May 15th, 2014
05:22 PM ET
Neil Patrick Harris initially downplayed reports that he was an option to host CBS' "Late Show" after David Letterman retires, but it turns out the actor really was a potential replacement.
"Yeah, I was (in conversation with CBS)," Harris told Howard Stern on his radio show. "Not in conversation like, about to make a deal. But they called me in and sat me down and asked if that would be something I'd be interested in doing, because I have a good relationship with CBS from 'How I Met Your Mother.'"
Harris recalled going in for a meeting with CBS head Les Moonves, and while it felt great to be wined and dined by the exec for such a high-profile position, he said he still felt like he wasn't the right guy for the job.
"In that instance, I felt like I knew what my skill sets were, and I knew what it is I wanted to do after ['HIMYM'] with him, so I was surprised that he pitched me that idea," Harris told Stern. "I told him the things that concerned me about the longevity of that kind of gig, that I would get bored with the repetition fast."
Instead, Harris is more interested in doing a weekly variety show. "I think if it's weekly and people really want to see it and you trust that there's a lot of great s*** on there, then you're going to get the guests," the actor said. "You could flesh it out a bit more."
Harris said Moonves also broached the idea of putting the actor on at 12:30 a.m., but again, Harris wasn't interested in doing something every night. "It's still nightly; you're still coming out with the same content, and now you're just getting bitter that no one's watching it," he joked.
Of course, it's unclear at what point Harris had his discussions with CBS, and whether the network was also simultaneously luring in Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert, who, in the end, was chosen to succeed Letterman when he retires in 2015.
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