Fall TV Preview

How I Met Your Mother Exclusive: House's Kal Penn Will Play Doctor With Robin

President Obama’s loss is How I Met Your Mother‘s gain.

Kal Penn — who put the brakes on his acting career two years ago when he traded in his regular gig on House for a job in the Obama administration — is returning to TV with a major recurring role on How I Met Your Mother, sources confirm to TVLine exclusively.

A show rep declined to comment, but a Mother source says Penn will play a possible love interest for Cobie Smulders’ lovelorn Robin named Kevin.

How I Met Your Mother Boss Teases Season 7 and an ‘Explosive’ November to Remember

Penn’s arrival of course reunites him with Neil Patrick Harris, who played, well, “Neil Patrick Harris” to his Kumar in the Harold & Kumar films.

Penn is slated to vacate his White House post — where he served as associate director in the office of public liaison — later this month. (Obama may not be losing Penn for long though. Sources have him hitting the campaign trail with the prez in 2012.)

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HIMYM exec producer Craig Thomas strongly hinted to TVLine in May that Robin would jump back into the dating scene, especially now that her maybe-soul mate Barney had moved on with Nora: “Robin didn’t do a hell of a lot of dating at all [last season]; she was more [immersed in] switching careers,” he said. “Now, Robin, who’s single and is looking forward a little bit, can’t help but wonder if what happened between her and Barney could have been something more had they been more ready.”

Barney growing up a bit via Nora “has not gone unnoticed by Robin, who did not have a serious love interest this past year. She’s definitely going to have to wrestle with that at the start of Season 7.”

Fall TV: CBS Sets Premiere Dates, Including NCIS, HIMYM and An Extra-Big Bang

How I Met Your Mother kicks off its seventh season on Sept. 19.

Want How I Met Your Mother Scoop and Spoilers 24/7? Follow Me on Twitter via @MichaelAusiello



Comments (60)

  • I LOVE this casting news. Great choice. I think he and Cobie will play amazingly well off each other.

    Comment by Jessie – July 13, 2011 05:14 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I take it this to replace Michael Trucco’s character. More Robin is fine by me, now we just need more Lily and A LOT less Marshall, and we could be in for a good season.

    Comment by Ben – July 13, 2011 05:16 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I think it should be vice versa. A LOT LESS LILY and more Marshall.

      Comment by maja – July 13, 2011 05:18 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Shame, I quite liked seeing Michael Trucco and Cobie on screen together…

        Comment by claire – July 13, 2011 05:38 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • agreed!

        Comment by jess – July 13, 2011 06:13 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Less Ted and Robin, more Marshall, Lily, and Barney.

      Comment by Michael – July 13, 2011 05:41 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Less Ted.

        Comment by april-ann – July 13, 2011 06:38 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • Ummm…the show is called “How I Met Your Mother” (perhaps you forgot because it’s always abbreviated), with the “I” being Ted. How do you have “Less Ted” and still have the concept for the show?

          Comment by Bob – July 14, 2011 06:49 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • Agreed. Ted is the root of the show, and hilarious.

            Comment by Carissa – July 14, 2011 05:49 PM PDT  
          • What I mean was showing less Ted. The last season was focused more on Marshall and Barney than Ted and that was a good thing. Ted and Robin are easily the worst characters on the show. Robin being significantly worse than Ted, of course.

            Comment by Michael – July 14, 2011 07:35 PM PDT  
    • Craig Thomas said: “For Michael Trucco, it’s good for him, bad for us, because his cable show got picked up for a second season, so we won’t get to use as much of him as we would like. He will come back – we promised that through the narrator – but we won’t be able to use him extensively. Nora, I will say, is definitely going to be a part of Season 7.”

      I don’t remember this storyline being introduced, though. Can someone refresh my memory? Apparently he was referred to as “the one who got away”?

      Comment by Audrey – July 15, 2011 04:22 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • We would be in for a bad season if there would be A LOT less marshall.

      Comment by Christine – August 10, 2011 09:33 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I wish instead of giving them random love interest they would give us a proper take of Robin/Barney instead of the clusterf*** we had before! :( We all know they’re the ones that will marry… just… yeah.

    Comment by maja – July 13, 2011 05:19 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Agreed, but they want to milk this show for as long as they can, a few more years at least, so they won’t put Robin/Barney together for good just yet.

      Comment by april-ann – July 13, 2011 05:33 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I MISS HIM ON HOUSE :-(

    Comment by Cami – July 13, 2011 05:26 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • GET JOHN CHO BACK FOR ANOTHER EPISODE WITH HIM AND NPH!!!!!!!

    Comment by TIM – July 13, 2011 05:27 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I’ll take an HIMYM dream sequence (“trip”?) with NPH, Penn and Cho!

      Comment by Bob – July 14, 2011 06:53 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • This is great. Looking forward to it.

    Comment by april-ann – July 13, 2011 05:30 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Me gusta!

    p.s. I will never get over Kutner’s death.

    Comment by AJ – July 13, 2011 05:34 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I agree. House isnt the same without him. I miss kutner too!

      Comment by janice jones – July 14, 2011 05:26 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • THIRD person from HOUSE on HIMYM. Anne Dudek played Natalie, Jennifer Morrison played Zoey, and now Kal Penn as Robin’s new love interest!

    Comment by Ryan – July 13, 2011 05:55 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • If the mother turns out to be “Thirteen”, I will explode.

      Comment by Rock Golf – July 13, 2011 07:43 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I actually kinda dig that idea. She would be one sexy mother

        Comment by Chuck – July 14, 2011 02:45 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I hope he won´t be as bad and annoying as Jennifer Morrison was.

      Comment by Trix – July 14, 2011 12:33 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Jennifer was neither bad nor annoying. I liked her as Zoey, she was funny, and I’m sure Kal will do a great job too.

        Comment by Sally – July 14, 2011 03:34 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • This times a million. Zoey was an awful, completely unlikeable shrew.

        Now that I think about it, they could have just made her a doctor and named her Cameron.

        Hope Kal fares better. I always liked him.

        Comment by 8daysaweek – July 14, 2011 06:23 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I agree with Sally. Zoey wasn’t annoying. She was funny.

        Comment by Lucifer – July 14, 2011 08:28 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • the mother is GREGORY HOUSE!!!!

      Comment by Dani – July 26, 2012 08:17 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • *swoon* Love him.

    Comment by Juliet – July 13, 2011 05:57 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Never saw this coming. I assumed Kai would be a two term advisor in the administration. It will certainly be interesting.. Im already envisioning a double date episode with Nora/Barney and Robin/ Kevin.

    Comment by Matthew – July 13, 2011 06:16 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Awesome, should be interesting. I’m still thinking we’ll see a return of barney/robin down the road

    Comment by Me – July 13, 2011 07:03 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • What a refreshingly strange choice. I really like that they’re finally hooking Robin up with someone besides your Sterotypical fratboy look of a Boyfriend that she always has(Well, besides Ted and Barney, obviously…oh and that old guy on Slapsgiving)

    Comment by TheDude – July 13, 2011 07:47 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Yes, if by “refreshing” you mean completely unrealistic, then yes, it is indeed a very refreshing choice.

      Comment by Jacko – July 13, 2011 09:16 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • How is it unrealistic? Because he’s not white?

        Comment by Mo – July 13, 2011 11:00 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • How is it unrealistic? Because no white girl goes out with Asians or Desis?

        Comment by Lucifer – July 14, 2011 08:30 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • What, getting coffee for Obama wasn’t worth his time? Hey, he’s our savior, Kal! If all you have to do is get the man his coffee and walk his dog so he can save the world as our Messiah, then by God you better do it! Hope and change and all that stuff.

    Comment by Jacko – July 13, 2011 09:15 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Wow, you’re kind of an idiot.

      Comment by Rob – July 13, 2011 11:56 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • More than just kind of..

        Comment by Kev – July 14, 2011 05:06 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Why is he or she an idiot? Because they don’t have the same views as you? Get a life. Or better yet….go get coffee for Obama.

        Comment by MJ – July 14, 2011 08:42 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Obama can have him.

      Comment by MJ – July 14, 2011 08:40 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Well it would be funny if they named the character Kumar.

    Comment by Snsetblaze – July 13, 2011 09:33 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • They kept the K.

      Comment by Carissa – July 14, 2011 05:55 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Finally some more ethnicity is introduced to this show. I mean I didn’t mind before, but I’m very happy they brought in someone, especially of south Asian background, who we don’t see that often (with a few exceptions like BBT)

    Comment by Mo – July 13, 2011 10:59 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • It’ll be interesting to see either Robin or Barney hit the serious dating scene next year. While I’m not a “shipper” per se, I do kind of want to see Swarkles ultimately reunite, in a emotionally stable way (but still as crazy as they ever are; ala “Natural History.”)

    Comment by stargazer1682 – July 13, 2011 11:50 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • UGH, worst news ever. HIMYM was already about to fall out of my rotation, now it’s official.

    Comment by GDM – July 14, 2011 12:15 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • lol

      Comment by larry – July 14, 2011 08:28 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I’m just the opposite!!! HIMYM was about to fall out of my rotation, but now I’m DEFINITELY watching again!!!!! Can’t wait!

      Comment by Mars – July 14, 2011 11:10 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • How exciting. I would watch Kal Penn in anything. Love him.

    Comment by Erin – July 14, 2011 02:22 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Yay! Kumar! Now they just need Harold on this show for a lil Harold and Kumar reunion on HIMYM.

    Also i like that idea of having another House actor on the show, Thirteen would be an awesome mother imo

    Comment by Andyhartley – July 14, 2011 06:23 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • excellent. I like Kal Penn in everything his does and his comedic talents will go well with the rest of this cast. Looking forward to it!

    Comment by Mandy – July 14, 2011 10:41 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • he is cool! but i want Robin with Barney!

    Comment by July – July 14, 2011 04:27 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • We need John Cho, Mr. Chow, and Kal Penn all together!!

    Comment by Allan – July 14, 2011 05:02 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I am so excited… But I still want Robin and Ted together. :( Sadly, there is no hope for that.

    Comment by Carissa – July 14, 2011 05:56 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • hey i have a clue on whos the real mother… remember the episode no tomorrow where barney wears the green suit??? there’s a scene that ted bumb into a woman… a random girl i guess.. but check out the 1st scene where the mother go in the bar look at her jeans and the one that ted bumb in to.. same i guess :)) juz checked it out 4 urself :))

    Comment by Luigi – July 14, 2011 06:37 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Late Night with Jimmy Fallon has Bob Sagat on tonight and they say “from how I met your mother” which leads me to beleve that he my be joining as well.

    Comment by Pat dean – July 14, 2011 08:39 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • He’s Ted’s current day voice who tells the story.

      Comment by MJ – July 14, 2011 08:44 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Does the Indian guy have to be named “Kevin?” C’mon sitcom writers, you can be more creative then that.

    Comment by John – July 15, 2011 02:40 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Well Kal Penn is an amazing actor and his comedy timing is very good but not better then Barney. So it gives me second reason to watch this show, now its gonna be legen……wait for it….dary.
    legendary!!

    Comment by india – July 15, 2011 09:15 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Can wait to see more of this!! it is going to be… wait for it…. legendary!!!

    Comment by Fulton – July 26, 2011 06:58 PM PDT  Reply To This Post

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