The Main Reason Why Fans Never Got To Enjoy 'How I Met Your Dad'
We all remember the CBS hit sitcom, How I Met Your Mother, which aired for nine seasons and earned an equal amount of Emmys. The show, which followed the misadventures of Ted Mosby as he went through love and life struggles in New York City, was extremely popular with fans and network executives. So, it would make perfect sense that, during the months leading up to its finale in 2014, there were rumors of a possible spinoff.
That spinoff series was meant to be called How I Met Your Dad, and was set to follow Greta Gerwig's Sally as she dealt with a divorce and tried to find new love. Although they filmed a pilot, the series was never picked up, and the episode never aired. It would have been an interesting spin though.
So, let's delve straight into the reasons why we never got a chance to see How I Met Your Dad.
The creators refused to reshoot it without a series commitment
Emily Spivey, Carter Bays, and Craig Thomas shot a pilot for the series, but the network booted it, and it went back for reshoots. However, this trio wouldn't budge, refusing to reshoot the pilot unless CBS committed to take it to series. Meanwhile, the network refused to give it a series order without seeing the reshoots first.
Their explanation was that "certain creative elements" didn't pass their standards, and CBS entertainment president, Nina Tassler, claimed to be "heartsick" about the creative differences that led to the pilot's failure to be picked up.
Apparently, it was not the right time for CBS, and they were unwilling to air the series, which may have seemed unreasonable to some. It did, however, make sense, given the circumstances surrounding the network at the time. For starters, they had just cut down from airing eight comedies to five, and only added one new sitcom to their lineup for the start of the season, The McCarthys, which was never renewed after airing its initial order.
They had issues with the script
The website TV Writing, released the script for the series pilot in April of 2016, and it's blatantly obvious why the network was unhappy with the result. It had an awkward dialogue, to begin with, and feature lines were stilted, "Break-ups are like kidnappings. The first 48 hours are crucial. You gotta blow up the bridge behind you!"
"And the only way to do it is by doing it… with a dude," and "You're a slob, Sally! Dishes everywhere, dirty laundry. And you always leave cabinet doors open! For a while, I thought we had a poltergeist." That definitely didn't sound right when reading it aloud, and almost worse when you're reading off the cold pages of a script, but still, these lines feel unnatural, and way below the level of quality fans of How I Met Your Mother had come to expect.
It lacked emotion and seemingly was ridiculous at times, but managed to balance it out by showing strong, genuine emotion from its characters at appropriate moments. Although Ted's antics were over the top, viewers could relate to his desire to find love and wanted him and his friends to find happiness.
The How I Met Your Dad pilot, on the other hand, failed miserably on this front. Although the pilot tried to incorporate deeper meanings through storylines involving the main character, such as Sally's divorce, and her brother Danny (Andrew Santino), and his husband Todd's (Drew Tarver) attempting to adopt a baby. Those moments fell flat, however, due to the stilted writing and the characters' stereotypical personality traits, which left the sitcom stranded in bad multi-cam territory.
One of the stars walked off before the pilot was even filmed
The problematic script may have been what led to the exit of Broadway actress Krysta Rodriguez, who was originally set to play the best friend of Greta Gerwig's character but left the show after a table read.
Rodriguez's departure was never officially explained, but the loss of the talented actress, who introduced the role of Wednesday Addams in The Addams Family musical, could have been a big hit for the series. She was replaced by Tiya Sircar, best known for appearing in The Crazy Ones, The Internship, and 17 Again.
CBS was displeased with some of the cast
Many eyebrows were raised when indie film star, Greta Gerwig was cast in the leading role, questioning how her quirky brand of humor would fit into the sitcom medium, and whether her name had enough recognition to carry a series.
However, while reports said that CBS ended up satisfied with Gerwig's portrayal of the lead, they weren't as pleased with two of the other members of the five-person cast. While we cannot name names, anonymous sources claimed: "two of the main characters" were a sore spot for network execs, who felt they "didn't pop" alongside Gerwig.
Their main character was not their first choice
While reports said CBS was happy with Gerwig's portrayal of Sally, they failed to mention that they were not totally satisfied with the character as a whole. Sally, who was described as a "female Peter Pan who has never grown up and has no idea of where she's going with her life," might have been a bit too immature and a bit of a train-wreck for audiences to fall in love with. This, of course, gave much concern to the network.
The show would be unprofitable for CBS
Networks pay attention to a variety of things when making those important decisions on whether or not to order a series, and, while quality is a big part of it, it's not the main concern. How I Met Your Dad, like How I Met Your Mother, was a 20th Century Fox property, meaning that Fox would rake in cash from an eventual potentially lucrative syndication deal if the series took off, and not CBS.
However, this was not the only thing stopping the network from ordering the pilot. They would be at a huge disadvantage against other comedy pilots that the network was developing in-house, like Matthew Perry's The Odd Couple remake.
It was not an original concept
How I Met Your Mother was successful mainly because it was fresh and differed from every other sitcom on TV. The series had an original format, which made the pilot stand out instantly. However, How I Met Your Dad didn't benefit from this originality. The HIMYM format had already run its course after nine seasons, and the HIMYD pilot did nothing to spice it up.
The structure was almost similar, starting with Sally talking to her kids before moving into a series of flashbacks showing her first encounter with Frank, and finally ending with the big reveal that... TADA!... he's actually their "Uncle Frank" and not their father. That may have worked in the original, but this revamp was not big enough to grab the audience and set itself apart from HIMYM. It definitely needed to be bolder!
How I Met Your Mother dragged on
Perhaps if the show was a bit shorter, the spinoff might have been received in a warmer light by the network and viewers, but many may have thought that the original had gone on too long already. Watching a revamp with a different storyline would have been terribly boring.
Due to the long duration of HIMYM, the series noticed a decline in viewership and reviews in its later seasons, and, while the network was still happy enough with it to keep it around, the continued storyline left a bad taste with a number of viewers.
The creators were working on other projects behind the scenes
How I Met Your Mother and How I Met Your Dad co-creator, Carter Bays, told Twitter followers his work on the spinoff was over in 2014, noting that he and his writing partner, Craig Thomas "haven't quit the business" but were working on "new stuff."
Neither of them publicly connected to another show or film since the series ended, but if they had created a big project under their belts, it would make sense that they didn't have the time to spend on reshoots for a series they weren't fully committed to.
Meanwhile, co-creator Emily Spivey moved on to writing for Saturday Night Live, The Last Man on Earth, and Maya & Marty, and also penned the screenplay for Zach Galifianakis' Masterminds, which opened back in September 2016. So, what are your thoughts about the revamp of HIMYM, and would you have liked to see HIMYD?
Does it sound like an interesting spinoff? We'll leave that one up to you. We hope you enjoyed reading this insightful article about the series that never got made, and the reasons behind it. Remember to share this with your friends and family, and keep up-to-date with us for more interesting theories and sitcom insiders that fans are dying to know about!