Hulu’s How I Met Your Father returned last month, for its second season. The sitcom is a sequel series of sorts to the long-running CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother, which aired from 2005 to 2014.
With the exception of a few cameo moments, for cast members and sets from the original series to confirm that the series takes place in the same universe as the original show, How I Met Your Father, pretty much stands on its own as a show. But there is actually a third, unknown, series that exists in this franchise of people telling their kids how they met their significant other.
This is one that never made it past the pilot stage.
The first spinoff
Back in the early 2010s, as it was becoming clear that How I Met Your Mother was moving into its final seasons, the creators of the show were interested in doing a spinoff of the series and reversing the gender of the main role. The series would feature a female lead while giving the show the same framework.
It would continue to follow the formula of someone from the future, telling their kids how they met their significant other. The bulk of the series would take place in that story in the present day.
The new show was titled, How I Met Your Dad. While the pilot definitely had a similar vibe to the previous show, it did offer viewers a few key differences.
Most importantly, the series did away with the mystery element, that was one of the main driving forces in How I Met Your Mother. This time around, the identity of the spouse isn’t kept a secret, but instead is revealed in the very first episode.
So, while we don’t know the timeline that would have been revealed if the show had been picked up for a full series, we do know which two characters the showrunners had in mind for their endgame.
Casting the show
The cast of the pilot was pretty impressive as well. Meg Ryan was hired to fill in the narrator role as the future version of the main character.
And while they may not have been that famous in 2014 when the pilot was filmed, you’d probably recognize most of the cast from the work they’ve done since the How I Met Your Dad pilot. For example, Tiya Sircar was a part of the cast, who has gone on to play the recurring role of Vicky on The Good Place and voiced the character of Sabine in the show Star Wars: Rebels.
Actor Nicholas D’Agosto was also a part of the cast, who would later go on to star in the cut favorite Trial and Error on NBC. But perhaps the most impressive career for anyone after this pilot has to go to the lead role, which happened to be played by none other than Greta Gerwig.
Gerwig has gone on to act in multiple high-profile projects since 2014. Today she is best known for her work as a writer and director, having both written and directed movies such as Lady Bird and Little Women.
She has been nominated for an Academy Award three times.
Moving on to the next show – How I Met Your Father
CBS passed on the initial pilot for How I Met Your Dad, but they were still interested in the idea, and wanted a new pilot to be filmed that would perhaps take the project in a different direction. However, the creators of the series weren’t interested in a version of the show that wasn’t what they had presented in the pilot.
Thus, the project didn’t move forward from there. After How I Met Your Dad was not picked up, and the series was declared dead, a new spark eventually came about a few years later.
This would eventually become the show we know today as How I Met Your Father. Showrunners Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger produced a pilot script for their version of the sequel show back in 2016.
This was just two years after the ending of the original show, but their plans were put on hold when they were asked to co-run This is Us on NBC. The project sat on the shelf until 2021, when there was finally a hole in their schedule that allowed them to pursue the project.
This time, the attempt was successful, and How I Met Your Father debuted in January of 2022, with enough success that a second season was greenlit a month later.
Do you remember watching How I Met Your Dad? Are you currently watching How I Met Your Father?
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