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‘How I Met Your Father’ recreates the beloved series

Recreating a beloved series is not easy.

Just ask the cast and creators of Hulus' "How I Met Your Father," a new show set in the same universe as the popular CBS sitcom "How I Met Your Mother."

The original show, which starred Josh Radnor, Jason Segel, Neil Patrick Harris, Cobie Smulders and Alyson Hannigan, ended in March 2014 after nine seasons. It was centered around Ted, an architect played by Radnor, and his search for love in his 20s, and then it sprang up 25 years ago when an older Ted (pronounced by the late Bob Saget) told his future children how he found it .

Now, years later, showrunners Elizabeth Berger and Isaac Aptaker have created what they describe as a "stand-alone sequel" to the Hulu series, which premieres Tuesday.

"You know there's a high bar. ... You're feeling the pressure," said Berger, who along with Aptaker was also an executive producer on "This Is Us," at a recent virtual media meeting for the series.

"If we have to do this, we want to do it right," she said. "How do we make this new and fresh?"

But that is also what made it exciting, Berger said.

Like the show that inspired it, the series focuses on a young, close-knit group of friends trying to navigate life, which of course includes the highs and lows of dating and falling in love.

This time the show takes place in 2022 and centers on a female protagonist, Sophie (Hilary Duff).

The show has the same format and tone as "HIMYM." It also lends the apartment with a prominent role in the original, which viewers learn towards the end of the first paragraph. It's among the handful of Easter eggs throughout the series that diehard fans will recognize.

Sophie's group of friends includes Jesse (Chris Lowell), Valentina (Francia Raisa), Charlie (Tom Ainsley), Ellen (Tien Tran) and Sid (Suraj Sharma).

All members of the main ensemble said they were fans of the original show. Some of them said that they even re-watched episodes prior to the filming of their own series to better understand its tone.

But the show's cast and showrunners stressed that there are a lot of conscious differences.

"We're not trying to restart and recreate," Duff, who also serves as producer on the series, told NBC News at the virtual press conference. "We borrow some important parts of [original] show that made people fall in love with it. "

Lowell said that was precisely why he was excited to be a part of the project.

We are not trying to restart and recreate. We borrow some important parts of [original] show that made people fall in love with it.

- Hilary Duff

"I'm not given the task of being the new one, no matter what, like trying to be Barney or Robin or Ted. Imposing it on us, I think, would be a disaster for everyone," he said. "I think what writers did so brilliantly here is that they allowed us to live in the same world without feeling trapped by it. As a result, you get plenty of room for us to become ours. own characters, to make our show our own show without giving up what made the original so special. "

There is also a change in the narrative format: An elderly Sophie (Kim Cattrall) is seen on camera as she in the future tells her son how she met his father, instead of having the story told in a voice-over.

Chris Lowell, Suraj Sharma and Tien Tran in a scene from "How I Met Your Father".Patrick Wymore / HULU

"As soon as you try to replicate something successful, you fall flat on your face," Aptaker said. "So we thought, what if we instead showed an older version of the character who tells the story to her son, but also to the audience?"

In the end, the theme of the series remains rooted in a story of finding love. But, Duff noted, it's also "a lot about these people who really need each other.

"They all build this new friendship and realize how well they all fit together."

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