Deadline’s Best TV Stories Of The Week

By | Sunday April 6, 2014 @ 6:13pm PDT

Letterman1 David Letterman Ends An Era, Announcing He Will Retire In 2015
By Lisa De Moraes
CBS late-night star David Letterman surprised his studio audience this afternoon when he announced he is retiring in 2015.

Watch David Letterman’s Full Announcement Of His Retirement
By Lisa De Moraes
David Letterman stunned his Late Show studio audience today when he abruptly announced that he will retire next year. He began by telling the studio crowd he will be celebrating his 67th birthday in about a week (April 12), at which time, he said, he will have spent about half his life “behind this desk” and “in makeup.”

Fox Eyes Reality Show About Struggling Couples Who Switch Partners For Weekend
By Nellie Andreeva
EXCLUSIVE: Is Fox heading back to Temptation Island?

himymfinale‘How I Met Your Mother’ Fans To Get Their Happy Ending? Series’ DVD Set To Include Alternate Ending To Series Finale
By Nellie Andreeva
EXCLUSIVE: Four days after the How I Met Your Mother series finale, fans of the show are still reeling from the controversial ending that saw the mother die, Robin and Barney divorce and Ted end up with Robin, leaving viewers stunned. Read More »

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‘How I Met Your Mother’ Fans To Get Their Happy Ending? Series’ DVD Set To Include Alternate Ending To Series Finale

By | Friday April 4, 2014 @ 3:14pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Four days after the How I Met Your Mother series finale, fans of the show are still reeling from the controversial ending that saw the mother die, Robin and Barney divorce and Ted end up with Robin, leaving viewers stunned. Reaction has been overwhelming, with the HIMYM finale dividing fans and instantly becoming one of the most debated series closers ever, with fans starting a petition to have the ending changed. They may get their wish.

Related: Quiet Groundbreaker: How ‘HIMYM’ Pushed The Sitcom Form

How I Met Your MotherI have learned that the controversial sequence was not the only conclusion the HIMYM writers considered. I hear creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas also contemplated an alternate ending, which will be included in HIMYM‘s upcoming DVD set. I hear the alternate ending does not involve additional footage but rather a different editing of the episode. HIMYM producers and studio 20th Century Fox TV would not comment on any specifics of the alternate closing, but a source described it as a “happy ending.” UPDATE: Bays confirmed our news on Twitter. “16 days ago today we were in the HIMYM edit room, trying to decide between two very different endings.  We only shot one script, but through edit room magic we had two possible outcomes for the series. We chose the ending we chose and we stand by it. But we loved the other version too. We’re going to include that version on the Complete Series DVD as an alternate finale to How I Met Your Mother.”

Related: Cobie Smulders Talks ‘HIMYM’ On Letterman: Video

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‘HIMYM’ Co-Creator Craig Thomas Tweets Effusively Before, During And After Series Finale

By | Tuesday April 1, 2014 @ 8:48am PDT

himymfinaleAmong 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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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘How I Met Your Mother’ Finale Sets Series Highs, ‘Friends With Better Lives’ Gets Sampled

Nellie Andreeva

himymfinaleUPDATE: Here are the final Live+Same Day ratings for the How I Met Your Mother series finale: 5.4 rating among adults 18-49, up a tenth from the fast national, and 13.13 million total viewers. The Friends with Better Lives premiere was adjusted down a tenth to a 2.6 in 18-49. ABC’s Dancing With the Stars inched up to a 2.3.

PREVIOUS: How I Met Your Mother may have divided fans but it sure brought them to TV in a big way — especially the series’ core younger demographics. Last night’s hourlong farewell episode of the long-running CBS comedy series set across-the-board series highs, drawing 12.94 million total viewers, a 5.3 rating in adults 18-49 (up 51% from last week), and a 5.8 in 18-34, with its ratings certain to go even higher in the finals. Given how rare such beloved comedy series are these days, it was somewhat surprising that CBS didn’t make an event of its farewell. For instance, the finales of NBC’s Friends and The Office and CBS’ Everybody Loves Raymond all were preceded by retrospective specials, goosing up the numbers for the closing episodes. Instead, the HIMYM finale was a self-starter at 8 PM.

Related: The Quiet Groundbreaker: How ‘HIMYM’ Pushed The Sitcom Form

After such an emotional experience from 8-9 PM, friendswithbetterlivesmany HIMYM fans admitted online that it was hard for them to stick around for the premiere of CBS’ Friends With Better Lives. Under the circumstances, the new comedy got OK sampling, drawing 8 million viewers, a 2.7 in 18-49 and 2.5 in 18-34. (Its numbers may be adjusted down in the finals because of a minute of a HIMYM overrun.) Its real test will be when it debuts in its regular time slot behind 2 Broke Girls. Unfortunately, that won’t happen for two weeks as the network’s Monday lineup is preempted next week. Read More »

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‘HIMYM’ Finale Outrun By Social Media

How I Met Your Mother finaleJason Segel told CNN it would be the best series ending ever — except, he said, for the long-running Newhart series finale. You know, the one in which Vermont innkeeper Bob Newhart got knocked out by a flying golf ball in the late ’80s, and when he woke up, he was in bed with his ’70s sitcom wife Suzanne Pleshette and the whole ’80s series was a dream.  That would seem to point to a surprise ending for How I Met Your Mother — maybe the  “surprise” ending that’s been discussed endlessly in social media for days and which show creators danced around at the recent PaleyFest

WARNING: SPOILER ALERT!
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‘How I Met Your Mother’ Building To A Big Online Finale Too

By | Monday March 31, 2014 @ 7:00pm PDT

How I Met Your Mother, the slow-burn CBS comedy that turned into a somewhat unlikely hit before wrapping up tonight, also became a social-media power in recent years, setting up tonight’s finale episode as occasion for yet another online blizzard of goodbyes.

Related: ‘HIMYM’ Finale Outrun By Social Media

HIMYM Farewell Mosaic page screen cap

HIMYM Farewell Page

CBS has encouraged that sort of growth with a series of clever fan interactions, like sprinkling photographic clues on Facebook about the identity of the mother in last season’s run-up to her big reveal episode. Just after the episode ended, CBS posted a followup, with the hashtag #WeMetTheMother, that reached 13 million people on Facebook, according to the network.

Related: Cobie Smulders Talks ‘HIMYM’ On Letterman: Video

This year, ahead of the finale, the company launched a hashtag on its own website, #HIMYMFanFarewell. Fans were asked to post farewell messages to the show using that hashtag on Facebook, Twitter, Vine and other platforms. Then the company aggregated a mosaic of those posts on a (sponsored) page on CBS.com. Check it out. It’s an interesting gimmick, and the car sponsorship that’ll pay for it all is a smart thing too.

Related: ‘How I Met Your Mother’ Gains Ratings Momentum

The network also set up a “guestbook” page for last week’s wedding episode, so fans could RSVP for the wedding and leave their well-wishes for the couple. The network says it’s all paying off with better ratings this last season, up 3 to 4 percent in overall and younger demographics (it’s the network’s youngest-skewing show). And online streams of the show on CBS.com are up double digits this year, though the network didn’t specify by how much.

HIMYM 3seasons Social Media graphic

And this isn’t just the network bragging here. We checked in with our friends over at RelishMIX, an independent consulting firm that analyzes fan social-media engagement through Twitter, Facebook and YouTube with TV shows and movies. In its last three seasons, HIMYM’s fan engagement online jumped nearly 85 percent across the Big Three social-media sites, according to RelishMIX.

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Cobie Smulders Drops Some ‘HIMYM’ Finale Nuggets On Letterman Show: Video

With How I Met Your Mother wrapping after nine and 200-plus episodes, one of the leads took to a CBS sister show to talk about. Cobie Smulders is on Late Show With David Letterman tonight to talk about the Big Finale, and during their chat she … Read More »

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The Quiet Ground Breaker: How ‘How I Met Your Mother’ Pushed The Sitcom Form & Was Saved By Britney Spears

By | Monday March 31, 2014 @ 4:10pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

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 — HIMYM Finalewas 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 cbs-logo__120711164808__121116195436__130108233101__130716162250__130926192712__131121001522deal 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 »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘How I Met Your Mother’ Gains Momentum, ‘The Voice’ Slips

By | Tuesday March 25, 2014 @ 9:18am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

How I Met Your Mother RatingsThe penultimate episode of How I Met Your Mother last night (3.4), boosted by the long-awaited Robin-Barney nuptials, jumped 17% from last Monday for a second consecutive week of gains as the show heads into its series finale next Monday. The tide lifted all ships, with the rest of CBS’ Monday lineup rebounding from their lows last week. 2 Broke Girls (2.3) was up +5%, Mike & Molly (2.0) was up +11%, Mom (1.9) was up +6% and Intelligence (1.2) was up +9%.

Related: CBS Sets Season Finale Dates

NBC’s The Voice (3.6) dropped 0.4 (10%) from last week’s fast national. Despite that, The Blacklist (2.9) climbed a tenth for a second consecutive week of ratings increases. NBC (3.4) easily won the night in 18-49 by a 62% margin. In total viewers (12.11 million), it was edged by ABC (11.75 million). Read More »

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Rob Greenberg To Replace Pam Fryman As Director Of CBS Pilot ‘How I Met Your Dad’

By | Thursday March 20, 2014 @ 12:38pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

greenbergThere is rarely a TV director as closely associated with a series as Pam Fryman has been with CBS‘ How I Met Your Mother. She directed the pilot, contributing to the show’s unique hybrid format, stayed on as an … Read More »

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CBS Sets Season Finale Dates

By | Thursday March 20, 2014 @ 10:29am PDT

cbs-logo__120711164808__121116195436__130108233101__130716162250__130926192712__131121001522CBS  this morning announced season finale dates, starting with the previously set one-hour series finale of long-running comedy series How I Met Your Mother on March 31, and ending with the two-hour season finale of Survivor on May 21 –  which, unless some network blinks, looks to pit the Survivor finale against the finale of Fox’s American Idol , given that AI’s final performance night is expected to fall on May 20, and the season finale traditionally falls on the next night.  Two CBS freshman comedies — Mom and The Crazy Ones — will air their season wrap-ups in April:

Monday, March 31
8-9 PM  - How I Met Your Mother (One-Hour Series Finale)
10-11 PM – Intelligence

Monday, April 14
9:30-10 PM – Mom

Thursday, April 17   
9:01-10:01 PM – The Crazy Ones (One-Hour Season Finale)
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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Dancing With The Stars’ Off To Soft Start, ‘HIMYM’ Perks Up As ’2 Broke Girls’, ‘Mom’ & ‘Following’ Hit Lows

Nellie Andreeva

dwtsSeason 18 of ABC’s Dancing With The Stars, featuring a new co-host, new band and a couple of Olympic champions, opened with a 2.5 in adults 18-49 and 15 million viewers last night. It was down 22% from last spring’s premiere, which faced The Biggest Loser, not The Voiceon NBC. Dancing was on par with its last season debut to air against Voice, the fall 2012 opener (2.5, 14.1 million), which happens to be an all-time premiere low for the franchise. Castle (1.8) was up 13% from its last original two weeks ago but may be adjusted down because of a Dancing overrun. ABC won the night in total viewers.

After taking a hit against The Bachelor finale last Monday, NBC’s Voice (4.0) rebounded against the Dancing season premiere, up 8% from last week. The Blacklist (2.8) was up a tenth from the fast national for its most recent airing two weeks ago when the freshman drama posted an all-time low behind The Voice.  NBC won the night in 18-49.

The third-to-last episode of CBS’ How I Met Your Mother (2.9) snapped the veteran comedy’s three-week downward trend, up 7% from last week’s season low. No good ratings news for the rest of CBS’ Monday comedies, which logged a slew of lows in their first outings after getting renewed for next season. 2 Broke Girls (2.1) was down 19% from its last original to a series low; Mike And Molly (1.8) matched last week’s series low, and Mom (1.8) slipped 10% to a series low. After a little bump against lesser drama competition at 10 PM last Monday, struggling midseason drama Intelligence (1.1) dropped 15% to tie a series low.  Read More »

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PaleyFest: ‘How I Met Your Mother’ Creators Dodge Finale Questions

By | Saturday March 15, 2014 @ 10:20pm PDT

Creator and cast of CBS‘s Monday comedy series How I Met Your Mother declined to give up any information about the series finale at the How I Met Your Mother Season 7PaleyFest tonight. Right off … Read More »

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CBS’s ‘How I Met Your Mother’ Cast, Disney’s ‘Guardians Of The Galaxy’ Pitch In To Battle New ‘Tonight Show’: Video

To compete with the premiere of NBC’s The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, David Letterman tonight welcomes the cast of CBS’ departing How I Met Your Mother, who read the night’s Top 10 List.  “Someone finally points out that I don’t sound like Bob Saget,” contributes Josh Radnor. (Watch the … Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘The Following’ Slips To Low Post-Super Bowl, ‘Bachelor’ Rises

By | Tuesday February 4, 2014 @ 9:07am PST
Nellie Andreeva

the-following-season-2The Super Bowl on Fox may have posted the biggest TV audience ever with 111.5 million, but no halo effect on Fox so far. A day after The Following scored a plum promo spots during the big game, the serial killer drama slipped to a new low. Following logged a 1.9 in adults 18-49 last night, down a tenth from last week’s series low of 2.0. The serialized drama had a stronger lead-in than last week, a new Almost Human (1.8), which too was down (-10%) from its last original on January 13. Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘How I Met Your Mother’s 200th Surges, Lifts CBS Lineup; ‘Following’ Hits Low; ‘Blacklist’ Rebounds

By | Tuesday January 28, 2014 @ 10:02am PST
Nellie Andreeva

How Your Mother Met MeCBS How I Met Your Mother already had momentum heading into the final stretch of its nine-season run. Last night the veteran comedy got an extra boost with its 200th episode, which finally revealed the moment the show’s title had been teasing since the pilot, drawing a 3.8 in adults 18-49, up 23% from last week, and 10.7 million viewers, both season highs. It was HIMYM‘s best 18-49 delivery since February 14, 2013, the day after CBS’ broadcast of the Super Bowl, and largest audience since December 2011. The tide lifted all the ships, with the entire CBS Monday lineup posting gains. 2 Broke Girls (3.0, 9.9 million) was up 11%  from last week in the demo and posted season highs in both categories. Mike & Molly (2.6, up 24%, 10.7 million) matched its season high in 18-49 and posted a new one in total viewers. Mom (2.4, up 26%, 9.5 million) logged its best demo rating since the premiere and a series high in viewers. Drama Intelligence (1.5, 6.8 million) once again was an underperformer but it too ticked up (+36% in 18-49) for its best deliveries on Monday. CBS won the night in 18-49 and total viewers. Read More »

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TCA: ‘HIMYM’ Series Finale Scene With The Kids Shot In ’06

By | Thursday January 16, 2014 @ 5:05am PST

TCADeadline__140109155905The 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 »

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CBS Sets Finale Date For ‘How I Met Your Mother’ To Be Followed By ‘Friends With Better Lives’ Debut, ‘Broke Girls’ Moves To 8

By | Thursday December 19, 2013 @ 12:15pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

How I Met Your Mother Season 7From one set of friends to another. CBS will premiere new ensemble comedy Friends With Better Lives behind the series finale of How I Met Your Mother on March 31. Starting the following Monday, Friends With Better Lives will move to its regular Monday 8:30 PM slot, following a Big Bang Theory rerun until 2 Broke Girls takes over the 8 PM anchor position vacated by HIMYM on April 14. HIMYM will end its nine-season run with an hourlong finale almost two months before the end of the season, an unusually early exit for a series of this caliber, but CBS certainly needs the real estate. As previously announced, midseason CBS drama Intelligence will debut in the Monday 10 PM slot on January 13 after a preview behind NCIS on January 7. Here is CBS’ Monday schedule for March 31, April 7 and April 14: Read More »

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‘How I Met Your Mother’ Spinoff Officially A Go At CBS With Pilot Order

Nellie Andreeva

How I Met Your Mother Spinoff CBS 2014Prepare 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 … Read More »

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