When Neil Patrick Harris has announced as the host of the 2015 Academy Awards he was ecstatic. The gig was on his bucket list, below rapping with Snoop Dogg and meeting the president. It turns out he wasn't the only one with a list, though. ABC had its own list of potential hosts, and NPH was the fourth choice on it. 

Before NPH said yes ABC offered the hosting job to (in order) Ellen DeGeneres, Chris Rock, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Also of note is a name that, surprisingly, wasn't in the mix. Jimmy Kimmel, ABC's face of late night television, wasn't offered the gig despite his obvious qualifications. 

Being the fourth option doesn't sound sexy, but we doubt it makes any difference to NPH. If he kills when the show airs Feb. 22, he could even be the first option in the next round of negotiations. He'd also avoid being on the list of celebrities who flopped while hosting the Oscars, which includes:

  • James Franco
  • Anne Hathaway
  • David Letterman
  • Seth MacFarlane
  • ​Chevy Chase
  • Chris Rock, who would have had a rare second chance

[via THR]