‘Mother’ pregnancies challenge producer

If you watch enough TV, you’ve spotted that awkward situation when an actress is pregnant – but the baby bump doesn’t work with the storyline.

Suddenly your favorite character is shot only sitting in bed or with her torso placed carefully behind a filing cabinet or giant potted plant.

For the CBS sitcom “How I Met Your Mother,” the challenge is twofold: The show’s two lead actresses – Alyson Hannigan and Cobie Smulders, who play Lily and Robin, respectively – announced their real-life pregnancies, within weeks of each other, last fall.

“We always sort of knew that with two young women in the cast, that we’d have to deal with this eventually,” says co-creator/executive producer Carter Bays. “We just thought maybe they’d go in shifts.

“There’s a couple things coming up in other episodes where we sort of take advantage of Lily’s expanding belly,” he says. “I don’t want to give anything away, but we try to use every tool at our disposal to not just hide this, but take advantage of this. …

“I don’t think there’s anyone out there that’s a big fan of the show that doesn’t know both Alyson and Cobie are pregnant. So when Alyson’s sitting on the couch holding a giant bowl of chips, I don’t think anyone’s wondering why.”

Adds Bays: “It’s funny, because the conversation we had as writers is the conversation that young couples have, where we had to make the decision. It would be wonderful to add a baby to this storyline, but would we stop having as much fun?

“I think we decided that as a show, we’re too young to become parents just yet. But someday, we want to.”

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