The reason that we put “spin-off” as such in the title is that when you think about what you actually expect a spin-off show to be, “How I Met Your Dad” does not necessarily fit the bill. It is more of an extension of the “How I Met Your Mother” brand than anything else, since it will never be mentioned or talked about on the current version of the show. Instead, the series, if picked up for the fall, will tell an entirely new tale.
Now, we come to the big news: The show now has a leading lady. Actress Grets Gerwig has been cast as Sally, the star of the show and a young woman who is still trying to grow up and figure out just what her life is supposed to be. She is considering divorcing her husband, and what the ramifications of this would be for her future. (You can read more about the other characters here.)
In casting Gerwig, an indie actress best known for roles in “Greenberg” and “Frances Ha,” the show has went in a similar direction to the original: Casting someone who may be familiar to a small audience, but not necessarily a mainstream one. Josh Radnor is someone who also comes from the indie world, and still goes back there during hiatuses.
What we imagine being the plan from here is that the show will probably cast at least one or two actors that are generally well-known for some of their other roles, similar to what we saw with Neil Patrick Harrison and Alyson Hannigan. The show needs a name or two to help sell it, and then allow the story to do the rest once people check out the first episode.
Emily Spivey (“Up All Night”) is running this show, though original creators Craig Thomas and Carter Bays are very much involved. Also, “How I Met Your Mother’s” longtime director Pam Fryman will helm this pilot, as well. All in all, encouraging signs.
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Update: New reports say that Gerwig will not only star, but also produce and help write the series.