While Robin’s mother, Genevieve, wasn’t seen until the very end of HIMYM season 9, her father, Robin Scherbatsky, Sr., was featured on multiple occasions to give background on her unloving upbringing. He also became one of the only recast characters on HIMYM. Since Ray Wise continued to play Robin Scherbatsky, Sr., in subsequent flashbacks of a younger Robin, the decision to recast Robin Scherbatsky’s Father Eric Braeden with Wise was not made because of an age gap caused by the progression of the timeline. Instead, Braeden’s departure from HIMYM resulted from a personal decision leading to conflict behind the scenes.
In an episode of How I Met Your Mother titled “Last Words,” which centred on the characters’ fathers, Neil Patrick Harris revealed on Twitter that Eric Braeden would not be returning to the role of Robin’s father. Harris tweeted that “Eric Braeden is a D-Bag,” and added that the actor “agreed to appear as Robin’s dad, but last night he fled, saying the part wasn’t serious enough.” Braeden backed out of the cameo because the job wasn’t “substantial” enough, Harris claimed. Eric Braeden commented to Deadline in reaction to NPH’s public comments that he had a lovely time during his cameo role on How I Saw Your Mother and his time spent with the cast and crew, but he never even met Barney’s actor on set.
Braeden did not deny that he bowed out at the eleventh hour. Still, he did reveal that one of the reasons he bowed out of the How I Met Your Mother cameo spots was because he was exhausted from his overloaded work on The Young and the Restless. He was unaware of the circumstances of the HIMYM appearance until the day before it was to air.
While Neil Patrick Harris later apologised for disrespecting Eric Braeden, HIMYM co-creator Carter Bays claimed on Twitter in 2021 that the original Robin Sr. actor “stabbed [them] in the back and refused to perform the part longer,” forcing them to replace him with Ray Wise. This phrase implies that there is still animosity between Robin’s father and his first actor, but it all works out in the end.