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Neil Patrick Harris to host 2015 Oscars

From Wire Reports

Neil Patrick Harris is set to host the Oscars next year.

The actor and author announced his latest gig online Wednesday. He posted a video on Twitter of him on the phone saying, “I’m in,” showing a close-up of his bucket list and circling “Host the Oscars.”

Academy Awards co-producer Neil Meron confirmed the casting on Twitter Wednesday, writing, “we are so THRILLED that @ActuallyNPH will be our #Oscars host this year.”

The 41-year-old Harris has hosted Broadway’s Tony Awards four times and TV’s Primetime Emmy Awards twice.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which puts on the Oscars, did not immediately comment.

The 87th Academy Awards are set for Feb. 22, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

Area authors among national finalists

Authors with regional ties are among this year’s finalists for the National Book Awards.

The National Book Foundation announced five finalists in each of four categories Wednesday.

Sandpoint native Marilynne Robinson was cited for “Lila,” the third of an Iowa-based trilogy that began with her Pulitzer Prize-winning “Gilead.”

Boise author Anthony Doerr was nominated for “All the Light We Cannot See,” set in Europe during World War II.

Winners, each of whom receives $10,000, will be disclosed at a Nov. 19 ceremony in New York.

Jay Leno steers way to nightly show

Jay Leno is returning to nightly television.

The former “Tonight Show” host’s new prime-time venture, tentatively titled “Jay Leno’s Garage,” and based on his Emmy Award-winning Web series, will premiere on CNBC in 2015, the network announced Wednesday. The debut date and frequency of airing are yet to be determined, the network said.

The hourlong show will be a forum for Leno to share his passion for “all things automotive,” the network said, “including best investments, valuations and the inner workings of the car collector’s market.”

Leno commented: “This show will be about anything that rolls, explodes and makes noise. We hope to highlight the passion and the stories behind the men and women who made the automobile the greatest invention of the 20th century.”

The 64-year-old Leno, well-known for his interest in cars and his vast car collection, hosted a one-hour special for CNBC in August. “Jay Leno’s Garage: The Ultimate Car Week” marked his first return to hosting since he vacated NBC’s “Tonight Show” last February.

The birthday bunch

Actress Angela Lansbury is 89. Actor Barry Corbin (“One Tree Hill,” “Northern Exposure”) is 74. Actress Suzanne Somers is 68. Actor-director Tim Robbins is 56. Actor Paul Sparks (“Boardwalk Empire”) is 43. Singer-songwriter John Mayer is 37 .

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