Neil Patrick Harris Addresses Emmys Controversy

08/04/2009 at 08:40 AM EDT

Neil Patrick Harris Addresses Emmys Controversy
Neil Patrick Harris
Barry Talesnick/Globe
Neil Patrick Harris is finding out how tough it can be to host the Emmy Awards – a full seven weeks before the broadcast even airs.

The How I Met Your Mother star, chosen last month to emcee TV's biggest night on Sept. 20, spoke to reporters Monday about a burgeoning outcry over CBS's plans to time-shift part of the telecast.

The network plans to tape the award presentations in some categories 45 minutes before the broadcast begins. Some writers and producers are worried this will marginalize their work, but Harris, 36, said that's not the case.

"It's not like they're happening on a different evening and they're all just going to be montaged together," he said of the pre-taped awards, the Los Angeles Times reports.

"We're just trying to edit down the standing and the hugging and the walking down the aisle. Quite frankly, the writers' speeches are some of the best ones of the night. So, we'll be able to highlight them more than anything. There's just some boring parts of that that we're just trying to trim down."

Harris – who also handled this year's Tonys – won't let the controversy dampen his enthusiasm for the gig. According to, he described his award-show hosting philosophy this way: "It's like you're hosting a big dinner party, Dean Martin-style."

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