If How I Met Your Father explores a crossover with HIMYM, the Hulu series should bring Neil Patrick Harris’ Barney Stinson to connect the titles.
If HOW I MET YOUR FATHER ever elected to cross over with HIMYM Barney Stinson would be the perfect person to bridge that gap. Neil Patrick Harris portrayed the ambitious womanizer for all nine series of the CBS sitcom. The beloved title is back in headlines seven years later, but not for a reboot or revival. Instead, Hulu is moving forward with a spinoff led by Hilary Duff. Whereas Carter bays and craig thomas developed the original series, the duo is serving as executive producers on the spinoff while Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger take the helm as creators.
Aptaker and Berger first came up with How I Met Your Father in 2016, but the idea was put on the backburner when the two joined NBC’s This Is Us as co-showrunners. The spinoff marked the second concept after the series, How I Met Your Dad, was rejected by CBS in 2014. This was shortly after How I Met Your Mother came to an end when the network and the show’s original creators were still taking the brunt of vitriol stemming from the controversial series finale. Hulu is hoping enough time has passed to create a similar story in the vein of How I Met Your Mother for new and returning viewers alike.
Though the title and storytelling format will be similar, How i met your father wont be a real spinoff. In traditional spinoff formats, the new series would have to follow at least one character from the original series. As of now, that doesn’t seem to be the case seeing as Duff will play a new character named Sophie, telling her young son how she met his dad. She and her close group of friends will come in focus as they navigate the world of dating apps while living in New York City. While there has been no indication recognizable figures from How I Met Your Mother will be seen in How I Met Your Father, Barney could be the perfect candidate to fulfill the crossover. Barney’s fate left the door open for more, and there’s plenty of ways to implement him into Sophie’s journey.
As the case with Ted mosby, who was telling his two kids the story of how he met their mother while in the future timeline of 2030, Sophie will also be sharing a tale from a future date. The story in focus, however, will be set near the present-day for viewers, specifically 2021. According to How I Met Your Mother, Barney became a father a year prior, when his daughter Ellie was born. He vowed to change his ways after becoming a dad, but it’s hard to believe Barney would stay single forever. Although he may have taken relationships more seriously with his daughter now around, it’s likely Barney got back into dating world. In turn, there’s a possibility Sophie or one of her friends will run into Barney while navigating the NYC dating scene.
The concept could effectively work if Barney is used in How i met your father as a footnote in Sophie’s story, rather than a series regular. It would tie in the two series without relying too much on the mothership title. At the onset, the Hulu series might want to use How I Met Your Mother as inspiration instead of acting as a true spinoff. Once the series stands on its own two feet, there could be fan service efforts to connect the shows. With Bays and Thomas involved in the follow-up, it might not be too difficult to convince someone like Harris to reprise his past role.