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How i met your mother

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Analysis of HIMYM show

Analysis of HIMYM show


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  • 1.   Symbiosis  Institute  of  Media  and  Communication,  Pune           Introduction  To  Media  And  Communication   -­‐Prof.  Radhika  Ingale         TV  Show  Analysis   How  I  Met  Your  Mother         Submitted  By:   Yasmin  Hussain   144   MBA     2013  
  • 2.                                   2  
  • 3. TABLE  OF  CONTENTS  About  the  show   4  Production   4  Cast   6  Tie  Ins   7              Books              Websites              Phone  Numbers  Awards  and  Nominations   10  Television  Ratings  Point   11              Neilsen  Ratings              Chart              Analysis  DVD  Releases                     12  Survey                       13            Sample  Snapshot            Survey  Results            Analysis  Sponsors                       16            CBS  Sponsors  (US)            Star  World  Sponsors  (India)  Official  Websites                     17  Social  Network  Promotion                 18            Facebook            Twitter  HIMYM  Merchandise  on  Sale                 20  Product  Placement                   21  Applications/Games                   24  Final  Analysis                     25                     3  
  • 4. ABOUT  THE  SHOW  How   I   Met   Your   Mother   is   an   American   sitcom   that   premiered   on   CBS   on   September   19,   2005,  created  by  Craig  Thomas  and  Carter  Bays.  As  a  framing  device,  the  main  character,  Ted  Mosby  (Josh  Radnor)  with  narration  by  Bob  Saget,  in  the  year  2030  recounts  to  his  son  and  daughter  the  events  that  led  to  his  meeting  their  mother,  which  explains  the  title  and  allows  for  a  narration  in  the  past  tense.  How  I  Met  Your  Mother  follows  Ted   alongside   his   friends   Lily   Aldrin   (Alyson   Hannigan),   Marshall   Eriksen   (Jason   Segel),   Robin  Scherbatsky  (Cobie  Smulders),  and  Barney  Stinson  (Neil  Patrick  Harris).  How   I   Met   Your   Mother   has   been   a   critical   success,   and   has   received   consistently   strong   ratings  throughout  its  run.  It  has  won  five  Emmy  Awards,  including  several  nominations  for  "Outstanding  Comedy   Series"   in   2009.   In   2011,   CBS   announced   that   the   series   had   been   renewed   for   an  additional  two  seasons,  making  the  current  count  eight.  The  seventh  season  of  the  series  premiered  on  September  19,  2011  with  back-­‐to-­‐back  episodes.    PRODUCTION  Inspired  by  the  idea  "lets  write  about  our  friends  and  the  stupid  stuff  we  did  in  New  York,”  How  I  Met   Your   Mother   is   Bays   and   Thomas   idea.   The   two   drew   from   their   friendship   in   creating   the  characters,  with  Ted  based  loosely  on  Bays,  and  Marshall  and  Lily  based  loosely  on  Thomas  and  his  wife.  Thomass  wife  Rebecca  was  initially  reluctant  to  have  a  character  based  on  her,  but  agreed  if  they  could  get  Alyson  Hannigan  to  play  her.  Fortunately,  Hannigan  was  available,  and  was  looking  to  do  more  comedy  work.  The  bar  MacLarens,  in  which  some  of  the  show  is  set,  is  based  on  a  bar  in  New  York  City  called  McGees.  It  has  a  mural  that  Carter  Bays  and  Craig  Thomas  both  liked  and  wanted  to  incorporate  into   the   show.   The   name   for   the   bar   is   from   Carter   Bayss   assistant,   Carl   MacLaren;   the   bartender  in  the  show  is  also  called  Carl.  Usually  each  episode  is  shot  over  three  days  (most  sitcoms  are  typically  shot  in  a  single  day)  in  the  Los  Angeles  based  Soundstage  Studio  22  and  features  upwards  of  50  scenes  with  quick  transitions  and  flashbacks.  The  ‘laugh  track’  is  later  created  by  recording  an  audience,  being  shown  the  final  edited   episode.   Co-­‐creator   Thomas   claims   shooting   in   front   of   a   live   audience   would   be  impossible,   and   doing   so   "would   blur   the   line   between  audience  and  hostage  situation   ”.   Later  seasons  started  filming  in  front  of  an  audience  on  occasion  when  smaller  sets  are  used.  The   theme   song   is   a   portion   of   "Hey   Beautiful"   by   The   Solids,   of   which   Bays   and   Thomas,   the   two  co-­‐creators  of  the  show,  are  members.  Episodes  from  the  first  season  generally  started  with  the  opening  credits.  A  cold  opening  has  been  used  since  season  two.  Viewers  then  occasionally  see  Teds   children   on   a   couch   and   hear   him   talking   to   them,   telling   the   story   of   how   he   met   their  mother.  Alternatively,  scenes  from  previous  shows  or  shots  of  New  York  City  with  Ted  narrating  over   the   top   are   shown.   Thomas   has   explicitly   said   Future   Ted   is   an   unreliable   narrator   since   he   is  trying   to   tell   a   story   that   happened   over   20   years   earlier,   and   therefore   tends   to   recall   events  incorrectly;   this   has   been   a   plot   point   in   several   episodes   such   as   "The   Goat",   "Oh   Honey"   and  "The   Mermaid   Theory".   A   scene   directly   relating   to   the   identity   of   the   mother,   involving   Teds  future  children,  was  filmed  near  the  beginning  of  season  two  for  the  shows  eventual  series  finale.  This   was   primarily   done   because   the   teenage   actors   portraying   them   will   be   adults   by   the   time     4  
  • 5. ‘the  final  season’  is  shot.  During   the   2007–2008   Writers   Guild   of   America   strike,   How   I   Met   Your   Mother   shut   down  production,   but   once   the   strike   ended,   the   show   returned   on   March   17,   2008,   with   nine   new  episodes.   A   change   in   timeslot   was   also   announced,   to   8:30   ET/7:30   CT,   flip-­‐flopping   from   the  summer  schedule  with  The  Big  Bang  Theory.  The  show  was  renewed  for  a  fourth  season  by  CBS  on  May  14,  2008,  which  premiered  on  September  22,  2008.  In  September  2008,  it  was  announced  Lifetime  Television  purchased  the  right  to  rerun  How  I  Met  Your  Mother  at  a  rate  of  about  $725,000  per  episode.  The  four-­‐year  syndication  contract  stipulated  the   studio   must   deliver   at   least   110   half-­‐hour   episodes   by   the   year   2010,   and   allows   for   up   to   eight  seasons   of   the   show.   At   the   end   of   the   fourth   season   only   88   episodes   had   been   produced,   and   a  further  22  episodes  were  required  ensuring  there  would  be  a  fifth  season.  On  May  19,  2009,  the  fifth-­‐season   renewal   was   announced.   On   May   20,   2009,   CBS   announced   How   I   Met   Your   Mother  would  move  back  to  8  pm,  leading  into  the  new  comedy  Accidentally  on  Purpose.  On  January  12,  2010,   the   show   hit   the   milestone   of   its   100th   episode.   It   was   also   announced   the   series   would  return  for  a  sixth  season  on  CBS.  In  response  to  being  syndicated,  co-­‐creator  Craig  Thomas  said,  "Were   thrilled   that   it   will   live   on   in   other   forms,"   and   they   were   proud   of   the   show   and   it   was  great  to  see  there  was  a  strong  desire  for  it.  However,  cast  members  have  suggested  the  show  will  run  for  no  more  than  eight  seasons.  On  September  13,  2010,  reruns  of  the  series  began  airing  on  local  U.S.  broadcast  television  stations  and  on  Chicago-­‐based  cable  superstation  WGN  America.  Featured  in  these  airings  are  vanity  cards  previously  unseen  in  the  CBS  and  Lifetime  airings  due  to  marginalized  credit  sequences  used  by  the   two   networks.   Shown   in   between   the   closing   credits   and   the   production   company   credits,  these  vanity  cards  show  portions  of  "The  Bro  Code,"  a  list  of  rules  frequently  referenced  by  Neil  Patrick   Harris   character,   Barney   Stinson,   on   how   men   should   interact   with   each   other,   with   an  emphasis  on  activities  involving  pursuing  members  of  the  opposite  sex.  The  opening  theme  song  for  the  syndicated  reruns  is  also  slightly  edited,  running  shorter  and  not  using  all  the  pictures  seen  in   the   opening   montage   that   runs   on   DVD   and   the   original   CBS   broadcasts.   The   episodes,   too,   are  edited,  leaving  out  small  details.  One   of   the   series   ongoing   traditions   involves   giving   guest   roles   to   actors   from   various   Joss  Whedon  productions,  many  of  whom  co-­‐starred  with  Hannigan  on  Buffy  the  Vampire  Slayer.  Carter  Bays  puts  this  down  to  being  "huge  fans",  and  those  casts  representing  "a  big  talent  pool”.  On  March  4,  2011,  CBS  announced  that  the  show  had  been  renewed  for  two  more  seasons,  with  the  seventh  season  scheduled  to  air  with  back-­‐to-­‐back  episodes  on  September  19,  2011.  On  July  27,  2011,  It  was  announced  that  FX  has  picked  up  the  show  for  syndication.  FX  began  airing  the  show  on  September  5,  2011.               5  
  • 6. CAST  Main  characters  ▪ Josh  Radnor  as  Ted  Mosby  ▪ Neil  Patrick  Harris  as  Barney  Stinson  ▪ Cobie  Smulders  as  Robin  Scherbatsky  ▪ Jason  Segel  as  Marshall  Eriksen  ▪ Alyson  Hannigan  as  Lily  Aldrin  ▪ Bob  Saget  (uncredited)  as  Future  Ted  Mosby  (voice  only)    Recurring  characters  ▪ Lyndsy  Fonseca  as  the  daughter  (2005–)  ▪ David  Henrie  as  the  son  (2005–)  ▪ Marshall  Manesh  as  Ranjit  (2005–)  ▪ Joe  Nieves  as  Carl  the  bartender  (2005–)  ▪ Charlene  Amoia  as  Wendy  the  waitress  (2005–)  ▪ Bill  Fagerbakke  as  Marvin  Eriksen  Sr.  (2005–2011)  ▪ Ashley  Williams  as  Victoria  (2006,  2011)  ▪ David  Burtka  as  Scooter  (2006–2010)  ▪ Joe  Manganiello  as  Brad  (2006–2009)  ▪ Bryan  Callen  as  Bilson  (2006–)  ▪ Taran  Killam  as  Blauman  (2006)  ▪ Alexis  Denisof  as  Sandy  Rivers  (2006,  2011)  ▪ Wayne  Brady  as  James  Stinson  (2006–)  ▪ Sarah  Chalke  as  Stella  Zinman  (2008–2009)  ▪ Cristine  Rose  as  Virginia  Mosby  (2006–2010)  ▪ Britney  Spears  as  Abby  (2008)  ▪ Chris  Romano  as  Punchy  (2008–)  ▪ Bryan  Cranston  as  Hammond  Druthers  (2006–2007)  ▪ Frances  Conroy  as  Loretta  Stinson  (2009–)  ▪ Benjamin  Koldyke  as  Don  Frank  (2009–2010)  ▪ Laura  Prepon  as  Karen  (2009–2010)  ▪ Rachel  Bilson  as  Cindy  (2010,  2011)  ▪ Ben  Vereen  as  Sam  Gibbs  (2010–)  ▪ Jennifer  Morrison  as  Zoey  Pierson  (2010–2011)  ▪ Kyle  MacLachlan  as  George  "The  Captain"  van  Smoot  (2010–2011)  ▪ Nazanin  Boniadi  as  Nora  (2011–)  ▪ John  Lithgow  as  Jerome  "Jerry"  Whittaker  (2011–)  ▪ Will  Forte  as  Randy  Wharmpess  (2008,  2010)  ▪ Enrique  Iglesias  as  Gael  (2007)         6  
  • 7. TIE-­‐INS  BOOKS  ▪ The   Bro   Code,   cited   by   Barney   many   times   throughout   the   series,   is   a   set   of   written   rules   for   bros  to  follow,  and  has  been  published  as  a  tie-­‐in  novel  and  an  audiobook.  Barney  alleges  it   was   written   by   Barnabas   Stinson   (an   assumed   relative   of   Barney),   a   contemporary   of   George  Washington  and  Benjamin  Franklin.  ▪ Bro  on  the  Go:  a  companion  to  The  Bro  Code,  released  in  2009.  ▪ The   Playbook,   (based   on   the   fifth   season   episode   of   the   same   name),   by   Barney   Stinson   and   Matt  Kuhn.    WEBSITES    ▪ Barneys   Blog  —   Throughout   the   series,   Barney   makes   references   to   his   blog.   The   blog   is   written  by  Matt  Kuhn  and  hosted  by  CBS.  ▪ Barneys  Twitter  —  CBS  also  updates  a  Twitter  account  for  Barney.  ▪ Internationalsuitupday.com  -­‐  International  Suit  Up  Day  2011  ▪ Swarley.com  —  At  the  end  of  the  episode  “Swarley,”  Barney  tries  to  pretend  he  loves  his  new   name  to  avoid  being  called  Swarley  again.  Though  not  shown  in  the  episode,  there  used  to   be  a  website  called  swarley.com  about  it.  ▪ TedMosbyIsAJerk.com  —   In   the   episode   "The   Bracket",   it   is   revealed   one   of   Barneys   former   one-­‐night-­‐stands,   whom   he   told   his   name   was   Ted   Mosby   (in   "Ted   Mosby:   Architect"),   created   a   website   denouncing   him   called   TedMosbyIsAJerk.com.   There   is   also   TedMosbyIsNotAJerk.com.  ▪ Marshall   and   Lilys   Wedding  —   A   website   with   videos   and   pictures   of   Marshall   and   Lilys   honeymoon,   never   shown   on   the   program   (the   honeymoon   part   was   never   shown)   but   available  as  a  special  feature  on  the  Season  3  DVD.  ▪ LilyAndMarshallSellTheirStuff.com  (archived)  —  In  Season  3,  Episode  19  (Everything  Must  Go)   Marshall   made   a   website   so   Lily   could   sell   her   clothes   to   pay   for   a   contractor   to   fix   the   floor  in  their  new  apartment.  The  site  was  promoted  at  the  end  of  the  episode,  as  an  actual   online  auction  of  memorabilia  from  the  show.  The  proceeds  were  given  to  the  Childrens   Hospital  Los  Angeles.  The  site  was  shut  down  after  the  auction  was  completed.  ▪ GuyForcesHisWifeToDressInAGarbageBagForTheNextThreeYears.com  —   Lily   proposes   this   name   for   their   clothing   auction   website,   after   Marshall   suggested.“LilyAndMarshallSellTheirStuff.com.”   To   their   surprise,   Lily’s   name   has   already   been  taken.  ▪ Mysterious  Dr  X  —  The  website  of  Ted’s  mysterious  identity  when  he  was  in  college,  as  seen  on   the  episode  "The  Possimpible".  ▪ Barney’s  Video  Resume  —  In  the  episode  "The  Possimpible",  Barney  reveals  he  has  created  an   online  video  resume.  ▪ The  Wedding  Bride  —  In  the  episode  "As  Fast  as  She  Can",  it  is  revealed  Tony  wrote  a  screen   play   entitled   "The   Wedding   Bride"   that   became   a   big   hit   and   has   an   "official"   website.   This   is   the   tie-­‐in   site   for   the   movie,   with   a   trailer   featuring   Chris   Kattan,   Malin   Åkerman,   and   Jason  Lewis,  who  play  movie  versions  of  Ted,  Stella,  and  Tony,  respectively,  in  this  movie.  ▪ canadiansexacts.org  —  In  the  episode  "Old  King  Clancy",  Barney  reveals  this  site  as  the  source     7  
  • 8. of  his  knowledge  of  Canadian  sex  acts  and  has  it  bookmarked  on  his  laptop.  Except  for  the   Lily   &   Marshall   interactive   wedding   album,   this   is   the   most   extensive   of   all   the   HIMYM   fake   websites.  Canadian  actor  Alan  Thicke  makes  several  cameos.  ▪ slapcountdown.com   (archived)  —   In   the   episode   "Wait   For   It"   (and   again   in   "Slapsgiving")   Marshall  debuts  this  website  to  torment  Barney  by  counting  down  the  days  until  he  next   gets   slapped,   the   result   of   their   Slap   Bet.   Visiting   the   website   prior   to   the   airing   of   Slapsgiving   displayed   the   same   countdown   as   featured   on   the   show,   albeit   counting   down   until  the  air  time  of  the  episode;  after  the  episode  aired,  the  site  redirected  to  CBS  How  I   Met  Your  Mother  YouTube  channel.  ▪ itwasthebestnightever.com  —   In   the   episode   "The   Sexless   Innkeeper",   Marshall   made   this   website   after   he   and   Lily   went   on   a   couples   date   with   Barney   and   Robin.   It   features   a   photo-­‐montage   of   the   evening   and   a   music   video   of   Marshall   and   Nuno   Bettencourt   of   Extreme  called  "Best  Night  Ever",  in  which  Marshall  describes  what  a  great  time  he  and  Lily   had   with   Robin   and   Barney.   The   video   was   a   parody   of   Extremes   "More   Than   Words"   video.  ▪ bigbusinessjournal.com,   extremitiesquarterly.com   and   balloonexplorersclub.com  —   Part   of   one  of  Barneys  schemes,  The  Lorenzo  Von  Matterhorn,  to  "pick  up  chicks"  ▪ grademyteacher.net  —  In  episode  4  of  season  6,  Marshall  mentions  this  website  to  Ted,  who   goes  looking  for  his  own  evaluation  on  it,  and  is  disappointed  by  the  result.  ▪ notafathersday.com   -­‐   Episode   7,   Season   4.   Barney   creates   this   website   as   part   of   a   new   holiday   for  single,  childless  men.    Phone  numbers    ▪ 1-­‐877-­‐987-­‐6401  —  During  the  Super  Bowl  XLIV  telecast,  a  clip  of  Neil  Patrick  Harris  was  shown   holding  up  a  sign,  ostensibly  in  the  stadiums  stands,  with  the  words  "Call  Barney  Stinson   (CBS)"   and   this   phone   number.   In   the   episode   "Rabbit   or   Duck",   which   aired   the   week   after  the  Super  Bowl,  the  same  clip  from  the  Super  Bowl  with  Harris  was  shown  with  the   number   on   the   sign   changed   to   a  555   number.   This   occurrence   became   a   plot   point   within   the   episode.   When   the   number   is   dialed,   a   message   recorded   by   Harris   in   character   as   Barney  is  played.                     8  
  • 9. AWARDS  AND  NOMINATIONS           9  
  • 10. RATINGS  POINT  Ratings  point  is  a  measure  of  viewership  of  a  particular  television  program.  One  single  television  ratings  point  (or  TVR)  represents  1%  of  viewers  in  the  surveyed  area  in  a  given  minute.  As  of  2004,  there  are  an  estimated  109.6  million  television  households  in  the  USA.  Thus,  a  single   national   household   ratings   point   represents   1%,   or   1,096,000   households   for   the   2004-­‐05  season.   When   used   for   the   broadcast   of   a   program,   the   average   rating   across   the   duration   of   the  show  is  typically  given.  Ratings  points  are  often  used  for  specific  demographics  rather  than  just  households.  For  example  a  ratings  point  among  the  key  18-­‐49  year  olds  demographic  is  equivalent  to  1%  of  all  18-­‐49  year  olds  in  the  country.  Nielsen   Media   Research   (NMR)   is   an   American   firm   that   measures   media   audiences,   including  television,   radio,   theatre   films   (via   the   AMC   Theatres   MAP   program)   and   newspapers.   NMR,  headquartered   in  New   York   City,   is   best   known   for   the   Nielsen   ratings,   an   audience   measurement  system   of   television   viewership   that   for   years   has   been   the   deciding   factor   in   canceling   or  renewing  television  shows  by  television  networks.  Nielsen  ratings       10  
  • 11.    Analysis:  The  highest  viewed  episode  was  the  season  1  episode  "The  Pineapple  Incident,"  watched  by  12.27  million  viewers.  The  lowest-­‐viewed  episode  was  the  season  6  episode  "Landmarks”,  watched  by  6.41  million  viewers,  approximately  48  percent  lower  than  the  shows  series  high.  HIMYM  is  a  show  that  has  been  aired  for  6  seasons  now.  It  has  the  same  jokes  and  punch  lines  every   time   and   the   plot   has   been   stretching   for   6   years   without   showing   the   actual   title   of   the  show  even  once.  But  still,  the  number  of  viewers  has  remained  almost  same.                           11  
  • 12. DVD  RELEASES                                   12  
  • 13. SURVEY  There  were  50  responses  of  the  survey.      A  screenshot  of  a  response  from  the  survey  :    Following  are  the  results:   Do  you  watch  HIMYM?   Yes   No       13  
  • 14. Do  you  like  the  show?   Yes   No     Who  is  your  favourite   character?   Ted  Mosby   Barney  Stinson   Robin  Scherbatsky   Lily  Aldrin   Marshall  Ericksen     How  often  do  you  watch  it?   Never  miss  it  even   once   Sometimes       14  
  • 15. Have  you  visited  any  websites   related  to  the  show?   Yes   No      Analysis:    Sample  size:  50  Age  Group:  13-­‐38  (mostly  20-­‐25)  According  to  the  results  of  the  50  surveys  that  I  got,  I  can  say  that:     • 96%  of  the  people  watch  the  show  –  How  I  Met  Your  Mother  and  like  it.     • The  most  watched  season  is  Season  2  and  then,  Season  1.   • More   than   half   of   the   people   don’t   miss   it   even   once   and   watch   it   every   time   whereas  the  rest  are  not  regular  viewers  of  the  show.   • About  50%  people  have  visited  websites  and  blog  related  to  HIMYM.   • ‘Barney  Stinson’  is  the  favourite  character  of  90%  people.   • The   most   common   responses   to   the   question   :   One   thing   that   you   would   like   to   change  about  the  show  were:    “Nothing.  It’s  perfect!!”    “It  should  come  more  frequently.”                             15  
  • 16. SPONSORS    CBS  SPONSORS    Allegra   American  Express   Bayer    Benefiber     Bristol-­‐Myers  Squibb     Campbell  Campbells  Soup       Cingular  Wireless       Citi  Estee  Lauder       General  Mills     Good  for  America  Brands    Home  Depot   Infiniti  Automobiles       Kia  Automobiles    Kleenex       Ford   Kraft  Foods    Lamisil     Levitra     Lifesavers  Candies    Majestic  Star  Casino       Merck  &  Co.     Morgan  Stanley      Nissan   Novartis     PCS      Pepcid  Complete       Pfizer  Pharmaceuticals       Plavix      PrevAcid       SmartBalance  Popcorn     Splenda  Sprint   TAP  Pharmaceuticals     Toyota  UPS  Store       Viagra     Vioxx    Wellbutrin   Zelnorm   Ziploc        STAR  WORLD  SPONSORS    Axe  Deo  Garnier  Loreal  McVities  Biscuits  Nokia  Octane  Deo  Parachute  Ponds  Reebok  Saffola  Tata  Sky  Tata  Steel  Vaseline    Dove    Docomo    Asian  Paints    New  Clear                 16  
  • 17.  OFFICIAL  WEBSITES         17  
  • 18.  HIMYM  ON  SOCIAL  NETWORKS           18  
  • 19.     19  
  • 20. HIMYM  MERCHANDISE  ON  SALE                   20  
  • 21. PRODUCT  PLACEMENT  IN  HIMYM    HIMYM   is   quite   famous   for   its   product   placements.   Product   placement   is   an   alternative   to  advertising.  And  HIMYM  features  a  lot  of  such  ads.  In  a  new  advertising  strategy,  old  episodes  of  How  I  Met  Your  Mother  are  being  digitally  altered  to  include  ads  for  contemporary  items.      Entertainment   Weekly   reports   that   not   only   has   How   I   Met   Your   Mother   promoted   the   movie  Zookeeper   by   putting   an   advertisement   behind   Robin   in   a   rerun   of   an   episode,   but   it   has   also  promoted  Jason  Segel’s  new  movie  Bad  Teacher,  by  digitally  inserting  an  ad  on  a  TV  screen  behind  the  actor  himself  in  the  2006  episode  ‘Swarley’.  Here  are  a  few  snapshots:           21  
  • 22.         22  
  • 23.         23  
  • 24. APPLICATIONS/GAMES    HIMYM  also  has  various  games  as  well  as  applications  on  iPhone  Applications  and  Android  Market  too.   There   are   all   sort   of   applications   ranging   from   “HIMYM   quotes”   to   “Barney   Sounds”   to   “Bro  codes”.  A  lot  of  revenue  is  also  generated  from  the  paid  apps,  but  many  fans  have  also  developed  some  of  the  applications  as  it  is  a  very  popular  show.  Here  is  a  screenshot  of  a  few:                           24  
  • 25. FINAL  ANALYSIS/  CONCLUSION    It’s  hard  to  describe  the  charm  of  “How  I  Met  Your  Mother”    especially  since  in  many  ways,  the  sitcom  formula  it  follows  might  turn  people  off  who  are  weary  of  sitcoms.  What  makes  it  different?  Something  that  distinguishes  a  lot  of  intelligent,  quality  contemporary  TV  —  it’s  self  aware,  and  a  little  meta-­‐theatrical.  It   doesn’t   hand   the   audience   plot   arcs   that   alienate   us   if   we   join   midstream.   It   keeps   the   focus   on  the   characters   and   the   environment   they’re   in   —   but   also   does   something   more,   by   presenting  each   episode   as   an   “episode”   of   Ted’s   young   life,   replayed   to   his   children   as   a   story.   It’s   this  reflexiveness  that  contributes  to  the  joy  of  watching  the  exploits  of  these  characters  —  it  instills  everything   that   happens,   even   the   quirky,   random   New   Yorky   things,   with   significance.   In   this  universe,  everything  is  turned  into  a  something.  Its   good   to   see   a   show   like   this   on   television   that   isnt   afraid   to   take   chances   and   strays   away  from  the  typical  way  to  tell  a  story.    There   really   are,   as   Shakespeare   says,   only   a   handful   of   plots   left   in   the   world.   How   I   Met   Your  Mother  tells  the  love  story  plot-­‐only  in  reverse  and  in  a  funny  way.                                                               25  

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