Absentee 'Dad'

We won't find out "How I Met Your Dad" after all. CBS has passed on the pilot for the "How I Met Your Mother" semi-spinoff starring Greta Gerwig. CBS Entertainment President Nina Tassler insisted the decision had nothing to do with the backlash over the "HIMYM" finale. "Absolutely not. … There were elements of the pilot that didn't work out," she said, adding that the network would be amenable to looking at a redo. "We loved this brand," she added. "I'm heartsick."

For Francophiles only

Don't we already know everything there is to know about James Franco? A documentary of a year in his professional and personal life is on the way. … "Wild," starring Reese Witherspoon and directed by Jean-Marc Vallee ("Dallas Buyers Club"), has been given an Oscar-friendly release date of Dec. 5. … Octavia Spencer has joined the "Divergent" sequel "Insurgent." … Channing Tatum will play Gambit in an upcoming "X-Men" movie. … Gwyneth Paltrow and Chiwetel Ejiofor star in the crime thriller "The Secret in Their Eyes." … The movie based on J.K. Rowling's "Harry Potter" spinoff, "Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them," has a release date of Nov. 18, 2016. … Screenwriter Roberto Orci will make his directorial debut taking over for J.J. Abrams on "Star Trek 3."

Next up: world domination

If it's Thursday on ABC, it must be a Shonda Rhimes production: Her new drama "How to Get Away With Murder," starring Viola Davis, will follow the Shondaland hits "Grey's Anatomy" and "Scandal." … Neil Patrick Harris reports he was approached to take over for David Letterman, but said he'd rather do a variety show.

Funny game

Lily Allen said she turned down the offer to cameo on "Game of Thrones" as the sister of Theon, played by none other than her own brother, Alfie Allen. Understandable, since the story was to take a turn for the, ahem, amorous. "Once they told me what it entailed, I said no thanks," she said.