Given how much of a career she’s steadily been building on the big screen, we’re surprised to see Greta Gerwig suddenly deciding to leap not just into television, but into US network sitcom territory. Still, CBS has announced that the Frances Ha star will take the lead in the How I Met Your Mother alike pilot How I Met Your Dad.
They're calling this a spin-off, but it sounds like a separate show with the same conceit. Like Mother, Dad will track the story of a relationship in flashback. Gerwig is set to play Sally, described as a Peter Pan type on the verge of breaking up with her husband after less than a year of marriage. She has a group of friends around her who are all quick to offer advice, but she’s never quite sure if they’re right.
Carter Bays and Craig Thomas, who created How I Met Your Mother, are also in charge of this potential series, with that show’s regular director Pamela Fryman handling the pilot. Mother earned a lot of affection and respect for its early seasons, helping to launch, boost or rekindle the careers of stars Josh Radnor, Jason Segel, Cobie Smulders, Alyson Hannigan and Neil Patrick Harris, but has been less well regarded as it prepares to wrap up next month.
Still, it’s not too tough to see the appeal for Gerwig, who will also be a writer on the show if it goes forward: a regular paying gig, much more exposure and the chance to make movies during breaks from the show. Even if it doesn’t offer the same freedom as, say, a series on HBO (she was part of the pilot for the adaptation of Jonathan Franzen’s The Corrections, but HBO chose not to pick it up), she has a chance to do something different. Film-wise, she’ll next be seen in Noah Baumbach’s next, untitled film and has worked on indie movies Eden and Barry Levinson’s The Humbling.