Neil Patrick Harris was not the Academy's first choice to host the 2015 Oscars.
Producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron first begged last year's host, Ellen DeGeneres, whose turn at the podium netted an 8 percent increase in viewership over the year prior.
Next on the wish list was Chris Rock, with whom DeGeneres shares ICM Partners agent Eddy Yablans, but a deal failed to materialize. Producers then expressed interest in Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who also said no.
More at THR source - something about Jimmy Kimmel? meh