How I Met Your Mother ended this year to some controversy, but the long-running and relatively highly rated series had enough life to spawn a possible spinoff staring Greta Gerwig of Frances Ha fame. That spin-off was to be titled How I Met Your Dad, a pilot was shot, CBS watched it, said “pass,” and now that spin-off is likely dead.
The word out of CBS’s upfront presentation is that the pilot had fundamental problems that needed to be fixed, and as the property is owned by 20th Century Fox, Fox wanted a series commitment before they went about reshooting and possibly recasting the series. Faced with that decision, CBS decided to pass — which suggests they weren’t one hundred percent the problems could be fixed. It’s possible that How I Met Your Dad could show up on a Fox-owned network, but it seems unlikely, and the soonest that would happen is sometime mid-season. But considering that many fans of How I Met Your Mother were disappointed with that series’ last season and final episode, the show may have started in a bad position to begin with. It’s hard to say without seeing it.
Reshooting a pilot happens, and often (especially with sitcoms) as it takes a couple episodes to see how a cast congeals and what the show is versus what it was conceived of being. No one would think The Office or Parks and Recreation would be good to great shows going by their pilots. That said, this show attracted a different sort of interest because it was to star Gerwig, who moved out of the mumblecore generation of filmmakers and into the works of Noah Baumbach (and not to get to personal about it, but also into his life), but — though she may be a great muse for that filmmaker — she’s also appeared in films like Lola Versus and the Arthur remake, so this wasn’t her first shot at crossover/mainstream success. But like those other more mainstream efforts, it didn’t take.
Would you have watched How I Met Your Dad?