Why How I Met Your Father Isn’t A Real HIMYM Spinoff

Hulu is moving forward with How I Met Your Father, starring Hilary Duff in the lead, but it won’t be a traditional How I Met Your Mother spinoff.

How I Met Your Father is officially coming to Hulu, but it won’t be a traditional How I Met Your Mother spinoff. The original series, created by Carter Bays and Craig Thomas, aired from 2005 to 2014 and followed Ted Mosby as he shared the story of how he met the mother of his two children. Josh Radnor starred as Ted with a cast that also included Jason Segel, Cobie Smulders, Alyson Hannigan, and Neil Patrick Harris. How I Met Your Father will feature Hilary Duff as Sophie, a woman telling her son the story of how she met his dad.

Before How I Met Your Mother ended, CBS was interested in developing a spinoff titled How I Met Your Dad. Greta Gerwig was attached as the lead with Meg Ryan intended to voice the narration in the way Bob Saget voiced Future Ted. The pilot was filmed, but it didn’t match the network’s vision. When Bays and Thomas rejected the request to reshoot the pilot in 2014, CBS passed on the series. Two years later, Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger proposed another spinoff titled How I Met Your Father. The idea was then put on hold when the pair joined This Is Us as co-showrunners.

Despite the doubt, Aptaker and Berger returned to the How I Met Your Father idea with Bays and Thomas set to serve as executive producers. Instead of network TV, the group turned to Hulu as the home for the forthcoming series. Like the original, Sophie will be surrounded by a close group of friends as she documents the ultimate tale. Her story begins in 2021, and it will heavily revolve around the modern complications stemming from the world of dating apps. Though How I Met Your Father will share similar storytelling elements with How I Met Your Mother, it shouldn’t be considered a real spinoff. The concept is being spun for a new show, but it doesn’t go much deeper than that.

As of now, How I Met Your Father will presumably center on a group of brand new characters. TV spinoffs often bring along original series characters to branch off on their own, but that isn’t the case with the Hulu series. There’s no indication How I Met Your Father will tie into Bays and Thomas’ CBS sitcom in any fashion other than the similarities in the title and method of storytelling. That’s not to say a crossover or special cameo won’t be explored down the line, but it seems Aptaker and Berger want their project to stand on its own going out of the gate.

Bypassing the traditional spinoff and reboot formats might be the best option for How I Met Your Father. Since so much time has passed since the first show ended, the opportunity to revisit the characters has come and gone. How I Met Your Mother’s divisive series finale may have also deterred any plans to return to the initial batch of characters. In a way, the Hulu series could act as more of a conscious effort to move on from the controversial ending. It won’t be a do-over per se, but it could a way to win back over the viewers who were let down in 2014 with a fresh new story.

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