Neil Patrick Harris close to Emmys gig

'How I Met Your Mother' star hosted Tonys in June

CBS is close to signing "How I Met Your Mother" co-star Neil Patrick Harris to host this year's Emmys.

The two-time Emmy nominee is fresh off a well-received performance hosting CBS' Tonys telecast in June, and took the stage in May for a segment at the network's upfront presentation. In April, Harris hosted the TVLand Awards, which is owned by CBS parent company Viacom.

The 61st annual Emmys will be telecast on Sept. 20. The move could help promote "How I Met Your Mother" in the fall, which is moving to a less protected time slot opening the network's Monday night comedy block.

There's pressure on the Primetime Emmys to stage a turnaround this year. Ratings for the Academy Awards, MTV Awards, Tonys, Grammys and Country Music Awards have all increased during their most recent airings, putting a spotlight on the perpetually sinking Emmys to step up -- last year's edition hit an all-time viewership low.
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