If the How I Met Your Mother legacy continues, it won’t be at CBS. Spinoff pilot How I Met Your Dad had been in no-man’s land since last Friday, when the network made its new series pickups and it was not among them. CBS left HIMYD alive while passing on all of its other not-ordered pilots except Gaffigan, which was tabled until after the upfronts. However, there had been little back-and-forth between CBS and studio 20th Century Fox TV over the past few days. There was an offer from the network to re-pilot the project, something CBS has previously done successfully with The Big Bang Theory and, most recently, with newly picked up comedy The McCarthys. But I hear that came with no commitment to go to series, which HIMYD producer 20th Century Fox TV was unwilling to do, given the project’s pedigree and auspices, HIMYM creators Craig Thomas & Carter Bays and Emily Spivey. I hear 20th TV was willing to take a series order with the commitment to retool the pilot, something CBS is currently doing with The Odd Couple, which it owns. That pilot, picked up for midseason, is being reworked, including recasting two parts.
CBS’ option on HIMYD expires today, so, unless a miracle happens, the project is dead at CBS. 20th TV, which has been very bullish on the pilot, plans to shop it to other networks, and I hear it already has received interest. I hear the studio is looking to make a decision over the next week, with executives confident that HIMYD would go to series somewhere. (Places considered potential destinations for Dad include sibling Fox, NBC and Netflix.)
CBS entertainment president Nina Tassler said that “there were elements of the pilot that didn’t work out” when explaining the network’s decision to pass on it. Tassler underscored that the reasons were creative, dismissing any notion that there was financial interest, like pursuing a co-production with 20th TV. “Creative always drives the business,” she said. “We felt re-piloting was in the best interest.” With that not in the cards, “I’m heartsick,” Tassler said. “It didn’t work out.”
Written by Bays & Thomas and Spivey, the spinoff is in the tone of HIMYM, this time told from a mother’s point of view, and features a new group of New York friends who hang out at MacLaren’s Pub. Greta Gerwig, Drew Tarver, Tiya Sircar, Nick D’Agosto and Andrew Santino star.