CBS Passes on ‘How I Met Your Mother’ Spin-Off ‘How I Met Your Dad’ But Is It Dead?

By May 14, 2014

With Greta Gerwig signed on to produce, write and star in the “How I Met Your Mother” spin-off pilot more casually titled “How I Met Your Dad,” complete with a voiceover from Meg Ryan, it sounded like this could be a lucrative new series. But apparently CBS didn’t think so.

The network announced their new and returning series today in their upfront presentation, and “How I Met You Dad” was nowhere in sight. But if the producers at 20th Century Fox Television have their way, CBS passing on the project won’t be the death of the proposed spin-off series.

First of all, let’s talk about what happened with the show, and why it didn’t get picked up. Deadline reports the option to order “How I Met Your Dad” to series expires today, and CBS apparently wasn’t interested enough to give it a shot. Fox was willing to retool the pilot, which CBS had previously done successfully with “The Big Bang Theory” (a series that isn’t dying anytime soon), as long as CBS committed to a series order, but they couldn’t make that guarantee. Fox just didn’t think the project was being considered carefully enough, especially coming from “How I Met Your Mother” creators Craig Thomas & Carter Bays with executive producer Emily Spivey.

How I Met Your Mother - MacLarens

Now Fox’s plan is to take the pilot to other networks, and there already seems to be interest, though no specific new home was mentioned. However, does 20th Century Fox Television have the rights to allow potential references to “How I Met Your Mother” characters or even have cameos from the series’ cast? There was previously talk about there being some kind of tie between the two series (maybe MacLaren’s Pub as the original series frequented), but we’re not sure how far that would go, and if CBS no longer being involved would prevent that.

CBS didn’t seem bitter about the deal as entertainment president Nina Tassler merely said, “There were elements of the pilot that didn’t work out.” Tassler also added that she was “heartsick” that this deal couldn’t come together. It sounds like “How I Met Your Dad” has a good chance of getting picked up elsewhere, but maybe Bays & Thomas should find some new show to get involved with instead of treading familiar territory.

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Ethan Anderton
Some of his favorite films include Ghostbusters, The Empire Strikes Back and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, while his favorite TV series include LOST, Mad Men, 30 Rock, Parks & Recreation, Arrested Development and Saturday Night Live.