BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — Neil Patrick Harris wants his live variety show "Best Time Ever with Neil Patrick Harris," to be must-see TV that will get people talking.
"You'll get to see a bunch of cool (expletive) and it will be live, so you will be able to reference it the next day after you see it," he told a panel of television critics Thursday.
The show will feature stunts, surprises, music and games, but details are being purposely kept quiet.
"We're holding a lot of cards close to our vest because that's what's gonna make it fun to watch live," Harris said. "I really do think it will be fun, and I'm hoping a little bit game-changing. But I also didn't anticipate how much work went into the production of it. It's essentially producing six, seven shows simultaneously."
When asked about whether he learned anything from Ryan Seacrest's "Knock Knock Live," which was canceled after two episodes by Fox, he said: "I didn't even watch. I didn't even know that it was on.
"I don't say that as some sort of back-handed anything. I didn't really know that it was on and that it was happening. I think what they did was ambitious, but it's a hard conceit to do those things as a new idea."
"Best Time Ever" is inspired by the British variety series "Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway." Harris has hired "Takeaway" executive producer Siobhan Greene to run his show, which will last for eight weeks.
If there's a second season, the plan is for it to air at the same time next year.
"I think something like this deserves to be a little bit of an event," Harris said. "I don't want to over-saturate this idea by just continuing to do it and do it and do it," he said.
Harris is no stranger to live television. He has hosted the Tony Awards four times, the Primetime Emmy Awards twice and this year's Academy Awards.
"I was so honored to have asked to be a part of it truly. It's a giant beast in almost every way," he said. "I knew what I was getting into. I loved doing it. I think it's fun. It's a very rare ask, and it's a lot of effort that goes into something that at the end of the day becomes inconsequential. Everyone watches it, and as soon as it's done they're off to the next ting and they don't talk about it much."
He said, "You're hard-pressed after an award show to remember the nominees. That's the interesting dynamic and the dualities of the hosting those. As soon as it's done, it sort of vanishes."
"Best Time Ever" premieres Sept. 19 at 10 p.m. EDT.