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It will help launch 'Friends With Better Lives'

CBS has set an earlier-than-expected series finale date for laffer “How I Met Your Mother,” and will use the show to launch new comedy “Friends With Better Lives.”

The hourlong “HIMYM” finale will air from 8 to p.m. on March 31, with Twentieth Century Fox Television’s “Friends With Better Lives” following at 9 p.m.  before moving to its regular 8:30 p.m. timeslot the following week.

Beginning April 14, “2 Broke Girls,” currently airing at 8:30 p.m. on Monday, will kick off the night’s comedy block, followed by “Friends With Better Lives,” “Mike & Molly” and “Mom.”

“How I Met Your Mother” continues to be a strong ratings performer for CBS, and is its youngest-skewing show most weeks. It’s airing a full complement of episodes this season, so its early finish is something of a surprise. The net is likely hoping to establish “Friends With Better Lives”  as something of an heir apparent to “HIMYM” on the  night.

CBS also has in the works a spinoff of “HIMYM” titled “How I Met Your Dad,” which has a pilot production commitment.

“Friends With Better Lives” is about six friends at different stages in their lives — married, divorced, newly engaged and single — who are outwardly happy, but secretly questioning if their friends have it better.

It stars Kevin Connolly, Majandra Delfino, James Van Der Beek, Zoe Lister-Jones, Brooklyn Decker and Rick Donald.  Series creator Dana Klein, Aaron Kaplan and Dave Hemingson are executive producers

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