From 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:
CBS Sets Finale Date For ‘How I Met Your Mother’ To Be Followed By ‘Friends With Better Lives’ Debut, ‘Broke Girls’ Moves To 8
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 …
EXCLUSIVE: As fans are preparing to say goodbye to one of TV’s most popular comedies, How I Met Your Mother, CBS is looking to extend the franchise. I’ve learned that the network is in talks with HIMYM producer 20th Century Fox TV for a spinoff series, which takes a female spin on the original show. Referred to as How I Met Your Father, the spinoff hails from HIMYM creators/executive producers Carter Bays and Craig Thomas and Up All Night creator/exec producer Emily Spivey. It would feature a new group of New York friends and chronicle a female member of the group’s quest to meet her future husband. I hear the new characters could be introduced in the HIMYM series finale, and Ted, Barney, Marshall, Lily and Robin’s favorite hangout, MacLaren’s Pub, may be featured on the new show, serving as a link between the two gangs. The premise, which is not tied to any of the original HIMYM characters, gives Bays, Thomas and Spivey a clean slate to build new characters and relationships. The trio, who will co-write and executive produce the spinoff, share a background — they all started in late-night and worked on New York-based late-night shows (Late Show for Bays and Thomas, Saturday Night Live for Spivey) before transitioning to primetime comedy series.
UPDATED: Emmy-winning CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother made its first ever Comic-Con appearance today and packed in a SRO crowd of fans to tease the show’s ninth and final season. “It feels really sad to say goodbye,” said co-creator Craig Thomas. But even the HIMYM cast and showrunners acknowledge it’s time to finally reveal how Ted Mosby met his future wife instead of stretching the gimmick thin. An intro video (posted below) of Ted’s exasperated kids (Lyndsey Fonseca and David Henrie) demanding the end to an eight-year story had fans cheering. Thomas and co-showrunner Carter Bays originally planned on revealing the mother, played by Cristin Milioti, in the show’s finale. Nine seasons later fans will instead get to know the character better before the series draws to a close.
The ninth season debuts September 23 with the HIMYM characters heading to Robin and Barney’s wedding. Harris appeared on the panel with Thomas, Josh Radnor, Jason Segel, Cobie Smulders, Alyson Hanigan, director Pamela Fryman, and co-showrunner Carter Bays. The spoilers flew fast off the bat. “We have this new framework for the season,” said Bays. “The structure is telling a story at the wedding but will flash back and forward, decades will span in course of this one weekend.” Guest stars will include Sherri Shepherd and Wayne Brady, who’ll reprise his role …
EXCLUSIVE: Neil Patrick Harris will be pulling double hosting duty for CBS again this year. The How I Met Your Mother star, who is emceeing the 67th Tony Awards next Sunday, also has been tapped to host the upcoming 65th Primetime Emmy Awards, which will air on the network September 22. Harris has become CBS’ go-to guy for high-profile hosting gigs. He’s hosted the Tonys four of the last five times and has now fronted the Primetime Emmys the two most recent times the awards have aired on CBS. Just like when Harris made his debut as Tony and Emmy host in 2009, he is emceeing both awards shows this year. “I couldn’t be more honored and excited to be hosting this year’s Emmy Awards,” he said. “And what perfect timing — I’ll just do the exact same script I’m about to use for the Tonys. ‘And the Emmy for Best Revival of a Musical goes to Breaking Bad!’ See, told you it works.”
As heavily promoted, CBS‘ How I Met Your Mother introduced the mother character in the final seconds of last night’s season finale when she was seen purchasing a train ticket to Farhampton, where she will eventually meet Ted (Josh Radnor). Cristin Milioti, star of Broadway’s Once, was cast in the role, which will be featured prominently on HIMYM‘s upcoming ninth and final season. “Cristin Milioti is, against all odds, exactly what we were looking for,” HIMYM co-creator/executive producer Carter Bays said. “She made us laugh on 30 Rock, she made us swoon in Once, and her ukulele skills are no joke”. As for the plot of Season 9, “it will tell the epic story of the longest wedding weekend ever”, Bays said. In casting the mother, HIMYM stayed true to its original casting strategy, which involved casting young, relatively unknown actors like Radnor, Jason Segel and Cobie Smulders who became stars on the show.
BREAKING: If Jason Segel isn’t careful, the writer side of his brain might eclipse the actor side. Segel, whose script work includes The Muppets and Forgetting Sarah Marshall, has just made his first big publishing deal. Random House Children’s Books has acquired Nightmares!, a middle-grade fiction series that Segel will write with bestselling author Kirsten Miller (The Eternal Ones) for the Random House imprint Delacorte Press Books For Young Readers. The deal was made by RHCB president/publisher Barbara Marcus and the Delacorte imprint’s veep and publisher Beverly Horowitz, with Segal’s reps at WME and Abrams Entertainment.
Nightmares! is an adventure story about a group of kids who realize it’s up to them to save their town from fear, which has manifested itself in the form of nightmare creatures that have slipped into the everyday world. At its heart, the series is about kids overcoming their fears. Segel first hatched the premise as a movie project. He wrote a screenplay years ago that subsequently went into turnaround. Segel took it back and reverse-adapted it as a book. Don’t be surprised if the script suddenly becomes hot stuff as a movie project that mixes scares with humor. The first book will be published in fall 2014.
This is the first book deal for Segel — who started on Freaks And Geeks and is still starring in How I Met Your Mother — beyond all of the movie roles and work writing music, …
How I Met Your Mother executive producer Stephen Lloyd has closed a new two-year overall deal with 20th Century Fox Television. Under the pact, Lloyd will continue as executive producer on the upcoming final season of the studio’s CBS comedy How I Met Your Mother, on which he has been since Season 1, and will join another 20th comedy series the following season, ABC’s Modern Family. HIMYM creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas “rely on Stephen tremendously, and we couldn’t imagine not having him on the show for its pivotal final season,” 20th TV chairman Gary Newman said. “It also speaks to how much we value Stephen that he’ll go straight from there to our incredibly important Modern Family the following year. He’s a hugely versatile writer who delivers both laugh-out-loud comedy and enormous heart, and every showrunner wants him on their team.” On Modern Family, Lloyd will reunite with the series’ co-creator/executive producer Steven Levitan and of course Lloyd’s brother, Modern Family co-creator/exec producer Christopher Lloyd. Before joining HIMYM, Lloyd worked on a number of Levitan series including Just Shoot Me!, Greg The Bunny, Oliver Beene and Stacked. UTA-repped Lloyd, who shared in HIMYM‘s 2009 best comedy series Emmy nomination, had an overall at 20th before joining HIMYM in 2006 and has been under an overall deal at the studio for the past two years.
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.
CBS’ Nina Tassler On Pending ‘How I Met Your Mother’ Renewal, Jennifer Esposito’s ‘Blue Bloods’ Exit: TCA
No doubt CBS would’ve liked to announce a ninth season renewal for How I Met Your Mother at TCA today but it didn’t as the network and producer 20th Century Fox TV are still haggling over some license fee deal points. (The pacts with creators/showrunners Craig Thomas and Carter Bays and the cast, including Jason Segel are done.) Things are very close. “I will be happy to report in a very few days (a renewal),” CBS’ Nina Tassler said. “I’m confident and excited that all will be resolved. Almost everything is completed.” As for where the show will go next season story-wise, “(Bays and Thomas) had two plans in place — if they had to resolve this year and or if they came back next year,” Tassler said after the session. “So we’ll sit down and talk to them in about a month about their plans for next year.” She assured that “this would be the end as designed by Carter and Craig.”
Tassler was asked about the network’s reputation of being tough on actors on procedural dramas in light of the recent decision to sideline and eventually drop Jennifer Esposito from Blue Bloods. “Oh, I don’t think we are tougher on our actors,” she said. “We employ them for many, many years. In a situation like this we are sorry to see her go, we tried to resolve it, it didn’t quite work out and we wish her the best.”
CBS gave a rare “shout out” to veteran Rules Of Engagement, which has been used to successfully plug holes on the schedule for most of its run, summoned to do it again this midseason on Mondays where it will replace cancelled Partners. “A show that serves us well, it is the best utility warrior on television.”
Asked whether there is a point where CBS would ask 2 Broke Girls executive producer Michael Patrick King to curb the racy content on the show, Tassler said, “I say to Michael as long as you keep us laughing, and as long as we vet stuff through standards and practices, we’re good. It’s an adult comedy. People enjoy it.”
Tassler spent a long time talking about summer series Under The Dome, a Steven Spielberg-produced adaptation of Stephen King’s novel, which was originally developed for sibling pay cable network Showtime.
EXCLUSIVE: ‘How I Met Your Mother’ To Return For Season 9; Cast Deals Closed Today After Jason Segel Turnaround; Show Was Given Up For Dead Until 11th Hour
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 …
Exactly a year ago, David Shore, creator/executive producer of Fox’s drama House was pushing the network to make a decision on the future of the show by the end of 2011 so he can give it a proper ending if faced with cancellation. At the time, House was in its eighth season, with Shore and star Hugh Laurie’s contracts coming up. Fox and producing studio Universal TV didn’t have a license fee deal for another season. The network didn’t make a decision by end of December as Shore wished, but by the beginning of February, the verdict was in - House would end its run after eight seasons.
Fast forward a year to this week. CBS‘ comedy How I Met Your Mother is in Season 8 and the last year of its current license deal with the network, with the contracts of creators Craig Thomas and Carter Bays and the cast all up at the end of the season. Like Shore, Thomas and Bays had requested a decision to be made by the end of this month because of the overarching mythology of the show, which needs to begin building toward the big mother reveal when an end date is set. Three weeks before the end of the year, there is activity on all three fronts — talks are underway between CBS and HIMYM producer 20th Century Fox TV as well as between 20th TV and Thomas and Bays and between the studio and reps for the series’ stars, Jason Segel, Josh Radnor, Cobie Smulders, Neil Patrick Harris and Alyson Hannigan.
CBS has been open about its desire to bring HIMYM for another season. “We want the show to come back next year,” the network’s entertainment president Nina Tassler said in August. “We’re not there yet in terms of resolving the situation, but we’re pretty optimistic.” It appears that the studio, 20th TV, and Thomas & Bays are also open to the idea of another season. But what about the cast? A virtual unknown when the show launched in 2005, Segel has seen his feature career take off over the past seven years. I hear that as of now, Segel has indicated that it is unlikely for him to return. He has not shut the door though.
CBS is known to take shots at its competitors, and the network’s entertainment president Nina Tassler came out swinging this morning. She walked out on stage for the CBS TCA executive session carrying a plush monkey, a jab at NBC, which brought in the monkey from its new comedy series Animal Practice to its TCA presentation and party, where she shared the lion’s share of attention with fellow guest Sarah Palin.
“It’s been a TCA full of cell phone announcements from the stage, monkeys, Sarah Palin, renegotiations. I couldn’t resist,” Tassler said of the TCA events from this past week that also included Fox Entertainment president calling new American Idol judge Mariah Carey during Fox’s executive session. While boasting about CBS’ ratings success (the network finished again as the most watched network and No. 2 in 18-49 to Fox this past season), Tassler took issue with another comment from Reilly who said on Monday that Fox’s reign as the top network among adults 18-49 may come to an end next season when CBS has the Super Bowl and AFC Championship Game. “According to Kevin Reilly ‑‑ thank you, Kevin ‑‑ we’ve just been awarded the 18‑49 crown for next year. Thanks, Kevin, but I think we’ll try to earn it before we claim it.”
Tassler confirmed that the network is in talks with 20th Century Fox TV and creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas for a ninth season of veteran comedy How I Met Your Mother. (Tassler’s “pet monkey” wore a HIMYM tie too!) “The show had an incredible year last year,” Tassler said. “We’re having conversations right now about extending it, we want the show to come back next year. We’re still in early conversations, we’re not there yet in terms of resolving the situation, but we’re pretty optimistic.” Talks for a potential Season 9 are starting early because of the concept of HIMYM, which will lead to the reveal of who the mother is, so planning for a final season has to start way in advance. “Craig and Carter have a very strategic wrapup for the show,” Tassler said.
And so it begins. CBS has picked up Ex-Men, a new comedy from Rob Greenberg, as the network’s first pilot order of the 2013-2014 season. Written and directed by Greenberg, it details the exploits of a young man learning the ways of the world from the older and more experienced men in his short-term rental complex. Greenberg, an executive producer on the network’s comedy How I Met Your Mother, will produce the single-camera comedy with Eric and Kim Tannenbaum and CBS Studios. Ex-Men has been kicking around for a few years, but with buying season starting the comedy was still acquired ahead of any dramas. Greenberg is repped by ICM Partners and Management 360.