CBS Chief on Passing on 'How I Met Your Dad': 'I'm Heartsick'

With its option expiring Wednesday, the network wanted to re-do the pilot but, as Nina Tassler told reporters, "that's not happening right now."
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Greta Gerwig

It's official: CBS is not moving forward with How I Met Your Dad.

The network confirmed Wednesday at its pre-upfront press breakfast that it has passed on the How I Met Your Mother spinoff from Carter Bays, Craig Thomas and Emily Spivey. The news follows earlier reports, including one from this publication, that suggested the network had picked up the Greta Gerwig starrer to series. (The network and studio denied the reports at the time.)

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The decision to pass comes as CBS faced a Wednesday deadline on the project from 20th Century Fox Television. Rights to the comedy will now revert back to the studio, which is expected to shop it elsewhere.

"There were elements on the pilot that didn't work out," CBS' Nina 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 noted that CBS wanted to redo the pilot -- as it has successfully done with The Big Bang Theory, Numbers and new comedy The McCarthys -- but said "that's not happening right now."

Sources say the studio and producers wanted a series order commitment if they were to reshoot the pilot. That didn't happen. (For its part, CBS will retool newly ordered comedy The Odd Couple, including recasting two of its five leads.)

"I'm heartsick; we loved this brand and we love the producers but it didn't work out," she said, noting they don't have "final word on it." Tassler stressed that the creative drives CBS' business and felt that "re-piloting was in the best interest of protecting the creative elements of the show." "That was our position, not necessarily theirs."

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CBS instead will launch one new comedy in the fall -- family entry The McCarthys -- with its second comedy (Matthew Perry's The Odd Couple) held for later this season. The network has picked up only those two comedies for the 2014-15 season, down from six last year.

HIMYD, starring Gerwig and featuring voiceover from Meg Ryan, was one of three spinoffs in the works this past pilot season at CBS. The network did pick up CSI: Cyber and NCIS: New Orleans this year. HIMYD becomes the second spinoff to be passed over at the broadcast networks this year. The CW passed on Supernatural: Bloodlines but picked up Arrow off-shoot The Flash for next season. CBS also tried -- unsuccessfully -- last season to launch NCIS spinoff Red.

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