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Last season, 20th Century Fox TV took a second stab at developing a spinoff from its long-running CBS comedy series How I Met Your Mother. The project, titled How I Met Your Dad, was spec-ed by the studio with This Is Us co-executive producers Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger. But as This Is Us took off, the duo were busy working on it and were subsequently elevated to co-showrunners with creator Dan Fogelman for Season 2.
With Aptaker and Berger no longer available, “the studio will try (developing a spinoff) with different writers,” Fox chairman Dana Walden told Deadline. No previous HIMYM spinoff ideas will be carried over. “They will be starting from scratch,” she said of the new effort, potentially for next season, which is currently looking for writers. “It’s one that’s been slowly cooked. If it’s the right idea the right execution, we’ll take that,” Walden said about doing a HIMYM spinoff, which the studio first attempted at CBS during the original series’ final season.
Another long-running 20th TV comedy series, ABC’s Modern Family, is heading into what is expected to be its final two seasons.
The studio also previously tried a spinoff from the Emmy-winning comedy built around a recurring character played on the mothership series by Rob Riggle though the project did not go past the development stage. Now that Modern Family, created by Steve Levitan and Christopher Lloyd, is in the final stretch of its network run, would the studio try again to spin it off?
“We haven’t had conversations about that,” Walden said. “I think that Chris and Steve would ultimately be open to the right idea but I don’t think they are eagerly pursuing it.”
As for 20th TV’s flagship drama, Fox’s Empire, which early on explored a prequel, which ultimately became flashbacks on the mothership series, there is another idea that is being talked about.
“We’ve had conversations for a full year about a potential spinoff, no one has written it yet,” Walden said. “Ultimately I think if something comes organically out of the show, we’d pursue it. We don’t want to force it on the show because if it doesn’t feel organic it will feel like it will be just a distraction from the flagship. We really believe in the show, we want it to live for a very long time and at a certain point, after one-two seasons, the creators felt that the flagship was the priority and we support that.”
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