It is a long road to air for the project. Back in 2014, HIMYM creators Craig Thomas & Carter Bays and Emily Spivey wrote a pilot for CBS that starred Greta Gerwig and Drew Tarver, but it wasn’t picked up.
Two and a half years later, Aptaker and Berger created a new take, but after the pair were elevated to co-showrunners of NBC’s This Is Us they were no longer available. Studio 20th Television tried again in the 2017-18 development season with You’re the Worst writer Alison Bennett, but again it did not move forward.
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The streamer has given the sequel series a 10-episode order with Aptaker and Berger back as creators, writers and exec producers.
Younger’s Duff stars as Sophie, who is telling her son the story of how she met his father, much like Josh Radnor (and Bob Saget’s) Ted Mosby did in the original series. The story starts in 2021 where Sophie and her close-knit group of friends are in the midst of figuring out who they are, what they want out of life, and how to fall in love in the age of dating apps and limitless options.
Duff will also produce the series, which will use a multi- and single-camera approach similar to its predecessor. Carter Bays and Craig Thomas, who created How I Met Your Mother, will also exec produce the series, which is produced by 20th Television. Adam Londy will serve as co-executive producer.
Craig Erwich, president of Hulu Originals and ABC Entertainment, called How I Met Your Mother one of the “most innovative and beloved comedies” on TV. “Isaac and Elizabeth have an inspired take on this new version that honors what Carter and Craig created with the original and moves the franchise forward. Isaac and Elizabeth have proven to be rich storytellers and great partners to us at Hulu Originals and across the Walt Disney Company family. Coupled with the passion and infectious energy Hilary brings to every role she takes on, we can’t wait to suit up and bring audiences How I Met Your Father,” he added.
Karey Burke, who is now President of 20th Television, called How I Met Your Mother a “crown jewel” in the studio’s library.
“Its fans have clamored for more ever since our final broadcast seven years ago,” she said. “Our genius producers Isaac and Elizabeth who are – wait for it – legendary within our halls, have created a spectacular new take which both honors the original and is entirely their own. Carter and Craig will return as executive producers, and who better to star as the central character than the incredible Hilary Duff? Many thanks to Craig Erwich and everyone at Hulu Originals for loving the script as much as we did and to our fantastic team who helped put this all together. I could not be more excited. Let the speculation as to who the father is commence.”
Bays and Thomas said: “Kids, I’m going to tell you an incredible story: It’s the story of how two writers got lucky enough to make their dream TV show for nine seasons and now get to pass the torch to an inspired new creative team with their own incredible story to tell, the story of How I Met Your Father. We are honored by their passion and vision, and look forward to helping them tell a legendary new story. Thanks to all the HIMYM fans out there who waited for it.”
Added Aptaker and Berger: “We are beyond excited to be bringing How I Met Your Father to Hulu. Carter and Craig’s iconic original series revolutionized the half-hour comedy, and we are so honored to be carrying the torch forward for the next generation – and with Hilary Duff no less. We can’t wait for audiences to meet Sophie and her crew, and watch them come into their own and find love in modern-day New York City. And we hope nobody thinks it’s weird that Bob Saget will be playing old Hilary Duff’s voice.”
Said Duff: “I’ve been incredibly lucky in my career to play some wonderful characters and I’m looking forward to taking on the role of Sophie. As a huge fan of How I Met Your Mother, I’m honored and even a little nervous that Carter and Craig would trust me with the sequel of their baby. Isaac and Elizabeth are brilliant, and I can’t wait to work alongside them and all of their genius. Just fangirling over here getting to join the Hulu Originals and 20th families. I realize these are big shoes to fill and I’m excited to slip my 6 ½’s in there.”
Duff was represented by Nicole King of Linden Entertainment and UTA for the deal.
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