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Neil Patrick Harris’ jam-packed variety show Best Time Ever coming to NBC

netflix lemony snicket casting neil patrick harris
Helga Esteb /
Who wouldn’t want to have the Best Time Ever? That’s the name of a new variety show coming to NBC that will see Neil Patrick Harris at the helm, not so much as a typical host, but more like a ringleader, reports Variety.

The TV star and consummate host will be at the center of the program, which is (of course) based on a British show called Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway. The show will be of the true variety ilk, featuring everything from comedy to sketches, game show elements, pranks, and performances. Given Harris’ known passion for magic, chances are it will have elements of that, too. The show will also feature a celebrity guest in each episode.

Viewers will be able to join in on the fun, too, with the chance to win cash and prizes, participate in hidden camera experiments, and partake in interactive elements. For example, it has already been revealed that in the first episode, which will air on September 15 and feature Reese Witherspoon, Harris went undercover to a random wedding to photo bomb the bride and groom. Every episode will end with a musical number – not surprisingly given Harris’ love for picking up the microphone.

Don’t think of this, however, as a modern day Star Search or Dean Martin Show. Given that Harris has tapped comedians like Sarah Silverman and Louis C.K. as stars he’d love to see appear on Best Show Ever, it’s clear that it’s going after the millennial/Gen-X demographic, with content that is likely to be a bit edgy.

It sounds like a mix of a quite a lot of different elements, with influences from Candid Camera to Whose Line is it Anyway? to Celebrity Game Night, along with pranks like Punk’d, and a bit of late night talk show thrown in for good measure.

If anyone can get a viewing audience riled up, it’s Harris, who has hosted several major awards programs, from the Emmys to the Tonys, and spent nine years playing the animated, womanizing character Barney Stinson on CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother.

Harris is heavily tied to the project behind the scenes as well, operating as showrunner, assisted by Siobhan Greene, who has been involved with the British series through its run, and will serve as executive producer of the American version as well.

So far, the deal with NBC is for eight episodes, and Harris has signed on for at least a year as both host and producer. Should it get picked up to continue, though, Harris notes that it’ll likely continue with that relatively low number of shows per season given the “complexity of the production.”

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