The Washington Post

‘How I Met Your Dad’ isn’t going to happen at CBS. What went wrong?

Ted and Tracy finally met on “HIMYM.” Greta Gerwig’s character might not get the same chance. (Ron P. Jaffe/2014 Fox Television)

Earlier this year, news broke that “How I Met Your Mother” co-creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas were working on a spin-off pilot called “How I Met Your Dad” starring indie darling Greta Gerwig — essentially the same backward love story premise, but with a completely new cast. Reaction went something like this: “What? Huh? Okay. Wait, WHAT?” followed by lots of hand-wringing over whether this could possibly be a good plan.

Looks like the greater viewing audience won’t even get a chance to judge that for themselves: The pilot for “HIMYD” is pretty much dead at CBS, executive confirmed Wednesday morning during the annual TV Upfront Week conference. (See CBS’s new schedule here.)

“There were elements of the pilot that didn’t work out,” CBS entertainment chairman Nina Tassler explained to reporters. She said the network “tried to reach out in terms of re-doing the pilot,” but Thomas and Bays didn’t want to do that.

[Related: Why ‘How I Met Your Mother’ connected so deeply to the younger generation]

Citing “The Big Bang Theory” and “Num3rs” as pilots that had to be completely re-worked but later had a lot of success, Tassler seemed open to the idea of looking at the show again; though that seemed extremely unlikely. Calling herself “heartsick” over the decision, she said the “HIMYD” is “a very important brand and a very important show…but it didn’t work out.”

Asked whether Thomas and Bays refused to re-do the pilot, Tassler said, “It wasn’t what they wanted to do…it’s not how they saw going forward.” She reiterated that the network loves them — though clearly, there were differences that couldn’t be resolved.

Meanwhile, there are already reports that the production company, 20th Century Fox, is planning to shop the pilot to other networks. So everyone might get to judge after all.


Why ‘How I Met Your Mother’ connected so deeply to the younger generation

How to explain ‘How I Met Your Mother’ to someone who’s never seen an episode

‘How I Met Your Mother’ wouldn’t really kill off the mother, right?

‘How I Met Your Mother’ coming back for ninth — and final — season

Emily Yahr covers pop culture and entertainment for the Post. Follow her on Twitter @EmilyYahr.



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Emily Yahr · May 14, 2014