Before Josh Radnor won the role of Ted Mosby on How I Met Your Mother, another seasoned actor was offered the role but declined the gig.
The central character of How I Met Your Mother could have been drastically different if the writers got their top choice for Ted Mosby. The character played by Josh Radnor for all nine seasons on the sitcom served as the driving force behind the story, but another actor nearly took the role. Here's who almost portrayed Ted and how the character stayed connected to the beloved series.
The focus of How I Met Your Mother during its run was on Ted and his story explaining, in precise detail, how he met the mother of his two children, Penny and Luke. The sitcom was narrated by Future Ted (Bob Saget) but primarily centered on Ted's life and those closest to him, including Robin, Marshall, Lily, and Barney. As the series progressed, Ted got closer and closer to meeting the "Mother", while a number of teases about her identity were thrown out to viewers. Ted, the hopeless romantic, finally found the chance at real love with Tracy before her untimely death. Years later, Ted found his way back to Robin with encouragement from his kids.
Prior to Radnor winning the gig of How I Met Your Mother's central figure, the actor only had a few short stints on TV. The producers considered a more seasoned actor to take on the role as the writers had their sights set on Felicity alum, Scott Foley. The actor had experience in a lead role and was easily envisioned as a romantic-type. Foley was reportedly offered the role of Ted but turned it down, which paved the way for Radnor. The situation worked out since Radnor spent nearly a decade playing Ted Mosby, which also served as his big break in acting. Foley also benefited from the audition down the line, even though he declined.
How Scott Foley Remained Connected To HIMYM After Declining The Gig
It remains unclear why Foley declined the offer to play Ted in How I Met Your Mother, but his work around the sitcom's debut might be an indicator. The actor was still a recurring character on Scrubs when How I Met Your Mother premiered in 2005. He also played a lead role in the CBS crime drama, The Unit, beginning in 2006, which could have affected his decision-making in the How I Met Your Mother role. Foley's decision to decline the offer certainly didn't burn any bridges, however.
In 2013, Foley starred in The Goodwin Games, a series written and created by Carter Bays and Craig Thomas, the minds behind How I Met Your Mother. It's very likely that his audition for Ted helped his casting for their Fox project. Unfortunately, for everyone involved, the series was quickly axed and only lasted seven episodes. More recently, Foley played a main character on Scandal and starred alongside The Walking Dead veteran actress Lauren Cohan on Whiskey Cavalier. The series was notably created by Dave Hemingson, a co-executive producer on How I Met Your Mother. Despite gaining a fan following, though, ABC cancelled Whiskey Cavalier after one season.