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Carter L. Bays was an Emmy-nominated writer and producer most well-known, alongside his professional partner Craig Thomas, as the creator and showrunner of the critically and commercially successful sitcom "How I Met Your Mother" (CBS 2005-14). Prior to this, the duo's most high-profile roles were as staff writers on "The Late Show with David Letterman" (CBS 1994- ), and as the co-creators of the short-lived sitcom "Oliver Beene" (Fox 2003-04). The pair also performed in a band called The Solids, who wrote the theme songs for both "Oliver Beene" and "How I Met Your Mother," the latter of which won an Emmy Award.
Raised in Connecticut, Bays went to Wesleyan University in Middletown, where he met Thomas, a fellow English major. When they were in their final years at Wesleyan, the pair attended internships at the development department of MTV, and the contacts they made there allowed them to secure an agent. Despite being great fans of Conan O'Brien and intent on working their way onto his writing team, a pair of simultaneous openings on the Letterman show gave the nascent writing team their break. When Bays and Thomas left Letterman in 2002, they spent the next couple of years as guest writers on various other series. Initially toying with a spec script about an Enron executive sentenced to teach at an inner-city high school, they realized that they didn't have the heart to do something so research-heavy, and so chose to write fictional tales about analogues of themselves and their friends in New York City. The hopelessly romantic but perpetually single lead character of Ted Mosby (Josh Radnor) was based on Bays' life during the duo's early years in New York City. The formal innovations of the series (which consists entirely of an extended flashback, as a middle-aged Ted tells a rambling, digression-filled story to his two teen children in the year 2030) and the likeability of its leads, particularly breakout star Neil Patrick Harris as womanizing Barney Stinson, made the series an immediate success.
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