Neil Patrick Harris Says He Was in Talks for ‘Live With Kelly’ Before Michael Strahan Got the Gig

Neil Patrick Harris appears on 'LIVE with Kelly and Michael'. Lorenzo Bevilaqua/Disney-ABC via Getty Images

Not interested, NPH? Neil Patrick Harris revealed that he was approached to cohost Live with Kelly — but turned down the offer — before Michael Strahan landed the gig alongside Kelly Ripa in 2012.

During a Monday, September 26, appearance at the 92nd Street Y’s “Food Talk” with Geoffrey Zakarian in NYC, the How I Met Your Mother alum, 43, was asked if was interested in permanently filling the seat next to Ripa, 45, on the morning program.

"[Guest hosting is] super fun [but] I have no interest at all in doing it all year long,” Harris — who has guest-hosted Live multiple times — explained. “It’s a hard show.”

The actor’s husband, David Burtka — with whom he shares 5-year-old twins Harper and Gideon — then chimed in to say that Harris was at the forefront of producers’ minds when Regis Philbin left the show five years ago after 28 years at the helm.

"That's so absolutely not true," the Gone Girl star responded before admitting: "Well, before the [Michael Strahan] chapter … it happened, we talked about the possibility … They wanted to gauge my interest."

Actor David Burtka poses for a photo backstage with his husband, actor Neil Patrick Harris (left), TV personality Kelly Ripa and actor Mark Consuelos (right) following his performance at 54 Below on November 26, 2014 in NYC. Cindy Ord/Getty Images

Asked who he’d like to see take over Strahan’s spot, Harris said that he thinks Anderson Cooper would be a great fit. "Who do I think would be best? Anderson Cooper would be the perfect host for that show. His [CNN] job requires him to sit and read … he's required to tell the news … [but] he has so many fun opinions,” he explained. “It would be so fun to see him not doing hard-hitting news every day."

As Us Weekly previously reported, Ripa felt “blindsided” by Strahan’s sudden departure from Live to join Good Morning America full-time this September, which was announced — without her prior knowledge — back in April. The former NFL player terminated his contract early as a result of the drama, exiting four months ahead of schedule in May.

During a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, ABC exec Ben Sherwood admitted that the network’s handling of Strahan’s exit from the show was less than perfect. “I have most definitely thought about it, and I think that enough has been said about it,” he told THR with a laugh. “We made some mistakes, we fixed them quickly, and we moved on.”

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