Fans who’ve been patiently waiting to see when How I Met Your Mother’s Ted Mosby (Josh Radnor) would finally meet his future wife may have to sit tight a bit longer.
The CBS comedy - which co-stars Neil Patrick Harris in his Emmy-nominated role as the legendary Barney Stinson - hit the airwaves in 2005 but didn’t really gain traction in the press until late in its third season. Now the show is entertaining the possibility of adding a ninth season to its impressive run.
Speaking at the Television Critics Association Press Tour, CBS Entertainment President Nina Tassler - via Zap2It - has confirmed recent rumors that the network is courting the cast and crew to return for the 2013-2014 season.
Here’s what she had to say:
"[The show] had an incredible year last year and we've got a great relationship with [series creators] Craig [Thomas] and Carter [Bays] and certainly they have a very strategic wrap-up for the show. They want it back. We're not there yet in terms of resolving the season. We're in early conversations and we're pretty optimistic."
We’ve already known for a while that the sitcom’s cast had extended their initial seven-year contracts to include an eighth season (which starts this fall), but most fans - myself included - half-assumed that this would mark the end of the series. After all, Ted starts telling his teenage children this story in 2030. That means the clock is ticking for him to meet his missus, marry her and conceive a child with enough time for her to be a teen in eighteen years.
HIMYM’s creators have often said they approach the show season by season, with an outline of exactly where each of the five main characters’ arcs will conclude each season. To that end, season 7 was one of the most revealing in terms of where we know these characters end up. Some critics wonder if the show can continue into unexpected ninth season without feeling as though the story is stretching itself too thin. And even if it does, there’s no telling what direction the show will take, especially if it continues past the point where the mystery of the title is revealed.
The other big question is whether or not the show’s cast - Radnor, Harris, Jason Segel, Cobie Smulders and Alyson Hannigan - are still interested in returning for another season. None of them are currently signed on for a potential season 9, and all of their careers have continued to flourish since HIMYM began.
Of the five leads, only Hannigan and Harris were previously household names, thanks to their work on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Doogie Howser, M.D., respectively. While Hannigan has since returned to her roots in American Reunion, Harris in particular has become something of an icon, thanks to his womanizing, catchphrase-spouting HIMYM alter ego. In addition, he has scored an Emmy for a guest appearance on Glee, proved himself as an outstanding awards show host and starred in productions as varied as Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog and The Smurfs (not to mention his regular appearances in the Harold and Kumar films). Not too shabby for a former child star.
On the other hand, Radnor, Segel and Smulders - all relative unknowns before HIMYM - have seen continuous success of their own. Radnor has written, directed and starred in two films - Happythankyoumoreplease and Liberal Arts - since serving as lead on HIMYM, and Segel has established a solid film career headling various raunch-comedies, resurrecting The Muppets, not to mention Judd Apatow projects like Forgetting Sarah Marshall, and the upcoming Knocked Up spinoff, This Is 40. As for Smulders, she appeared in a little known film called The Avengers earlier this year and inked a multi-picture deal to reprise her role as Maria Hill in upcoming Marvel Studios productions, starting with next summer’s Iron Man 3.
Tassler may seem confident that HIMYM will be around for at least two more seasons, but the way it’s looking, it’s probably up to the cast. Like Friends and Seinfeld before it, HIMYM is a true ensemble and only works if everyone is around.
In the meantime, let’s hope that Thomas and Bays tread carefully with their storyline for season 8. As far as we know at this point, the gang’s days at MacLaren’s could very well be numbered.
Do you think HIMYM has enough story left for a ninth season, or is season 8 the right time to say goodbye to these characters?
How I Met Your Mother season 8 returns Monday, September 24th @8pm on CBS.