Best Friends Forever does not appear to be forever, as NBC has pulled the freshman comedy from its line-up effective immediately.
“BFF Fans: Wanted to let you know that our show is being taken off the air until the summer,” series star and exec producer Lennon Parhmam said via Twitter on Friday afternoon. “Hoping to post ep 5 & 6 online asap…. Jessica St. Clair and I CANNOT thank you enough for the love and support of our little show. You guys are truly the best.”
Best Friends Forever starred Parham and St. Clair as BFFs who had been displaced to opposite sides of the country until a divorce reunited them in Brooklyn, even in the apartment they used to share. The series drew 3.9 million total viewers and a 1.2 rating in its April 4 debut, but most recently mustered just 2.65 mil and a 0.8.
According to NBC’s press site, a second weekly helping of the hidden camera prank show Betty White’s Off Their Rockers will fill the Wednesdays-at-8:30 void, at least for the short term.
‘HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER’: PROBLEMS FOR KEVIN AND ROBIN? PLUS, DISH ON A CAN’T-MISS TWIST!
The end seems nigh for Kevin (Kal Penn) and Robin (Cobie Smulders) on HIMYM. (Sorry, Kevin/Robin ‘shippers. I’m sure you’re both disappointed.) When EW caught up with Kal Penn at the premiere of A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas this week in Los Angeles, Penn told us that while things are currently going great for the pair, it certainly won’t stay that way. “I would imagine at some point it will not be all smooth sailing for me and Robin. Barney and Robin have long had a chemistry and have a whole backstory and history that probably won’t be able to be ignored forever,” he says. “[Kevin] likes having a gang, but in the long-run, I think it will probably be unsuccessful for most people to really break into the core group of five.”
Neil Patrick Harris echoed the sentiment when talking about Barney’s ongoing romance with Nora, saying, “Barney may question the longevity of his relationship with Nora, but I feel like that’s an inevitability, don’t you?” But how soon? Let me just say, readers, it may be sooner than you think. Seriously.
Meanwhile, I have it on good word that Monday’s episode will feature a death (I am might be talking about an object and not a person), a funny piece of new trivia regarding Marshall and Lily’s baby, and a slap bet twist. And not to get all Criminal Minds on you, but it seems appropriate to close our HIMYM scoop session with this quote from Harris: “I suspect [Robin-Barney fans will] find the second half of season 7 intriguing.”
Amanda in San Diego, Calif.: I am so over Nora and Barney on HIMYM. Are they gonna break up soon?
Speculate with this: Someone from Barney’s past shows up in present day to basically scare Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) out of ever settling down and having kids. That might be enough to send Barney running from his committed relationship with Nora. But would that make him run directly into another relationship with Robin?
Nazanin Boniadi got her start on General Hospital, but fans of How I Met Your Mother know her as Nora, the laser-tag-loving, Ewok-hating World Wide News employee who may or may not have been Barney’s mystery bride in this season’s premiere. We spoke with the Iranian-born and London-raised actress ahead of tonight’s episode (in which she and Barney share a romantic evening gone wrong) about what it’s like to work with Neil Patrick Harris, bailing on med school, and making soap opera history.
Tonight’s episode, “Noretta,” is named for your character. From the preview, it’s clear that it’s going to be a big one for Nora and Barney. Anything you can reveal?
I can tell you that Barney and Nora have planned a romantic evening together and everything that can possibly go wrong does. This is my eighth episode of How I Met Your Mother and I’ve never had to do this much physical comedy, so it was very exciting. At the table read, all the actors were in hysterics. I haven’t heard people laugh this much at a table read in all the episodes I’ve done.
Neil Patrick Harris is especially great at physical comedy. What was it like acting opposite him in those kinds of scenes?
He really brings out every actor’s A-game. He’s a consummate professional. You’d expect someone who’s that great to be very serious, but he’s so light about it that he puts me at ease. He’s really made me a better actor, and the rest of the gang has, too. And the writers — there’s a reason why that show is a global success. Their writing transcends cultural barriers. That’s why people all across the world find it funny. I love being on it, obviously.
After seven seasons together, I’d imagine the cast is pretty tight off-camera, too. Has it been hard to infiltrate such a strong ensemble?
It was so easy! Comedians are usually really great when they’re trying, but in their downtime they’re usually not very funny. With these guys, it’s constant laughs. It’s the healthiest work environment I’ve ever been in.
What do you think it is about Nora that has been able to tame Barney?
I think it’s about timing in his life more than who Nora is. I do think that there are some things about Nora that Barney is responding to: She’s a strong woman and she doesn’t put up with much. But in the “Noretta” episode, I think you’ll find that there are maybe deeper reasons why he likes her.
I was reading your bio and it says you were “the first actor in a contract role to portray a Middle Eastern character in a U.S. daytime television series.” Which is a mouthful …
[Laughs.] Yeah, it is.
But still quite a distinction. Did you realize you were making history when you signed on to General Hospital?
I didn’t at the time. But then I started getting fan mail from the Middle Eastern community. That’s when I realized what a very Caucasian genre it is. Soaps are very, very Caucasian. People started telling me I was the first to play a Middle Eastern on the soaps, so we did a little digging and found it to be true. It was kind of an honor. Those little things — not that they make a huge difference — but it’s nice for the Middle Eastern community to see themselves on something that has generally been very Caucasian.
You attended University of California Irvine and won a prestigious undergraduate research award for your work in heart transplant rejection and cancer research. Where did acting come into play?
It’s funny, because I always wanted to act, but in my cultural background academics are heavily emphasized. So I was a good girl and went to college and did the things that I thought were right. I’ve always wanted to help people, so I thought maybe medicine was the way to do that. But when I finally graduated college and started the med school applications, I realized I couldn’t spend the rest of my life doing something that wouldn’t be my calling. I had to at least give acting a shot because that was my true passion. Then I had to break the news to my dad, who paid for my college. Needless to say, he wasn’t thrilled. He said, “So what do you want to do with your life?” And I said, “I want to act.” And he said, “You do realize you’re in your mid-twenties and you haven’t acted a day in your life?” And I said, “Yeah, I’m fully aware of that, but I’m going to take it seriously like I did with pre-med. I have the passion for it, so I’m hoping it will pay off.” Thank God it did.
Who was Nazanin Boniadi’s childhood crush? None other than Neil Patrick Harris.
“I’ve loved him since I was little. I’m not even joking! I’ve had a crush on him forever,” she tells TVGuide.com. “So to be playing his girlfriend now is surreal.”
When Boniadi landed the part of Nora on How I Met Your Mother last year, little did she know that it would lead to a recurring gig with no end in sight for now — she has “no clue” how many episodes she’ll be in this season — never mind the fact that Nora, and not Robin (Cobie Smulders), would be the one to force Barney (Harris) to reevaluate his womanizing lifestyle.
“In real life, too, women love to be that girl who tames the bad boy,” Boniadi says. “It’s always fun to play that character, especially with Barney Stinson, who’s so beloved. You get to act opposite Neil. He’s phenomenal. He raises everybody’s game. To work opposite him, you have to be at your best and you become better and better as you work with him.”
The General Hospital alum got a crash course in slapstick acting — a Harris forte — on Monday’s episode when Barney and Nora’s planned romantic evening goes horribly wrong. Among the mishaps: a rodent lands on her head, she loses a tooth ice-skating, and a guy seemingly commits suicide off Barney’s building. “The hilarity that ensues on the streets of New York is priceless,” she says. “You’ll see some of the date indoors, some outdoors. But no matter where we are, something kills the mood. I can tell you I’ve never had to do this much physical comedy in any of the episodes I’ve done so far. It was a fun challenge for me.”
Further complicating the evening is Robin’s therapist-turned-beau Kevin (Kal Penn) suggesting that people choose significant others who remind them of their parents. That brings Lily’s dad (Chris Elliott), Barney’s mom (Frances Conroy), Ted’s mom (Christine Rose) and even Marshall’s late dad (Bill Fagerbakke) back into the fold. (Barney’s brother, James, played by Wayne Brady, also returns and meets Nora.) “It was so cool to have everyone there. Frances Conroy — brilliant, brilliant actress. I adore her, and to work with her and Kal Penn and Wayne Brady, who I also love, with the Fab Five, as I call [the regular cast], was icing on the cake,” Boniadi says. “But the whole thing is a little Oedipal. You can just think about that theory and see how that can spoil anything.”
The intended date is yet another effort of Barney’s to prove that he is a changed man and is serious about Nora and being in a committed relationship. But does a busted evening bode well for their future, especially with Robin secretly aching over Barney?
“Not to give too much away, but [relationships] are about dealing with tough times and good ones. They both definitely feel something for each other and the timing has been right for them to date now,” Boniadi says. “I think, very much like Robin, Nora’s very strong-willed and Barney needs to be whipped into shape. He’s definitely dated a lot of women and I think that’s why his friendship with Robin is so great because Robin doesn’t take any of that laying down. That’s why the interplay between those characters is fun. Nora has some of that too and that’s the dynamic that some people have liked with them, although there are obviously big differences between Robin and Nora as well.”
Boniadi does not know when Robin’s true feelings will be revealed to the rest of the group, but she is looking forward to it seeing it play out. Robin and Nora, of course, are the top two candidates for Barney’s mystery bride, the identity of whom will be unveiled (no pun intended) before season’s end. Like any other Mother fan, Boniadi is well aware of the Barney-Robin ‘shippers out there — and no, she does not hold anything against them.
“Obviously, playing her, I want Barney and Nora to be together,” she says. “But as a fan of the show, there’s always something to be said about two series regular who you’ve watched for six seasons find happiness with each other. I’m kind of torn.
“Whatever happens,” she continues, “you have to find a good place to play that, whether they end up together or they don’t or who ends up with whom. At the end of the day, it’s a sitcom and it should all be fun, so I’m excited just as anyone else to see it all unfold.”
How I Met Your Mother airs Mondays at 8/7c on CBS.
Time has always been a major — if not the — component of How I Met Your Mother. But in Season 7, it will be about timing.
“That’s one of the central questions this season,” creator/executive producer Carter Bays tells TVGuide.com. “Love and romance to some degree is a game of musical chairs. At some point, the music stops and you’re with someone. You don’t know at the beginning of the game who you’re going to end with. Hopefully it ends up being the person you want to spend the rest of your life with, but there’s a lot of randomness to it and bad timing on parts of all the characters.”
In Robin’s case, she’s the one with the bad timing. After realizing she still has feelings for Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) in the season finale, Robin (Cobie Smulders) unfortunately cannot act on them yet, as her former flame has reconnected with Nora (Nazanin Boniadi). And yes, Barney is actually serious about getting serious this time. (Hey, he does get married after all.) “The thing that Barney learned last year was how he came to be the dashing rogue in the suit,” Bays says. “He met his father and realized that maybe he can aspire to more in life and he’s in a place where he’s genuinely looking for something more than one-night stands with hot girls. We’re going to see him a little more emboldened about starting a relationship with Nora.”
Though he’s dating Nora, that doesn’t mean Robin is out of the equation entirely. In fact, the first episode of the one-hour premiere features a hot and flirty dance number between Robin and Barney at Punchy’s wedding. “That whole episode is about the chemistry of Barney and Robin and how you can’t deny when there’s a connection between two people,” Bays says. “That’s what the routine is about — they have chemistry, and how do you ignore it? Can you ignore it? Can they ignore it?”
For now, they are, which complicates matters since Robin works with Nora. It will come to a head in the fourth episode, forebodingly titled “The Stinson Missile Crisis,” in which Robin has an “explosive moment” that leads her to meeting her shrink and love interest Kevin (Kal Penn). “There’s no attraction initially,” Bays says. “But he understands Robin better than anyone who’s understood her before and that is intriguing to her. He’ll be around for five or six [episodes].”
Read whole article here: http://www.tvguide.com/News/HIMYM-Season7-Barney-Robin-1037370.aspx
Barney’s evolution was also a major plot point last year. How will that continue?
CB: Last year we explored who Barney was and how he got this way. He decided that maybe he could settle down. It was about confronting your own demons … and letting yourself have that kind of happiness that comes with being fully committed to someone. It took Barney a while to get there, but now he is. So now we will see his pursuit of Nora. The door’s open a crack. But he’s going to have to work to make it happen.
CT: Barney dug a really deep hole with Nora last season. He completely screwed up with her and told her he was just trying to have sex with her. He has to redeem himself with her. So it’s a really mature pursuit of a woman for Barney. It’s a step forward for him.
And what should we assume about how Robin is taking Barney’s newfound willingness to change for love and chase Nora?
CB: She’s sitting off to the side kind of dying inside, dealing with the insanity of the fact that she has these feelings for Barney bubbling up in her. That’s where we meet Robin in the premiere. She’s trying to stuff those feelings back down. But she can’t.
CT: It’s a huge Robin season.
CB: Yeah, there’s a big journey for her this season. We try to distribute stories equally among the five, but going into last season we knew Marshall and Barney were going to have big [story lines]. Now Robin is going to do the same. There’s going to be stuff she’ll go through and learn about herself. It’s actually a seismic event for everyone when Lilly and Marshall announce they’re pregnant.
When How I Met Your Mother returns on Sept. 19, unrequited love will be in the air.
Remember Season 4 of the CBS sitcom, when Barney was crushing hard on Robin? Well, flip it around and you’ve got the new season. After staring longingly at Barney as he and old flame Nora reconnected in last season’s finale, Robin will come to realize she’s still got feelings for the one that got away.
“There’s some pining for Barney happening at the moment,” says Cobie Smulders. “It’s all about her being really depressed and not quite knowing how to tell him how she feels.” Or if she should even tell him at all. “It’s a hard thing of knowing how she feels, but not knowing if it’s quite right to pursue,” she continues. “He seems like he’s really happy with Nora. He’s finally in a relationship that he’s seemingly very committed to seeing through.”
Robin may be respectful of the fact that her ex is getting serious about another girl, but that doesn’t mean she has to be happy about it. “She doesn’t like it,” says Smulders. “She doesn’t like it one bit.” So what’s a girl to do? Step back and admit defeat? Throw herself at the guy? “She’s figuring that out,” replies Smulders. “She’s been quite aggressive at the moment with letting Barney know without actually saying it. I think, eventually, she’ll do what she thinks is right.”
She might get her window of opportunity to spill the beans if Neil Patrick Harris’ theory about his character’s new romance is correct. “I think Barney’s infatuation with Nora revolves less around a specific attribute about her and more probably about timing,” he explains. That’s not to say Barney doesn’t have feelings for Nora – “He genuinely likes her,” says Harris – but “this whole Season 7 is a lot about timing. And she appeared at a time when he was emotionally available to fall for someone.”
Plus, Barney’s not a completely changed man. He’ll be back in “player mode” in the season premiere. “Barney’s growth in Season 6 was more emotional and his growth in Season 7 will be more…” Harris trails off before finally adding with a smile, “genital.” He’s kidding. We think.
In the meantime, the awkward love triangle will make things even more complicated for Robin in another arena of her life. “Robin works with Nora, so there’s a lot of work-related frustration about that,” teases Smulders.
With all that the gal’s dealing with, it’s hard to fault her for getting violent. “It has to do with Barney,” is all Smulders says of the incident that lands her character in court-mandated therapy with new shrink/love interest Kal Penn. “There is something to having a man who forces you to talk about the sh—y things in your life,” says the actress with a laugh. “He’s doing that for her, and she’s never been confronted with that before.”
As for Barney and Robin’s future prospects, Harris knows TV is all about postponing the inevitable and drawing out the romantic tension. “[Barney and Robin are] a good match,” he says. “So I think there might be some long-distance pining for a little while on the show. I don’t think they’re going to end up back together — at least anytime soon.”
Thanks for the scoop on How I Met Your Mother. Got anything more on Barney and Robin? — Harold
NATALIE: If you liked this, then you’ll really love the Barney and Robin dance number! “The premiere is very much about Barney possibly pursuing Nora and Robin wondering how to deal with these feelings she has that are resurfacing for him,” executive producer Craig Thomas tells us. “Ultimately, it explodes into this dance number at [Punchy's] wedding that clears the entire dance floor, and they have this big, epic Dancing with the Stars kind of moment, that we’re hoping America will want to watch more than DWTS and tune into our show instead.” Count us in!
How I Met Your Mother (CBS)
Premieres: Monday, Sept. 19, 8/7c
Where We Left Off: Barney was the one getting married “a little ways down the road.” But who was he marrying: Nora or Robin? Meanwhile, Marshall and Lily finally get pregnant, and Ted comes thisclose to reconciling with Zoey.
What’s Next: A little role reversal for Ted and Barney. The former, with his building being erected, plays the field, since he’s quite the catch with the ladies now, while the latter slowly transforms into the marrying kind. The identity of Barney’s bride — yes, he does get married — will be revealed, and there will be more candidates than just Nora and Robin, who starts dating Kevin (Kal Penn). The Season 7 finale will take place at Barney’s wedding, and Lily and Marshall, who starts a new gig with Martin Short as his boss, will welcome their first child in the same episode. Let’s hope the baby weighs less than 15 pounds.