Among the many advantages of Twitter over, say, the Emmys as a public platform, is that while you may not walk away with a statuette, there is no pesky music cutting you off as you run through the list of people you’d like to thank for their support over the years. This How I Met Your Mother co-creator Craig Thomas took full advantage of that last night, as his long-running CBS comedy came to a close with a decisive demo win in its one-hour time slot. Thomas’ many exuberant tweets included:
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On How I Met Your Mother‘s last day of production a month ago, Dana Walden — chairman and CEO of 20th Century Fox TV, which produces the long-running series — was meeting with the big boss, 21st Century Fox chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch, in his office. She mentioned HIMYM was wrapping that day and, in the middle of their meeting Murdoch said, “I want to go over and say hallo.” He walked to the set and thanked creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas, the cast and the crew “for all of the great work they have done.” “For a show to provoke that kind of response from Rupert, it speaks to how important that show has been to the company,” Walden said.
If such a gesture from the head of a global conglom might come as a surprise, it is probably because HIMYM, which wraps its nine-season run tonight on CBS, has flown largely under the radar. HIMYM hasn’t been a blockbuster ratings hit like The Big Bang Theory, hasn’t made headlines with a record-breaking syndication deal like 2 Broke Girls, and hasn’t been an awards darling like Modern Family, never landing an Emmy in the major categories. But it broke ground, pushing the limits of the traditional multi-camera sitcom with a new production model and heavy serialization that helped it attract younger (18-34) viewers, something very few multi-cam comedies have been able to do in the past decade as young audiences have been largely shunning the format in favor of edgier single-camera fare.
Multi-camera comedies had tried employing shorter scenes before, most notably NBC’s Seinfeld. But Bays and Thomas’ pilot script for How I Met Your Mother called for a pace that had not been achieved before. It included a whopping 59 scenes, plus freeze frames with narration, whip pans, a split screen scene and a montage. That’s not how you normally see in a multi-camera sitcom, which is what CBS had bought in HIMYM. But then, Carter and Bays didn’t quite know normal. The young writers were recent transplants to Los Angeles and primetime after a stint at CBS’ Late Show With David Letterman. They had only worked for a couple of very short-lived comedy series and had never developed before HIMYM. “This was new to them, and they didn’t know the limitations of what they can and cannot do, so they wrote what was in their heads,” Walden said. Read More »
The creators of CBS’ How I Met Your Mother insist they really did have an eight-year plan beginning with the pilot and at the start of season two shot part of what is going to air in the series finale with the Mosby children “who are now 53 and 62,” joked exec producer Craig Thomas. “We shot a little bit with the kids in fall of 2006 and it’s part of the end game. You will see it on March 31,” he said at TCA. “We’ve kind of tried to space out over the season – have kind of a building momentum to how much we’re seeing of their relationship, but we will, in these last few episodes, really get a sense of sorts to tie it all together in a package of what this story has been that we’ve been watching, why we’ve been watching it. I don’t want to say too much about it.” Read More »
Prepare to say goodbye to How I Met Your Mother and hello to How I Met Your Dad. After a pretty brief, two-week negotiation that underlined the HIMYM franchise’s importance to CBS, the network has closed a deal with 20th Century Fox TV for a pilot order to a spinoff project, which takes a female spin on the original show. How I Met Your Dad, which was pitched on October 30, hails from HIMYM creators/executive producers Carter Bays and Craig Thomas and Up All Night creator/exec producer Emily Spivey. Described as a kindred spirit of How I Met Your Mother telling the story from a female point of view, Dad tells a brand-new story with new characters and a new voice at its center. Linking the new group of New York friends and the HIMYM gang will be Ted, Barney, Marshall, Lily and Robin’s favorite hangout, MacLaren’s Pub, which also will be featured on the new show, written and executive produced by Spivey, Bays and Thomas. It is unclear if the characters from the spinoff would be introduced in the HIMYM finale as originally envisioned.
CBS certainly could use more HIMYM — the veteran comedy is the key piece holding together … Read More »
After a month of last-minute haggling between CBS and 20th Century Fox TV over deal points, the network and studio have sealed an agreement for a ninth season of How I Met Your Mother. It will be the veteran comedy’s last season, and the show will finally reveal the identity of the mother. I hear it will be for 24 episodes. All series regulars — Josh Radnor, Jason Segel, Cobie Smulders, Neil Patrick Harris and Alyson Hannigan — are back, as are creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas. To show the cast their commitment to the show, Bays and Thomas were first to close a one-year show deal. Then came the dramatic actor negotiations as chronicled in Nikki Finke’s story that broke the news about HIMYM‘s pending renewal. The prospects of a ninth season appeared all but dead after Segel had held firmly to his decision to leave until an eleventh-hour turnaround. I hear Segel finally changed his mind after reviewing detailed records of the relatively light workload the hybrid series requires for a fat paycheck while also allowing busy actors like him to also pursue a feature career. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: My news will be cheered by fans of the CBS comedy and follows the network logging a second consecutive Monday win in adults 18-49 and total viewers. For those keeping score, the hourlong winter finale of How I Met Your Mother (3.4/9) was up 6% from last week’s half-hour episode. That Monday lineup took a hit this fall facing competition from The Voice and suffering from the move of Two And A Half Men to Thursday, so it was important for CBS to secure HIMYM for another season - especially as another tough negotiation with Warner Bros for Two And A Half Men is coming up. Now HIMYM‘s 9th season is secure even if the network and the studio and the cast are keeping mum right now. (Meanwhile I stopped watching after Season 2 because I can’t stand not knowing who the mom is, dammit.) Of course there was drama aplenty culminating today when all the cast deals closed after hard work by agents and managers and lawyers and executives and after an 11th hour turnaround of Jason Segel who was set on bailing.
So here’s what happened: HIMYM is in the last year of its current license deal with the network, while the contracts of creators Craig Thomas and Carter Bays and the cast are all up at the end of the season. Understandably, Thomas and Bays had requested a decision to be made by the end of this month because of the … Read More »