neil patrick harris variety showStephen Colbert had some tough competition for David Letterman's job: Neil Patrick Harris just revealed that he was also in the running for the "Late Show" hosting gig -- and turned it down.

Speaking to Howard Stern, Harris said that CBS brass Les Moonves and Nina Tassler brought him in for a meeting to gauge his interest in succeeding Letterman once he retires at the end of the year. Harris, fresh off a nine-season run on CBS sitcom "How I Met Your Mother," said that he felt "very good" about being offered the plum late night spot (he was also reportedly offered Craig Ferguson's soon-to-be-vacated "Late Late Show" chair, too), but ultimately decided that it wasn't the right fit.

"In that instance, I felt like I knew what my skill sets were and I kind of knew what it is that I wanted to do after ['How I Met Your Mother'] with [Moonves], so I was surprised 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 think I would get bored of the repetition, fast, and that the structure of it is so set, that I don't have any interest in doing monologue, commercial, sketch, guest, guest, musical act, goodnight."

Instead, Harris said he pitched Moonves a different idea, one that he thinks would be the best use of his talents.

"I like this weekly variety show," the actor said. "A weekly thing, you'd have more time to prep for stuff, you could do pre-taped stuff that would be really exciting, you could flesh it out a little bit more, have more acts and not just do nightly."

Though Harris said CBS "still might be" interested in pursuing that series, nothing is set in stone. Still, if any format would suit the multi-hyphenate star, variety seems like the natural choice. Our fingers are crossed CBS comes to its senses and greenlights that project ASAP.

[via Us Weekly]

Photo by Jason DeCrow/Invision for Financier Patisserie/AP Images

The Late Show With Stephen Colbert
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Improv actor and comic Stephen Colbert flexes the hosting muscles he honed over nearly 1,500 episodes of the popular and critically celebrated "The Colbert Report" at the... Read More

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