How I Met Your Mother sequel series: The story behind doomed Greta Gerwig pilot episode

Jacob Stolworthy
·2-min read
 (YouTube /  20th Television)
(YouTube / 20th Television)

How I Met Your Mother fans are thrilled that the show is returning in the form of a new sequel series.

On Wednesday (21 April), news broke that Hulu had ordered a new show titled How I Met Your Father, which follows a woman named Sophie as she recounts the story of how she met her son’s dad.

According to Variety, Sophie will be played by Hilary Duff. However, plans to make this series have been in fruition for quite a long time, with an original pilot for a potential run first filmed back in 2014.

In the lead role was Lady Bird director Greta Gerwig. Sadly, the project was doomed to fail, with Gerwig’s pilot sadly never manifesting into a full series order.

Gerwig herself opened up about why this was the case during a 2017 interview with Stephen Colbert – and, according to the Frances Ha star, it turns out she was the reason why.

"There was a show called How I Met Your Mother,” she told Colbert. “It was a great show. I loved it. Everyone loves it.”

Gerwig continued: "They were going to make another one called How I Met Your Dad, starring me. We shot the pilot and it was so much fun. I loved working on it. And then they take the pilot to Las Vegas to test it.”

It was at this screening made up of a test audience that things started going south quickly.

"The audience, they’re given knobs,” Gerwig explained. “They turn the knob to the right if they like it and to the left if they don’t. And apparently, they turned the knob to the left every time I came on. They didn’t like it.”

Greta Gerwig explained why the pilot episode failed on Stephen Colbert’s talk show in 2017Stephen Colbert
Greta Gerwig explained why the pilot episode failed on Stephen Colbert’s talk show in 2017Stephen Colbert

Gerwig said that, while she was sad at the time, she’s learned to see the funny side. She certainly had the last laugh: the Frances Ha actor, who directed an adaptation of Little Women in 2019, has since earned three Oscar nominations.

In 2018, she was featured in Time’s annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world.

It’s unclear if How I Met Your Father will tie into the original sitcom, which ran for nine seasons and starred Josh Radnor, Alyson Hannigan, Jason Segel, Cobie Smulders and Neil Patrick Harris.

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