TV: CBS orders pilot for ‘How I Met Your Mother’ spinoff

By Meryl Gottlieb| mg986611@ohiou.edu| @buzzlightmeryl
How I Met Your Mother airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on CBS

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CBS is moving forward with the How I Met Your Mother spinoff, titled How I Met Your Dad. The series will be written and executive produced by HIMYM co-creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas and Up All Night creator Emily Spivey.

There will be brand new characters and a new voice at the center of the new story. How I Met Your Dad will follow a female central character recounting the story of how she met her future husband. Currently, there’s no plans to integrate the new characters into the HIMYM finale.

“This will be its own, totally new show,” Craig Thomas tweeted Friday night.

“Our hope is that #HIMYD becomes its own magical wonderful weird thing, and the two shows stand on their own side by side,” Carter Bays tweeted.

The spinoff hasn’t exactly received that warm of a welcome. I’ve already shared my disinterest and hope that the spinoff wouldn’t happen, but even Time ran a criticism called “Please Do Not Make a How I Met Your Mother Spinoff.”

“When I say that HIMYF is a terrible idea, I say it out of love, not hate,” James Poniewozik wrote. “(HIMYM) was funny and well-written and performed by a whip-smart cast playing characters invested with heart–but above all, it was new. A How I Met Your Father spinoff–however much talent is attached, in front of or behind the camera–can never be that. HIMYM upended its audience’s expectations and surprised us; a clone, by definition, would be the opposite of that. (Even the gender switch to HIMYF would probably be less interesting: centering the original show on a man pining to get married and settle down upended decades of romantic-comedy clichés about women trying to snag a mate and men running from domesticity.)”

Poniewozik speaks to my soul.

How I Met Your Mother is special because it was new. It’s male central character was pining for love and we got one of the most epic love tales of our generation. And that wasn’t the only new thing about the show. One of its strongest tools was its plays on time. It flashed forward and back and this season has slowed time to work 22 episodes into a 56-hour period. The show is literal genius, and I don’t see how it can be copied and still feel new and be desirable to watch. What would be new? Even with a new cast who could be talented within themselves, we all know we’d simply be wishing Ted, Marshall, Lily, Robin and Barney were just on our screens again. And Poniewozik brings up a good point. Having the show be female centric now is simply going to make it feel like just another rom-com. We all invested in Ted’s story because we wanted this guy to be happy since he was so set on finding his true love. We are used to women pining after a man and looking for love. How invested will we be in her journey when it can’t be too far off from the other stories we’ve heard?

Then, of course, there’s the commercial side of the deal.

According to Entertainment Weekly, HIMYM ranks as the network’s No. 1 Monday night comedy and No. 2 comedy across all nights, second only to Big Bang Theory, the network’s continuous top-dog show. In other words, when HIMYM goes off-air, CBS will lose one of its strongest players, and I don’t think the network can afford that.

This is the third pilot CBS has ordered for the 2014-2015 season. According to The Hollywood Reporter, CBS has also planned for The McCarthys, a comedy about an Irish American family and a semi-autobiographical comedy starring Jim Gaffigan. Both projects are being redeveloped after the network passed on both last year.

And this last point may be picky but I prefer How I Met Your Father much more than How I Met Your Dad. It just really doesn’t roll off the tongue.

What are your thoughts about the spinoff? Will you watch it? Let me know @buzzlightmeryl

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