EXCLUSIVE: Feeling it was impossible to follow the jaw-dropping opening musical number Neil Patrick Harris did in June as host of the Tony Awards, CBS — which carries both the Tonys and the Emmys this year — and producers of the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards decided to go in a different direction. No one would comment, but I’ve learned they opted for an opening film starring Harris and featuring nominated shows in the mold of the popular opening montages at the Oscars. According to a person close to the production, in the video, Harris is binge-viewing shows after taking his hosting duties very seriously and deciding to watch every piece of television made last season. He gradually becomes so intoxicated that a clever and witty conversation ensues.
The video, which is getting great reviews from people who have seen it, was directed by Troy Miller, who has directed all Oscar-opening films for host Billy Crystal as well as the one for hosts James Franco and Anne Hathaway (in what was the high point of that ceremony), and the memorable 2011 Emmys opening video featuring host Jane Lynch visiting several nominated series including Mad Men (clip below). Like in all those films, Harris will interact with the different shows but in a way not done before. On a press call yesterday, Emmys executive producer Ken Ehrlich wouldn’t discuss the opening, saying only that “the show will open in a way that is definitely not expected.”
With How I Met Your Mother star Harris hosting the Emmys and the show kicking off its final season the next night, it was unthinkable not to showcase the veteran comedy at the Sunday ceremony. I hear it is done with another comedic video, featuring Harris being addicted to hosting things (He has hosted the Tonys 4 times, the Emmys twice and the TV Land Awards once). His co-stars are helping him with his sickness.