EXCLUSIVE: As fans are preparing to say goodbye to one of TV’s most popular comedies, How I Met Your Mother, CBS is looking to extend the franchise. I’ve learned that the network is in talks with HIMYM producer 20th Century Fox TV for a spinoff series, which takes a female spin on the original show. Referred to as How I Met Your Father, the spinoff hails from HIMYM creators/executive producers Carter Bays and Craig Thomas and Up All Night creator/exec producer Emily Spivey. It would feature a new group of New York friends and chronicle a female member of the group’s quest to meet her future husband. I hear the new characters could be introduced in the HIMYM series finale, and Ted, Barney, Marshall, Lily and Robin’s favorite hangout, MacLaren’s Pub, may be featured on the new show, serving as a link between the two gangs. The premise, which is not tied to any of the original HIMYM characters, gives Bays, Thomas and Spivey a clean slate to build new characters and relationships. The trio, who will co-write and executive produce the spinoff, share a background — they all started in late-night and worked on New York-based late-night shows (Late Show for Bays and Thomas, Saturday Night Live for Spivey) before transitioning to primetime comedy series.

CBS certainly could use more HIMYM — the veteran comedy is the key piece holding together the network’s Monday lineup, which has had a rough fall. HIMYM launched its final season with a 3.7 adults 18-49 rating and remains CBS’ highest-rated Monday series and the second-highest rated overall behind The Big Bang Theory. This is the second hit comedy series to be exploring a spinoff for next season, joining ABC’s Modern Family, also from 20th TV, which is mulling an offshoot built around the character played by guest star Rob Riggle. Spivey, who is under an overall deal at 20th, is repped by UTA, which also reps Bays and Thomas.