Get the latest from TODAY

Sign up for our newsletter
 / Updated 
By Randee Dawn

Who wouldn't want Neil Patrick Harris as their first choice to host the 2015 Oscars? Show producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, that's who.

Despite a stellar record of hosting award shows, Neil Patrick Harris did not top the list of possible Oscar hosts this year; he came after Ellen DeGeneres, according to The Hollywood Reporter

DeGeneres does have numbers on her side — when she hosted the 2014 Oscars viewership was up 8 percent from 2013. She also was behind the celeb selfie of the year which broke Twitter, had an estimated worth of $1 billion in publicity and earned $3 million for charities.

Neil Patrick Harris performs during the 82nd Academy Awards.
Neil Patrick Harris performs during the 82nd Academy Awards.Mark J. Terrill / Today

But when asked by Meron and Zadan (the team also behind the upcoming "Peter Pan Live!" on NBC), DeGeneres said no. Next up was Harris, right? Nope: Producers were considering Chris Rock, but a deal fell through; they also wanted Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who turned them down.

Your Oscar hosts could have been Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Ellen DeGeneres or Chris Rock!
Your Oscar hosts could have been Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Ellen DeGeneres or Chris Rock!Today

At last: Harris! The actor has been wanting to add this feather to his cap for a while. In 2010 he dazzled the Oscars crowd by appearing in that year's opening number, but had to settle for hosting the Emmys twice and Tonys four times instead. 

When his hire was announced last week, he posted a joyous video to Twitter, noting that the Oscar hosting gig was on his bucket list.

In a statement Zadan and Meron told TODAY, "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. 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."

Regardless, this isn't an easy assignment. Hosting the Oscars has challenged even the most consummate of industry pros (for all of her likability and billion-dollar selfies, DeGeneres got mixed reviews when she hosted). But we have high hopes for Harris. In any case, he has kind wishes from the actual No. 1 choice, sent via Twitter:

Follow Randee Dawn on Google+ and Twitter