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'HIMYM' exec: 'Lithgow is magnificent'

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John Lithgow

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How I Met Your Mother co-creator Carter Bays has praised upcoming guest star John Lithgow.

The actor will play Barney's estranged father Jerome Whitaker in two episodes, expected to air in late March.

"We went down a long list of people we could possibly cast as Barney's dad and as soon as we landed on John Lithgow something about it felt right," Bays told TV Line.

He added that Lithgow and series regular Neil Patrick Harris (Barney) were "magnificent together. They're both such great craftsman."

Bays also revealed that Lithgow was actively seeking a comedic part following his role as the Trinity killer on Showtime's Dexter.

"John clearly wanted to do something that was just silly and fun," he explained. "Not that it's all silly and fun because there's a lot of drama to it, but [it's] something lighter and with more heart."

He joked that there are "some similarities" between Trinity and Jerome Whitaker.

"[Jerome] is [also] a family man who lives in the suburbs [but] he's not going to be naked in the bathtub strangling someone," he quipped.

How I Met Your Mother airs on Mondays at 8/7c on CBS. Lithgow will make his first appearance on March 21.
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