Some ideas are just too good to die, and some ideas simply refuse to die whether they’re good or not. It’s unclear which of those two the concept of a gender-swapped How I Met Your Mother spin-off is, but either way it’s an idea that’s apparently never going to go away. It first popped up in 2013 as How I Met Your Dad, a pilot pitch sold to CBS by HIMYM creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas. The idea was to take the basic setup of HIMYM and tell a new, flashback-based story about a woman who eventually meets her husband, with no actual characters or storylines crossing-over from the original show. CBS ended up dropping the pilot, and though Bays and Thomas tried to keep it going a few months later, they couldn’t work out a deal with the network.
Now, with the awful twists of the HIMYM finale a distant memory in the minds of TV viewers, two executive producers from NBC’s This Is Us (Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger) have decided to resurrect the How I Met Your Dad concept. Titled How I Met Your Father, the show will be completely separated from both the original series and the failed pilot, but it will still be an ensemble comedy about a woman’s romantic troubles. Bays and Thomas are involved, but probably only in the sense that they’ll get executive producer credits because it’s based on their idea. This all comes from Deadline, which says their “day-to-day involvement” in this new show is “unknown.”
Interestingly, Deadline also notes that this project won’t necessarily follow the original show to CBS. Since it’s not a “traditional spin-off” and won’t include any of the old characters, it could land at a different network—assuming it actually lasts longer than How I Met Your Dad.