It was announced last week that the excellent Neil Patrick Harris will be hosting this coming February’s Oscar ceremony, but it turns out that NPH wasn’t the Academy’s first choice. THR reports that producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron—who have produced the last two ceremonies in a row—first “begged” Ellen Degeneres to return as Oscar for this year’s ceremony. She firmly declined the offer, and then they next approached Chris Rock, who hosted in 2005. He turned down the offer as well, and so Zadan and Meron then went to Julia Louis-Dreyfus who, shocker, said “no”. They then finally landed on Harris, who graciously agreed to take on the gig. More after the jump.