After watching this week's excellent 200th episode of How I Met Your Mother, I'm actually starting to side with the people who were hoping the planned spinoff pilot would center on Cristin Milioti's "Mother" character's side of the story. While continuity and a mildly dated timeline would pose some notable obstacles, Milioti's episode demonstrated just how perfect she'd be as a lead character in a comedy. Alas, that's not the direction they're going in for How I Met Your Dad, which will center on a totally new story and a new set of characters. And it's the characters that give us the latest update on this project.

TVLine posted the list of characters from the casting info and it includes a bit of background information on each of them, including Sally, the lead in this story — also the narrator — who's facing a divorce after a year of being married to a guy named Gavin. Gavin, as it happens, isn't among the list of friends, so this probably won't be a Happy Endings-situation where the couple remain friends post-break-up. And that's probably a good thing, as he's described as boring when mentioned in the list below. Here's the list of characters…
SALLY | She’s vibrant, messy and unpredictable — a “female Peter Pan who has never grown up and has no idea of where she’s going in life.” She’s thinking of calling it quits with her husband of a year, Gavin. She’ll lean on her circle of friends for advice and support through the inevitable divorce. That circle includes…

JULIET | Sally’s sexy, flamboyant, energetic, party-girl BFF. She runs a successful fashion blog. She’s delighted to learn Sally is ending things with the terminally boring Gavin

DANNY | Sally’s older gay brother, a Type A, overachieving lawyer whom she shares little in common with. They nonetheless share a tight bond, although Sally’s decision to move in with Danny after her split with Gavin promises to test that bond.

TODD | Danny’s warm, outgoing husband and one of Sally’s closest friends from college. Unlike Danny, Todd welcomes Sally into their home.

FRANK | The head of IT for Juliet’s fashion blog. He’s a hot nerd. He has genuine feelings for Sally, but it’s a one-sided flirtation. At least for the moment.

I really like the sibling-inclusion here, as Sally's brother Danny is a part of the group. Looking at the format for How I Met Your Mother, one of the best parts about the series is the history between Marshall, Ted and Lily. Because they all attended college together, we were treated to occasional 90s-set flashbacks of the trio during their younger years. I can picture HIMYD taking a similar approach with Sally and Danny's past. Todd also factors into that as well, as he was one of Sally's close friends in college.

Meanwhile, it sounds like Frank may be set up as a love interest. Of course, if the story follows along the lines of How I Met Your Mother in terms of introducing the actual spouse, there's a good chance Frank's not the titular Dad. Or maybe they'll surprise us. If this pilot goes to series, I wouldn't be surprised if writers take the vague approach in the narration to keep viewers guessing. Referring to Robin as "Aunt Robin," for example, pretty much ruled out the chance that Ted and Robin were meant to be. Maybe they'll try to keep us more in the dark this time around for suspense purposes…
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