CBS Boss 'Heartsick' That How I Met Your Dad Didn't Make the Cut -- Will a Rival Snatch it Up?

Greta Gerwig HIMYDCBS has essentially divorced itself from How I Met Your Dad, leaving the How I Met Your Mother off-shoot ripe for picking by a rival network.

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Explaining why the comedy, which was to star indie darling Greta Gerwig (pictured) and be narrated by rom-com poster girl Meg Ryan, failed to land on CBS’ 2014-15 TV slate, network chairman Nina Tassler told reporters on Wednesday, “To say we love this show and we love these producers is an understatement. They are beloved, and we have an extraordinary relationship with them. But there were elements in the pilot that didn’t work out.”

CBS of course reached out to production house 20th Century Fox TV for “a conversation about redoing the pilot,” Tassler said, “but that’s not happening right now…. It wasn’t what they wanted to do.” (Per our sister site Deadline, 20th wanted, but failed to secure, a guarantee that if they did reshoot the pilot, CBS would grant a series pick-up.)

Tassler noted that CBS has “an extraordinary track record redoing pilots,” citing the famous example of The Big Bang Theory, as well as Numb3rs and the upcoming The McCarthys as success stories. In having to let go of HIMYD, she said, “I’m heartsick. We loved this brand, it is a very important show and we love the producers, but it didn’t work out.”

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Tassler said the HIMYD team “certainly can” shop the sitcom around to other outlets, once CBS’ option expires today — and Deadline reports there already is interest.

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89 Comments
  1. Mellie says:

    I really hope no one else picks it up.

    • Lo says:

      Agreed. After what they pulled on HIMYM, they had a lot of nerve trying a spin-off

      • Emma says:

        I’m probably way off base, but I wouldn’t be shocked if the reaction towards the finale had something to do with this. CBS probably knew that the people who watched HIMYM weren’t that into this spinoff once they saw how the original show ended.

        • Amie says:

          I thought the same thing about the end of HIMYM being a part of this. So many people said if they killed the mother it would kill how they felt about a spin-off. I have to think somebody paid attention.

    • Sioban Jertzl says:

      right and that whole show HIMYM was about how Ted and Lily had really slept together in the late nineties before they created the cast. They were both in NYU film school and hooked up the writing of the show made no sense.

    • Alice says:

      May it never air, that the creators might feel the burn of disappointment and betrayal that they so relished inflicting upon their own loyal viewers.

  2. JJM says:

    I think the real question is: What network would even want it?

    • OneRcknMan says:

      It’s produced the 20th Century so FOX

      • eddie says:

        Or nbc……. or abc…… I’m sure they all would want a show with a built in audience. well…. somewhat built in since it appears everyone is still pissed about the finale.

  3. Wait, the show wasn’t even about The Mother? It was just gonna be another random character? Good lord.

  4. Mike R says:

    I’m happy, if the finale did not tarnish the shows legacy, I think the soon certainly would have.

  5. After the disastrous way HIMYM ended I don’t think anyone is truly shocked to see this not picked up. Bays/Thomas gambled and it didn’t pay off.

  6. Barney Scornson says:

    I actually hope that it gets picked up and cancelled after 2 episodes, just so the producers know how the audience felt.

  7. David4 says:

    I think passing was smart based on the backlash.

    A friend of mine loved HIMYM and watched the finale and went “it’s ok”. Then a few days later really disliked what they did. I feel the fan base for the show is dead and other networks probably know that.

  8. Worst part about all of this: It didn’t have to be this way!

  9. Saying, “I love this brand,” is absolutely everything that’s wrong with something that’s supposed to be a creative art form. If this show gets picked up somewhere, what’s next? A time period show called How I Met Your Grampa? A grown foster child who meets his sister as an adult and tells the story of How I Met Our Mother? If you’re going to make another Friends clone, at least don’t act like the one show’s longevity means you have to be married to the same exact premise.

  10. ggny says:

    It will get picked up by someone else. No doubt it my mind the team and show already have a build in audience i really dont get why CBS wouldnt atleast pick it up for Midseason

    • neha says:

      I agree – HIMYM got bad during the later seasons, and particularly during the finale, but it was amazing in the beginning. If they are able to recapture that, I have no doubt someone will pick it up.

      • Olivia says:

        If they were able to, HIMYM wouldn’t have gone downhill in the first place… also the writing in one thing but cast and chemistry are something totally different. How many shows have we seen being cancelled not because the writing was bad but because the parts were miscast or the audience just didn’t connect with the actors? What I’m saying is that even if a spin off had a 100% awesome writing it doesn’t guarantee a hit.
        Anyway, I hope B&T get a taste of their own medicine. People invested 9 years of their lives for them to make money, and for what. I hope that it doesn’t get picked up or that, as “Barney Scornson” (awesome screenname btw lol) said above, it gets cancelled after a few eps. It might even be funnier that way. B&T having hope and then… a big fat Marshall-y slap.

    • Patrick says:

      I doubt it. The underlying premise of the show, aka the character write-ups, was flawed. Great Gerwig can be off putting as an actress. The whole mumble-core thing doesn’t fly with everyone. Plus, the main character was considering leaving her husband. That is a very delicate line to walk. Getting a show to work is hard. The plot, script, and characters all have to be enjoyable and likeable (or unlikeable as the case may be). Then you have to cast it with the right people.

      Contrary to what the screaming fringe on the internet says, not everyone hated the HIMYM finale. Certainly, they didn’t hate it enough to not at least sample the show, at which point the show would have to stand on its own merits. The underlying show probably wasn’t that good. It is a dicey concept, and too many things can, and probably did, go wrong.

  11. Pixley says:

    Interesting that at least one of the commenters on Deadline doesn’t buy this excuse. The more I think about it, the more I think that “we asked them to retool the Pilot” was a nice way of CBS giving it the kiss-off. Good riddance.

  12. Bryce says:

    I would have honestly liked to see it, but I’m okay with it not making it because of how negative the TV Line commenters are. Even if it’s something someone else can enjoy, they bash it until it’s not even fun to watch anymore. If HIMYD was to be picked up, all the comments on ratings articles, what to watch tonight, inside line, ask Ausiello, etc. would be horribly bogged down with “why does this show even exist?” “Who is watching this?” “I haven’t even watched it but it must suck” “cancel this already”

    At the end of the day, art is about bringing is together, so if a show only brings people together in negativity, it’s not worth putting on the air. It’s a shame though. The show could have used a familiar format to tell all sorts of new funny (which is all modern sitcoms do anyway)

    • Yes. Of course. No blame goes to showrunners. It’s obviously everyone else’s fault.

      • Bryce says:

        The showrunners are just trying to make a show they think people will like. I don’t blame them for doing that.

        • netta says:

          Some showrunners appear to be increasingly more interested in trying to show off how clever they are than in providing appropriate payoffs to their audience. I’m on the side of hoping the backlash takes, /pour encourager les autres/.

    • wingsstef says:

      LOL. You are right those comments will come. Still if another network, cable or not, picks it up, I will at least try it out.

    • Katherine215 says:

      What do you care what other people comment about a show? If you disagree or get upset by internet comments, don’t read them. You can then still enjoy your show without letting others ruin it for you. I skip 90% of the OUAT comments because the ships are so polarizing. Why let a bunch of people you don’t even know ruin something you enjoy?

      • Bryce says:

        Like I said, they’d be spammed on all sorts of comment threads that I actually want to read. Otherwise I wouldn’t mind as much!

        • Katherine215 says:

          My mouse has this little roller thing that allows me to scroll past stuff I don’t want to read…

  13. Dr. Opossum says:

    I wonder if the plot point that the heroine is married and contemplating divorce was a turn-off to test audiences. It seemed like a rather unromantic premise when I read it.

    • Little Scarf Girl says:

      This more than anything is why I wasn’t really interested in the show, even before the disaster HIMYM finale. Getting bored of your husband of a year? Doesn’t sound like the sort of character we really want to root for.

      • Patrick says:

        This bothered me tremendously.

      • jenna says:

        agreed, based on the premise of the show the title character didn’t seem very likable. I’m also not very fond of a few actors associated with the spin off, FOX seems like the only other network this type of show would ‘fit’ on so i’m curious if they will pick it up

      • -Josh- says:

        Agreed, back before Last Forever turned me against all their future projects, I was troubled by this particular “detail”. It seemed like the lead was just a horrible person.

    • Bryce says:

      Yeah, that’s a possibility. I personally liked the idea, but I can see where you’re coming from. Maybe if the husband cheated or something. Idk.

  14. ksenija says:

    i know i sound pathetic but after that horrible himym finale i’m so happy cbs decided not to pick up this show. yaaaay!

  15. Alice says:

    “We didn’t like the use of a pink trombone in the pilot. They refused to change it, saying they already knew the ending of the show, but they wouldn’t tell us, because it was so clever.”
    The pilot re-shoot sounds like an excuse. They wanted to capitalize on a built in audience and brand good will that they realized no longer existed after the finale. Or at least not in the numbers they needed it to be.

  16. Cujo says:

    Not sad, was not at all interested in this show.

  17. Mel says:

    Dear lord,
    Please smite the himyd pilot with all thy might that the creators may know true suffering as we have.
    In the name of Tracy McConnell we pray,
    Amen

  18. Zed says:

    Karma’s a grinch. Don’t alienate so many potential viewers, next time.

    • Ray says:

      I wouldn’t really call the producers moves alienation since you and others like you stuck it out all the way to the series finale. I bailed midway season two, however, and I’m really glad I did.

  19. Lisa says:

    Thank god! Now heres hoping Carter and Bays never work in television again

  20. Lori says:

    I agree with those that believe the horrible finale had some influence on HIMYD not being picked up. As a former fan, I can’t even watch the reruns anymore, knowing how really bad the ending is, let alone invest myself in another sure to end badly saga.

  21. David says:

    People take things too seriously. It was only a TV show, for crying out loud. Who cares how it ended?

  22. I wasn’t interested much in the show in the first place because the premise of a woman getting tired of her husband of a year and then looking for true love just turns me off. Sure this could happen, but does this feel like the sort of character we WANT to be rooting for? And the worst thing about her husband is that he’s boring? Really?

    SPOILERS

    I read somewhere that the pilot actually revealed who the father is, rather than who the father isn’t. Which I also feel completely negates the point of the show. If we already know who she ends up with, that takes out all the fun of piecing together the clues. Since that was a lot of what people found intersting over the years, I could see where CBS would also dislike that.

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  24. Ashley says:

    I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little gleeful at this news, my bitterness over the HIMYM finale remains strong.

  25. kay bee says:

    I agree with everyone else who mentioned a direct correlation between the HIMYM finale and HIMYD not getting picked up. The old saying “fool me once, shame on you but fool me twice, shame on me” seems to be applicable. I, like someone else posted, don’t watch the reruns anymore either.

    The final blow to HIMYD, in my opinion, was casting Meg Ryan to be the voice of the mother. There was a lot of backlash towards her when her marriage to Dennis Quaid broke up and she got together with Russell Crowe and again when John Mellencamp allegedly dumped his wife of 20 years for her. While these things should have nothing to do with the success of a tv show, they are not always ignored by people who want to watch a rom-com. Then again, I skew towards the older end of the desired demographics, so maybe others either aren’t aware – or don’t care about her being cast.

    If another network picks it up, as is their right, I’ll just have to find something else to watch during that time slot.

  26. Diva says:

    Turns out someone did a poll on Twitter about the reaction of himym and most people liked the ending than not. So to all the people that hated the ending, you’re not the majority. To all that did enjoy it, you are not alone.

    • Katherine215 says:

      A twitter poll can’t possibly be representative of a broad sampling of viewers. There’s virtually no way it has any statistical merit. And I never watched a single episode of the show, so I’m not biased either way.

      • Diva says:

        It wasn’t just a regular poll. They looked up keywords that would signal if someone like it or not. So yes it is valid. It wasn’t just some box that if you liked it, check here.

    • netta says:

      Problem is that “more liked it than didn’t like it” doesn’t make it a good choice. Those who liked it would probably not have been offended and disgusted by a different ending that would have satisfied the others. Alienating a substantial proportion of your audience, and denying them a payoff so they won’t trust you again, is really not a good thing to do.

  27. Pat says:

    CBS saw the writing on the wall when they saw the reaction to this new show. This had nothing to do with the pilot. The fans of HIMYM were outraged with the finale and then when they announced they were going to pick up HIMYD, the fans reacted with a big fat no thank you to watching it.

  28. Pick up FWBL instead – please don’t pick up HIMYD.

  29. Elle says:

    There is a god, and he believes in justice. C&B don’t deserve to be showrunners ever again.

  30. Andrew Hass says:

    Right now CBS didn’t pick up the show but that could always change down the line.CBS may have known some time should pass between HIMYM ending and a spinoff.However the producers of the new show can shop it around to other networks and if one becomes interested then it could become very interesting to see what CBS does in response because they may not want another network picking up a show they turned down and having it be a success.

  31. Jan says:

    Enough already people…get over the HIMYM finale. Ted’s first wife wanted him to be happy and move on – everyone knows that Ted is not good by himself, he needs a woman in his life and who better than his first real love Robin!!! I didn’t like how Seinfeld ended, but I didn’t bi!ch and moan about it. Get back to your normal lives and accept that Ted and Robin are living happily ever after in “make believe” world :) Enough is enough!!!!!

    • Red Balloon Ted says:

      Nicely said. For fans who liked the finale (I liked it), and even for fans who didn’t (and I understand everyone’s frustration), I’d like to make one final ‘homework’ assignment request of everyone here – particularly since this is probably the final HIMYM TVLine article for while; and hence, the final time we’ll all be together.

      I’d like to ask everyone to ‘google’ the following when you have a moment -

      ‘Love in the Time of Cholera’ and the book’s author, ‘Gabriel Garcia Marquez’

      Ted is reading this book ‘Love in the Time of Cholera’ when he is at the Farhampton train station in the rain, moments before meeting Tracy. I believe it is this same book (can someone verify that?) that Ted is reading to Tracy at her bedside in the hospital in 2024 in the finale. It is a favorite book for both of them, and ties them together in spirit – the ‘Universe talking to them.’

      Gabriel Garcia Marquez passed away recently, and there have been tribute articles in various newspapers and magazines, including ‘Entertainment Weekly’ – the recent May 2, 2014 edition with ‘Orange is the New Black’ cast on the cover. It is worth checking out and reading this EW article to gain some clues to HIMYM mysteries and why CT/CB ended the show as they did.

      In season 1.21 episode entitle ‘Milk’, Robin picks up a stranded Ted (Lily took off with his car!) and as they drive back home, the conversation comes up regarding this book – “Love In the Time of Cholera”. It is a story about a man and woman who meet when they are young, fall in love, but go their separate ways, and go on to marrying other people, only to be brought back together later in life by fate.

      Ted tells Robin on the ride back home that he loves the book – his favorite. Surprisingly (I didn’t remember this until I saw the syndication re-run… thank god for syndication), Robin has also read the book and (not surprisingly) was bored by it, calling it “Love in the Time of Don’t Bothera.”

      That book, ‘Love in the Time of Cholera’ holds the secrets to HIMYM, and why Ted and Robin eventually get together at the end of the finale (I’m reading that book this spring/summer in prep for the DVD S9 release in Sept.).

      There is a paragraph in the book (and indeed, it is quoted in the recent 5/2/14 EW article tribute to Mr. Garcia Marquez) that I believe the S7.17 episode ‘No Pressure’ was based upon. In fact, as I read the book, I can see how it must have effected CT/CB when they read it, and helped guide them into making the HIMYM story. The story of ‘Cholera’ is a story of the main woman character in the book, and her journey of self discovery. The story of HIMYM is **not** about the mother (as we now know from the finale) – the story is, and always was planned to be, about Robin, and her journey of self discovery. Here’s the quote from the book (and the linkage to ‘No Pressure’) -

      “Tell him yes.
      Even if you are dying of fear,
      even if are sorry later,
      because whatever you do,
      you will be sorry all the rest of your life if you say no.”

      • netta says:

        The pacing of reading a single book isn’t remotely the same as watching a TV show over nine years, and the level of reader/audience investment is far less for the former than the latter. Stories need to work with the medium and length that they’re being told over.

  32. Tee says:

    I was not a fan of the finale. I’m not bitter about it, though spending an entire season on Robin and Barney’s wedding to have them break up 5 seconds into the finale was fairly annoying. Personally I had absolutely no interest at all in checking out the new show and most people I talked to felt the same way.

    But given how many terrible new shows networks roll out year after year, this hardly seemed like the bottom of the barrel.

  33. Diana says:

    CBS might still want to keep this show. Maybe it will air after Two and a Half Men finishes its run.

  34. JennieErin says:

    HA! Hope nobody picks this or anything else up by those toads.

  35. Red Balloon Ted [aka N tTVf.... and ' says:

    When I read the news this morning about HIMYD’s fate, I was somewhat relieved. It’s time for everyone to just put this in the past and go forward. I don’t believe HIMYD is going to get picked up by FOX — this is the end of the line.

    There is just one more milestone left (I believe) in the HIMYM timeline – the release of the season 9 DVD, and the complete DVD set. I believe that happens in September. We may see a story here on TVLine at that point, and that should be the last time we’ll all get together here regarding HIMYM. If the DVD release doesn’t elicit a TVLine article note in September, my guess is this is the final time we’ll read something here about HIMYM on TVLine, and the final time we’ll all get together to share our frustrations [or satisfaction, in my case] with the finale.

    Regardless of how we all feel about HIMYM [and the demise of HIMYD], I’m going to use this moment to recall how grateful I am for the show HIMYM. Regardless of how it ended, the journey we all took along with this show was quite something, and for that, I’m grateful. To me the glass is half full – the finale wasn’t perfect, but I’ve watched a ton of TV in my lifetime, and no finale is ever perfect – although ‘Newhart’ was pretty cool, and ‘Cheers’ was quite good. Yet, the shows live on in syndication heaven forever, and I enjoy them all the same each night in syndication – HIMYM included.

    As Ted’s Red Balloon theory states [ a theory I have to admit, I still subscribe to, even though the theory may have been proven incorrect with the way the finale ended ] –

    “If you love something, you can never let it go, not even for a second, because then it will be gone forever.”

    However, it is time now for all of us to let that Red Balloon go.

    RIP HIMYM -see you in syndication re-run heaven where you will ‘last forever.’

  36. Jon says:

    Maybe if they repackage it and give the show a different title it could work. Associating itself with HIMYM just gives it a sour taste after that finale.

  37. charity31 says:

    As someone who kind of liked the HIMYM finale, I am not interested in HIMYD. If it were the flip side of HIMYM, with Tracey at the center, I’d be excited.

  38. Margaret says:

    I watched HIMYM. I wouldn’t watch this one because, as I now know, it’s would just end badly.

  39. thatdude says:

    Let it die, cbs made the right call

  40. T says:

    I liek everyone else wasn’t a fan of the ending but I will never say that I didn’t love the show because of it. All those seasons with Marshall Erickson can not be taken away by one ending.

  41. Luke says:

    Right – like anybody would ever want to sit through that again – what were they planning to do, go nine seasons only to reveal that the father is really dead? – No thank you, as the saying goes – fool me once…

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