Upfronts 2014: Nina Tassler on why CBS passed on ‘How I Met Your Dad’

The cast of "How I Met Your Mother" on the Fox lot in Century City in 2010.
(Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times)

Kids, I’m going to tell you an incredible story. The story of how CBS didn’t pick up “How I Met Your Dad.”

CBS entertainment chairman Nina Tassler confirmed Wednesday at a briefing with reporters before the network’s presentation to media buyers in New York that it had passed on the much-talked about “How I Met Your Mother” spinoff from Carter Bays, Craig Thomas and Emily Spivey.

“There were elements on the pilot that didn’t work out,” Tassler told reporters. “We tried to work out about redoing the pilot. That’s not happening right now. Sometimes you run into these kind of issues and you hope they can resolve themselves in that time frame.”


Tassler’s account contradicted reports by some outlets last week that the network had picked up the series, which was to star indie ingenue Greta Gerwig and Meg Ryan as the narrator. The network and studio, 20th Century Fox, denied those reports at the time.

The comedy’s rights will now revert back to the studio. Should 20th choose to, it can shop it elsewhere.

“I’m heartsick; we loved this brand and we love the producers but it didn’t work out,” Tassler said, saying CBS felt that “repiloting was in the best interest of protecting the creative elements of the show.”

“That was our position, not necessarily theirs,” she said.

It’s another unhappy ending for “How I Met Your Mother,” which recently ended its nine-season run with some fans unhappy with the farewell episode.