How I Met Your Father is operating under a slightly different framework than its predecessor.
Whereas the How I Met Your Mother pilot’s big twist was that Ted was on a date with “Aunt Robin,” the big reveal at the end of the sequel series’ premiere is that Sophie (played by Hilary Duff) has already met the father — and he’s probably one of four guys: Pemberton’s Pub owner Sid (Suraj Sharma), Uber driver Jesse (Chris Lowell), Tinder date Ian (Daniel Augustin) or Valentina’s new beau Charlie (Tom Ainsley).
One more thing: In the year 2050, it appears that 58-year-old Sophie (played by Kim Cattrall) is no longer romantically entangled with her baby daddy, which is indicated not only by her conversation with her son, but by her empty ring finger.
“[How I Met Your Mother] was about a journey for Ted to meet this woman. This show is more of a journey to figure out where all of these men fit into [Sophie’s] life,” series co-creator Isaac Aptaker tells TVLine. “It really becomes more of a coming-of-age story for her as a woman. So much of finding your person has to do with timing and who you are at any given moment, and Sophie really has a lot of growing to do as a person before she is ready to wind up with the father.”
Adds fellow co-creator Elizabeth Berger, “One of the things that’s really cool about this device is that there will be these little, unexpected moments and exchanges with our guys, where all of a sudden you’ve been watching one guy, and then suddenly there’s a conversation and someone else comes into focus in a really surprising, exciting way.”
Of course, there’s always the off chance that the dad isn’t one of the core four.
“In our pilot she makes clear that she met the father that night, which leaves a little bit of wiggle room as to who our father is,” Berger points out. “We’re going to have our core guys, which we hope and imagine people will be very invested in, but there will also be the larger world out there that we can draw from in terms of what happened all throughout that night.”
In addition to the paternity twist, HIMYF differs from the Mother-ship by showing Cattrall in the flesh, versus having her serve as an omniscient narrator (like the late Bob Saget). And while the reversal might have been done in part to conceal the potentially mixed race of Sophie’s son, it was also a no brainer once the Powers That Be cast the former Sex and the City vixen.
“That was baked into the DNA of the show,” Berger says. “It was always the intention… and honestly, once we cast Kim Cattrall, it just made us double down on that decision, because you can’t have Kim Cattrall and not show her. It would just be such a waste.”