In a recent interview, Neil Patrick Harris has said he doubts he will ever present the Oscars again, following his much-criticized hosting of this year’s ceremony.
Neil Patrick Harris told The Huffington Post: “I don’t know that my family nor my soul could take it.”
Ratings for this year’s Oscar televised ceremony were down 16% on last year, and the lowest for six years.
Neil Patrick Harris’s stint as host came in for a bashing, with criticism it was flat and even “embarrassing” in places.
The actor had previously won plaudits for his hosting of the Tony Awards, which appeared to suit his style more having a Broadway background himself.
Asked if he read the reviews, Neil Patrick Harris said: “I didn’t keep up with it obsessively, but it was interesting to see just what people thought landed and didn’t.”
He added: “It’s so difficult for one who’s simply watching the show to realize just how much time and concession and compromise and explanation has gone into almost every single thing.
“And I’m not saying that to defend everything I said as if it was the absolute best choice, but it’s also an award show, and you’re powering through 14 acts filled with 20 plus awards.
“So my job was to try and keep things as light and specific to this year’s set of films as possible. And if people are critical of that, it’s a big giant platform, so I would assume that they would be.”
The low ratings of this year’s Oscar ceremony has been partly blamed on the lack of blockbuster movies up for the big prizes, with the contenders including Birdman and Boyhood considered more arthouse than mainstream.
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This year’s Oscars ceremony has scored the event’s lowest ratings in six years, averaging 36.6 million viewers.
The figures were down by 16% on last year’s ratings, according to Nielsen figures published by Variety.
First-time host Neil Patrick Harris received lukewarm reviews, while some have blamed the drop on a lack of nominations for films with mass appeal.
Last year 43.7 million tuned in when Ellen DeGeneres was at the helm.
Ellen DeGeneres had powered the show to a 10-year ratings high and proved a tough act to follow.
Critics were unimpressed by Neil Patrick Harris’s performance during the three-and-a-half hour awards show, which saw him stripping to his pants for a Birdman and Whiplash inspired sketch – something the LA Times review called “embarrassing”.
Neil Patrick Harris has previously won four Primetime Emmys for his skills hosting Broadway’s Tony awards.
However, The Washington Post commented: “It was bound to happen eventually. Neil Patrick Harris, the man who can host anything, finally stumbled.”
Not everyone has blamed Neil Patrick Harris for the ceremony’s lack of appeal though, with some suggesting the predictability of this year’s awards race may have put TV viewers off.
Many of this year’s prizes were awarded to favorites including Eddie Redmayne and Julianne Moore who took the top acting prizes on the night.
Birdman triumphed over Boyhood to win both best picture and best director for Alejandro Gonzalez.
The New York Times has suggested the gap between films that are popular in US cinemas and those winning Oscars may also explain a ratings dip, calling the awards “hopelessly detached from movie viewers.”
Box-office smash American Sniper went home with only the sound-editing prize, while the second biggest ticket seller of the best picture nominations, The Imitation Game, also took just one prize.
“After months of intense prize campaigning by the Oscar-savvy Weinstein Company, it lost in seven of its eight nominated categories, winning only for best adapted screenplay,” said The New York Times.
Sunday’s TV broadcast was the Academy Awards’ lowest-rated show since 2009, which attracted 36.3 million viewers when Hugh Jackman hosted and Slumdog Millionaire was the big winner.
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Neil Patrick Harris has announced he will host the 87th Academy Awards on February 22, 2015, at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles.
Neil Patrick Harris made the announcement by posting a cheeky video on Twitter.
The 41-year-old actor wrote: “I’m in!” as he gets off the phone, before circling the words “Host the Oscars” on a bucket list.
Neil Patrick Harris has announced he will host the 87th Academy Awards on February 22, 2015
Neil Patrick Harris, known to many for Doogie Howser MD, has hosted the Tony Awards and the Emmys but he said this realized a lifelong ambition.
“To be asked to follow in the footsteps of Johnny Carson, Billy Crystal, Ellen DeGeneres, and everyone else who had the great fortune of hosting is a bucket list dream come true,” Neil Patrick Harris said in a statement released by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs called Neil Patrick Harris “the consummate entertainer”.
The news caps a busy week for Neil Patrick Harris, who released his autobiography and features in the nation’s number one film, Gone Girl.
President Barack Obama and his family have flipped the switch for the 90th annual lighting of the National Christmas Tree, marking the holiday season in Washington.
Barack Obama was joined by his daughters, Sasha, 11, and Malia, 14, and wife Michelle. All were bundled to shield themselves from the cold December night.
Also helping in the festive ceremony was actor and singer Neil Patrick Harris, who hosted the tree-lighting ceremony
“Merry Christmas, everybody!” the president began. He was wearing a black wool overcoat and a maroon scarf tucked loosely in his jacket. He was then interrupted by Neil Patrick Harris, who said that it was wonderful to see Barack Obama’s daughters out and about.
“It’s wonderful to see you, Mr. President,” he added.
Barack Obama feigned confusion.
“Is it time?” he asked.
“I hope everybody’s ready,” Barack Obama said.
“We gotta do the countdown.”
President Barack Obama and his family have flipped the switch for the 90th annual lighting of the National Christmas Tree
The crowd then counted down from five, before the first lady and her daughters switched on the blue spruce’s magnificent lights.
After the lighting, Neil Patrick Harris continued to banter with the president, and joked with actor Rico Rodriguez of ABC’s Modern Family about joining the Obamas in Hawaii this Christmas.
Singers Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, Ledisi, Jason Mraz, Colbie Caillat and James Taylor, along with the band The Fray, performed Christmas songs before a crowd of about 17,000 on the Ellipse, a park that sits between the White House and the National Mall.
The president said in a brief speech he has been inspired by Americans’ response to Hurricane Sandy, which ravaged the Northeast in late October. He told a story of a street in Staten Island, where houses and businesses were devastated by the storm.
“A great big Christmas tree shines out of the darkness,” he said.
“A local nursery donated the tree, another business chipped in for lights and a star, and 70-year-old Tom Killeen and his friends planted it at the end of the street, overlooking the town beach.”
“As Tom says, the tree has one message: It’s Christmas time, not disaster time,” the president concluded.
The National Christmas Tree ablaze with white lights and stars, Barack Obama joined the singers on stage in a singalong version of Santa Claus Is Coming to Town before heading home, a short motorcade ride away.
This year’s giant blue spruce is new and was transplanted in October on the Ellipse, a park that lies between the White House and the National Mall.
The previous tree died from transplant shock after just a year. Before that, a tree that stood for more than 30 years was destroyed by winds in February 2011.