Freeform to Air First Season of Hulu’s ‘How I Met Your Father’ as Disney Attempts to Leverage Streaming, Linear Assets
Friends, grab a beer at MacLaren’s and tune into Freeform, because we’ve got quite the story to tell? Hulu’s streaming hit “How I Met Your Father” will air back-to-back episodes on Freeform, every Tuesday night from April 25 through May 23. The 10-episode first season will air over five weeks at 10 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. ET.
“How I Met Your Father” — the streaming spinoff of the long-running CBS series “How I Met Your Mother” — follows Sophie (played by Hilary Duff) and her close-knit friend group in present-day New York City, while in 2050, an older Sophie (voiced by Kim Cattrall) recounts to her son the story of how she met his father. The series was renewed for a 20-episode second season in February 2022, which is currently airing on Hulu.
For a long time, linear networks counted on streamers to air next-day episodes and full seasons of their shows. This was a mutually beneficial arrangement as it drew eyeballs to both outlets and has only expanded as more streamers enter the market. For example, Peacock became the official streaming home of next-day episodes of NBC and Bravo shows, which used to be sent to Hulu.
Now, as more streamers roll out original programming, media companies are putting a new own spin on this idea sending series to broadcast and cable channels for secondary runs in order to increase exposure and hopefully draw in additional viewers on the streamers. In August, NBCUniversal aired the premiere episode of “The Resort” on NBC to juice up interest in the dark-comedy thriller. Later in 2022, Disney aired the first two episodes of “Andor” and “The Santa Clauses” across a slate of Disney-owned channels including ABC, Freeform and FX.
Those moves were all designed to highlight the release of new streaming shows, while the Freeform-“How I Met Your Father” situation is slightly different, and more in line with the “TBS Front Row” programming that has brought earlier seasons of shows like “The Flight Attendant” and “Titans” in order to promote upcoming new seasons.
This move makes sense for Disney as it owns a 67% stake in Hulu and is the parent company of Freeform. By sending episodes of “How I Met Your Father” to Freeform for a secondary run, it allows Disney to increase awareness on both fronts. And the show fits in well with Freeform’s slate of shows.
While “How I Met Your Father” has never been in Nielsen’s weekly Top-10 rankings, the show has made an impact nevertheless. Hulu had so much faith in the series that it was renewed for a supersized second season. Whip Media reported that the series was the No. 1 original streaming series for the week ending Jan. 29, which coincided with the release of the Season 2 premiere. Additionally, the viewer demand for the series is 15.5 times higher than the average program in the United States over the previous 30 days, according to Parrot Analytics.
The spinoff series may not have perfectly captured the magic of the first few seasons of its predecessor, but it’s still proven to be enjoyable for audiences nonetheless. By airing the first season of “How I Met Your Father” on Freeform, it allows new viewers who are already interested in similar titles to discover the show and potentially sign up for Hulu to watch Season 2; that’s a win-win on both fronts.
Hulu is a video streaming service that gives access to thousands of full seasons of exclusive series, hit movies, kids shows, and Hulu Originals like “Only Murders in the Building,” and “The Handmaid’s Tale.”
It offers a good selection of current TV shows and its ad-supported tier is cheaper than both Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. You will be able to watch most shows from networks like ABC and Fox, and cable channels like FXX, FXM, HGTV, and more.
The service has a Limited Commercials plan for $7.99 a month, or you can upgrade to their No Ads plan for $14.99 a month. For $69.99 a month, you can get Hulu Live TV from major cable channels, live locals and regional sports networks.