The creators of "How I Met Your Mother" are in a bit of a quandary, although it's one that most TV show producers would probably love to have. They already know there will be an eighth season of the hit CBS sitcom; they just aren't sure whether that will be the end or there will be a season 9.
"We're still trying to determine whether it's one more year of the show or two more years," co-creator Carter Bays said recently. "We have a one-year plan and a two-year plan, and I think either version would be great."
Either way, it sounds like it's up to them. Given how few shows get picked up for even a second season, Bays and fellow show runner Craig Thomas are in an enviable position. Bays says they didn't expect the show to last past season 4. But the success of "HIMYM" has apparently given them free rein to wrap up the show however they want, without rushing or having to come up with a half-baked ending due to suddenly being canceled.
That should also be good news for viewers, since it means that the show probably won't suffer creatively, at least not because of the network's whims. Having a long-term plan (or plans) like Bays and Thomas do indicates that the various storylines will probably come to a fairly satisfying conclusion. Hopefully the two of them will decide soon whether that will happen in season 8 or a potential season 9.
There are a couple of factors that may influence their decision. Bays and Thomas have another show in the works for Fox (a comedy called "The Goodwin Games"), so they could end up deciding to wrap up "How I Met Your Mother" sooner rather than later to concentrate on the new project. Also, most of the cast members have contracts that expire after season 8, so they'd have to want to keep going and negotiate new contracts for another season.
That said, it seems fans have differing opinions on whether it's time to say farewell to Ted, Barney, and the rest of the "HIMYM" gang now or later. And that may be the ultimate test for this already long-running show. If the ratings start to slip due to viewer fatigue, maybe nobody will want to drag things out for an extra season.
What do you think? Should "How I Met Your Mother" call it quits after season 8, or would you like it to hang around for season 9?
Photo Source: Francis Orante via Flickr