How I Met Your Father EPs Confirm How Latest HIMYM Surprise Return Doesn't Retcon Original Character Reveal

alexis denisof as sandy rivers on how i met your father.
(Image credit: Hulu)

Warning! Spoilers ahead for Season 2, Episode 5 of How I Met Your Father, “Ride or Die.” Read at your own risk!

Season 2 of Hulu’s How I Met Your Father has continued to keep fans on the edge of their seats as we wait to see who Hilary Duff's character ends up with, and continue to be surprised by fun How I Met Your Mother cameos. The latest HIMYM cameo brought Alexis Denisof back as the news reporter Sandy Rivers, despite where he was when we last saw him on the CBS sitcom. Luckily, a HIMYF co-creator is clearing the air, and explaining why this reporter's return does not retcon his original story. 

Sandy Rivers had a tumultuous arc on How I Met Your Mother, starting out as Robin’s co-anchor in the first season, and then returning in Seasons 6 and 9. The reporter, who was known to be sleazy and inappropriate at work, was exiled from his American career due to his workplace misconduct, and he was forced to find a job elsewhere, in Russia. However, when he left was never mentioned. So, it makes sense that they'd continue to show the decline of his career in HIMYF.

Now, with Alexis Denisof reprising his role as Sandy Rivers on HIMYF, he revealed that he’s been demoted to the entertainment beat at WWN because of some “unproven accusations.” EP Isaac Aptaker then clarified the reporter's job with TVLine explaining how the anchor's story makes sense for both shows:

He’s [still] on his way down. The original show was ahead of its time ‘canceling’ Sandy.

Since it was never specified when Sandy went to Russia, it gave HIMYF a chance to bring him on and even continue his inevitable downfall. As for whether or not he will continue to pop up on How I Met Your Father so we can see his declining career, co-creator Elizabeth Berger said that it “probably will” happen if the opportunity presents itself. Since Denisof doesn’t have any current or upcoming projects, it seems likely that we'll see Sandy Rivers again at some point.

Alexis Denisof isn’t the first HIMYM cameo in this Hulu spin-off, and he likely won’t be the last. The season premiere saw the surprise return of Neil Patrick Harris’ Barney Stinson, who previously shared his hopes for the reboot, and wanted to see it stick. Josh Radnor and Hilary Duff have also both opened up about the exchanges they shared about How I Met Your Father, and the possibility of Radnor reprising his role of Ted Mosby. It's been a blast to see all these cameos, and with since Denisof and many other OGs have already come back, I'd assume we'll be seeing more How I Met Your Mother cameos throughout the remaining season.

How I Met Your Father got a supersized episode order for its second season, meaning there are more chances for familiar faces to return, given that the storyline makes sense. Whether it’s a full-fledged cameo, like NPH and Alexis Denisof, or along the lines of renting an apartment that fans recognize all too well, I can't wait to see how the world of How I Met Your Mother intertwines with HIMYF. 

To see who pops into the show next, be sure to watch new episodes of the comedy every Tuesday with a Hulu subscription. Also, check out CinemaBlend’s 2023 TV schedule to see what else is coming out this year.

Megan Behnke
Freelance TV News Writer

Passionate writer. Obsessed with anything and everything entertainment, specifically movies and television. Can get easily attached to fictional characters.