After rumors swirled that Jason Segel was ready to depart How I Met Your Mother after the current eighth season, almost ensuring that this would be the last for the CBS comedy series, a deal has been made in the 11th hour to keep him around.

A final decision had to be made this month in order to figure out whether or not the overarching story of the show needed to begin closing this season or finish out with season 9, and Segel was the one cast member who was hellbent on finally leaving the show. So what happened?

Deadline says Segel “decided to bail and leave the cast hanging. But he just got turned around today at the last second. The show was literally dead.” Sounds like Segel got lawyered. The contracts for all of the stars, including Josh Radnor, Cobie Smulders, Neil Patrick Harris and Alyson Hannigan, in addition to series creators Craig Thomas and Carter Bays, were up at the end of the current season, so a new deal had to be figured out for the endgame.

Thankfully, CBS now has all the key components for what will be the ninth and final season in this long saga of love for Ted Mosby. That’s good news since CBS was hopeful they would get at least one more season for the show. I’m just hoping Segel isn’t coming back begrudgingly and he has the inside track on what will hopefully be a satisfying conclusion.

Honestly, as a fan who has seen every episode of the series, I’m relieved that we have an end in sight, but this season has not impressed me at all. Only with last week’s power hour of two episodes did I feel like some real progress in the story had been made and the charm of the earlier seasons had returned. Otherwise, there’s been too many ridiculous things happening that started to turn the show into one of the less satisfying comedies on CBS right now. But perhaps this will turn out much like The Office, where the penultimate season was lacking in the spirit of the finer writing of earlier episodes, but the farewell season brought back the quality goods with vengeance.

With season 9 set as the end, it sounds like fans will finally learn who the mother is either in the fall of 2013, or the spring of 2014, and that’s something to be excited about now. With all the red herrings and complicated storytelling that adult Ted Mosby has thrown to his kids, hopefully the payoff is worth the nine year wait. But the question remains as to just what actress is perfect to play the love of Ted’s life. It’s going to be hard to please everyone with this casting, and it might be as divisive an element as the ending to LOST. Only time will tell.

How I Met Your Mother is on winter hiatus (like the rest of the network shows) but will return with new episodes on January 14th at 8/7c on CBS.

Soure: Deadline