the house is owned by Ashton Kutcher’s Walden Schmidt. The new girl will move in with Walden and her uncle Alan (Jon Cryer) who is Walden’s permanent house guest.

Sheen, of course, is the gift that keeps on giving to “Men,” since being tossed after famously describing the show as a “pukefest” during a 2011 feud with creator Chuck Lorre and Warner Bros. studio.

Interest in the show was at an all-time high in fall 2011, and 29 million people tuned in to see Sheen’s character get hit by a train and Kutcher’s character brought onboard. That was the biggest season-debut crowd for any scripted TV show on any network since 2005.

Then there were the cost savings. Before being sacked, Sheen was earning about $2 million an episode. Returning this season, Kutcher reportedly is being paid about $700,000 per episode.

And now, for all these years, Sheen’s character was hiding this love child, who will step in to fill the void left by the sort-of departure of Angus T. Jones’s character, Jake, Charlie Harper’s nephew.

Jones, who had been one of the highest-paid teen actors on TV, has been busted down to “recurring” status on the show. Jones will spend his free time attending college and mulling the financial repercussions of taking a page from the Charlie Sheen School of Self-Destruction, in which you beg viewers to “please stop watching” the show and “filling your head with filth.”

Jones subsequently issued a statement saying that he could not address “everything that has been said, or right every misstatement or misunderstanding” about his comments on the TV series.

Possibly because Jones could not find any — hard to say that you were misquoted or taken out of context when your comments about the TV series that made you rich and famous were in a video posted to YouTube by the Alabama-based church Forerunner Chronicles.

But Jones gave it the old college try. He insisted he’d never intended his suggestion that people not watch this filthy show to “reflect me showing indifference to, and disrespect of, my colleagues and a lack of appreciation of the extraordinary opportunity of which I have been blessed.”

Governator series

In other CBS news, its pay-cable network Showtime has bought a new drama series about a no-frills gym in 1970s Venice Beach, Calif. The show will star Arnold Schwarzenegger in a recurring role.

“Pump” traces the roots of present-day body worship to this concrete body-building mecca.

Schwarzenegger was brought in to the project after the original creator brought the idea to “Two and a Half Men” exec producers Eric and Kim Tannenbaum, who decided to get the Governator involved. Once signed, Schwarzenegger began sharing stories of his past, according to the Hollywood Reporter — although he’d already shared a lot of them on that ESPN short film “Arnold’s Blueprint,” about his teen years in the Austrian Army, where his bodybuilding career began.

To read previous columns by Lisa de Moraes, go to washingtonpost.com/
tvblog.

 
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