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Oscar Producers Respond To Report That Neil Patrick Harris Was Second Choice

Oscar producers are responding to reports that Neil Patrick Harris wasn't actually their first choice to host the 2015 Academy Awards.

This after trade publication THR reported that "producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron first begged last year's host, Ellen DeGeneres, whose turn at the podium netted an 8 percent increase in viewership over the year prior" to return.

And it was only when DeGeneres and second choice Julia Louis-Dreyfus turned down the gig, that they turned to their back-up plan with seasoned awards host Neil Patrick Harris.

In a statement, the producers criticize the publication for not being able to differentiate initial and serious discussions.

"After every Oscar show there is always a discussion as to who will host the next one. Many names are discussed and sometimes even floated without there being any formal offers," they say.

"At times, these casual discussions take on a life of their own, and some are eager to break a story without knowing the facts. Neil Patrick Harris received the Academy's formal offer. He is the perfect choice for the Oscars and will be the consummate host."

The 87th Annual Academy Awards will be hosted by Harris on ABC on Sunday, February 22.

October 27, 2014 |

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