How I Met Your Father EPs Confirm New Show Is Set in the HIMYM Universe

Don’t call it a reboot.

That was the plea from How I Met Your Father co-creator Isaac Aptaker during the Hulu comedy’s virtual appearance at Tuesday’s Television Critics Association winter press tour. “People keep referring to the show as a ‘reboot,’ and it’s not a reboot,” he said, before referring to HIMYF as a “standalone sequel.”

“It’s set in the world of the previous show, but it’s really its own thing,” the executive producer clarified. “That said, we love How I Met Your Mother,” and original series creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas, as well as original director/EP Pamela Fryman, are all “very involved” in the making of HIMYF. “There are going to be lots of little rewards for people who love the original if they stick with us.”

Premiering Tuesday, Jan. 18 with its first two episodes, the HIMYM follow-up “catapults us back to the year 2022,” where Hilary Duff’s Sophie and her close-knit group of friends — Jesse (Veronica Mars‘ Chris Lowell), Valentina (grown-ish‘s Francia Raisa), Charlie (The Royals‘ Tom Ainsley), Ellen (Space Force‘s Tien Tran) and Sid (God Friended Me‘s Suraj Sharma) — “are in the midst of figuring out who they are, what they want out of life, and how to fall in love in the age of dating apps and limitless options,” according to the official logline. Fryman, who directed nearly every episode of HIMYM, is once again behind the camera on HIMYF.

“One thing that I can take away from it, having been on How I Met Your Mother for so long, is that this is not How I Met Your Mother — and I loved How I Met Your Mother,” Fryman said. “This is How I Met Your Father, and it is so spectacular in its own right…. From the first day on stage with masks on, we started rehearsing and instantly knew we had something.”

Added Duff, who is also a producer, “I think it’s important to know that we are our own show… We’re trying to create something original [while] stealing a few things from them that worked really well.”