“We want to honor ‘How I Met Your Mother’ with the cleanest ending possible,” says creator Craig Thomas
“How I Met Your Mother” will soon wind to an end after nine seasons — but not before reaching its milestone 200th episode. And after the curtain falls on “Mother,” series creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas (pictured) will busy themselves preparing a spinoff series, “How I Met Your Dad,” which has received a pilot production commitment from CBS.
TheWrap attended a press event Thursday where Bays and Thomas spoke about the upcoming 200th episode — which airs Jan. 27 — and discussed how the new project will be a totally different animal than its predecessor.
Billed as a “kindred spirit” to “How I Met Your Mother,” “Dad” will tell its story from the female point of view. But Thomas and Bays insist there will be no crossover between the current series and the new project.
“If this new show goes next year, it will be a brand new show. It will be a brand new story,” Bays said. “We kind of didn't want it to have any feeling of trying to resuscitate something that has already ended.”
And no, Cristin Milioti — who was recently introduced this season as the titular mother on “HIMYM” — won't be playing role in the new series.
“I almost wish we could use her. She's good enough to do it, she's good enough to carry a series,” Thomas said. “But the thing that's most important to us is that ‘How I Met Your Mother’ has its own ending, and then that's it. April 28 at 9 p.m. is the end of ‘How I Met Your Mother,’ that's the end of the story. It's contained, it's done. And then in the fall, if we succeed with the spinoff, we will have to make our case to the audience in a whole new way, with a whole new world, with whole new characters. And that feels right; we want to honor ‘How I Met Your Mother’ with the cleanest ending possible. And then, should [the spinoff] go forward, that will have to earn the love again in a new way and just be its own charming, different thing.”
“Beyond just changing one word in the title, there is a twist and it makes it a totally different show,” Bays added.
As for the upcoming 200th episode, the pair was reluctant to divulge specifics, but Thomas promised that it will be “unlike any we've done before.”
“I think one of the proudest things of Season 9 and especially the 200th episode is that it's an episode unlike any we've ever done before, in a season unlike any we've ever done before,” Thomas said. “It's a new trick we're showing, a new trick in episode 200 that we ever could have done in any other season. And to me, more than anything else, episode 200 is why we did Season 9. If you could epitomize it in one 21-minute capsule, this is why we did Season 9, and you'll see what I mean when you see it.”
Thomas added that Milioti is “the star of episode 200, let's say it that way. We want her to win an Emmy for this episode, Cristin. She's beautiful and wonderful and hilarious in this episode.”
And Milioti's presence on the show will definitely be increasing as the series runs up to its close.
“We definitely didn't want to give too much of the mother, that was our number one thing. she has to be special,” Bays offered. “As sort of a template we kind of looked at ‘Jaws,’ kind of. Like, you don't see the shark right away; it pops up here and there, but you see more of the shark as the movie goes on.
“The second half of the season we'll see more of the shark, and in the finale… she's going to bite a boat in half,” Bays cracked.