The producers of the wildly popular CBS comedy How I Met Your Mother finally have an answer as to the fate of their series. Creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas began writing the current eighth season as if it would be the show’s last, and they’ve been patiently waiting for the network to come down with an answer regarding whether or not they needed to plan for one more season, or wrap things up in May. Dealing was complicated as contracts for both Bays and Thomas as well as the entire cast were up at the end of this year, but CBS made no secret of the fact that they would be keen on ordering another full season for the ratings-smash show if all the deals could be renegotiated.
Now it looks like the long-awaited answer to the statement posed in the title won’t come until 2014, as How I Met Your Mother has been renewed for a ninth and final season. Hit the jump for more details.
How I Met Your Mother’s current situation isn’t dissimilar to the one faced by NBC’s hit comedy Friends towards the end of its run. The comedy juggernaut’s ninth season began as its last, but halfway through the season, the show’s insanely popular cast agreed to return for a tenth and final truncated run of episodes. Deadline reports that most of the cast of How I Met Your Mother was eager to come back for season nine, but star Jason Segel wasn’t as keen on the idea as his castmates. Apparently it looked like his holdout might nix the prospect of a ninth season altogether, but at the last minute he came around and signed on for one more season.
The entire cast is reportedly very close, and they’ve been supportive of each other when mulling over the decision to return. Though Segel’s career has taken off considerably since the show’s 2005 debut, his fellow castmates have enjoyed large success as well. Josh Radnor has proven himself to be quite the writer/director with two features under his belt (happythankyoumoreplease and this year’s excellent Liberal Arts) Neil Patrick Harris is one of the most likable people in Hollywood, Alyson Hannigan made a welcome return to the American Pie series with American Reunion, and Cobie Smulders nabbed the high profile gig of S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Maria Hill in this year’s The Avengers.
HIMYM is one of the better sitcoms in recent memory (Quentin Tarantino recently confessed that it’s his favorite show on television), but the current eighth season has seen a disappointing creative slide. The latest episode—a wonderfully emotional hourlong installment—may have been enough to vindicate the first half of the season, but I’m hoping that in the back half of season eight and the entirety of season nine, Bays and Carter ditch some of the more outlandish material in favor of the character-centric stuff from earlier seasons. Nevertheless, it appears that longtime fans now have a firm date as to when we’ll find out who that damn mother is, when the series finale airs in spring of 2014.