Criss -- who appeared on Broadway in "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" and is filming the movie "Imogene" with Kristen Wiig and Annette Bening -- was offered the "X Factor" gig after the Fox show's original host Steve Jones was dumped for the upcoming second season, along with judges Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger.
Criss declined the job because of his busy schedule, and because he would rather perform than be a host, E! reported.
"They were after him," a show insider said. "But there's no way he could have done it with everything he has going on."
Representatives for Criss and Fox did not comment on the report. E! said.
Notable deaths of 2014 [PHOTOS]