July 29, 2012 10:09am PT by Michael O'Connell
TCA 2012: CBS Pushing for 'How I Met Your Mother's' Early Season 9 Renewal
As How I Met Your Mother goes into the second year of a two-season renewal, bringing it to its eighth run, it remains unclear if this will be the last one for the veteran comedy.
CBS is making it clear that they would like another. Entertainment president Nina Tassler addressed the series' recent ratings boost and ensuing speculation about an early pick-up for a ninth season, confirming the network is in talks.
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"They had an incredible year last year and we have an incredible relationship," she told reporters at the Television Critics Association summer press tour. "They know we want the show to come back next year, we're having conversations right now. We're not there yet in terms of resolving the season, we're in early conversations and we're pretty optimistic."
Co-creators and showrunners Craig Thomas and Carter Bays, who have said they go into each season with a plan for its end, are working under very specific circumstances for a sitcom -- given the series' need to ultimately reveal the identity of the titular mother. Speaking to the TCA earlier in the year, they said they weren't sure if that meant they'd need a fixed end date long in advance.
"We've talked about it," said Bays. "It's not a high priority for us. I know Lost did it. We've gotten that question a lot. I would imagine, going into the final season of the show, we'd hint people to that... It's hard for us to say that on May 14, 2000-whatever, we will officially be out of ideas."
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The cast, which includes especially prolific actors like Jason Segel and Neil Patrick Harris, would also have to be on board -- something most of them have, at least publicly, seemed amendable to.
"I would like to see the show come to its natural end, whether its eight years or nine years," Segel said in January. "I was so relieved to hear there was a plan."
How I Met Your Mother starts production of its eighth season in August.