According to Variety, How I Met Your Mother is trying to pull an Office, extending itself way beyond its expiration date. Early negotiations have begun with showrunners Carter Bays and Craig Thomas, who will have to be extended before CBS can move on to the principal cast, none of whom are signed on through next year’s eighth season.
Indeed, Bays and Thomas have been promising us that next year will be the last season for quite some time, and it’s only because of the sudden ratings jump that the show received last year that CBS wants to continue the show. HIMYM was a bubble show throughout many of its early seasons, but once it hit syndication, it became a huge hit after it attracted a lot of new viewers watching early seasons for the first time in reruns. It doesn’t hurt, either, that HIMYM is CBS’s youngest skewing show — the average age of an HIMYM viewer is 45. It’s the only show on CBS’s lineup that’s audience average age is under 50.
The problems with a ninth season are many. First of all, nobody wants it, including the showrunners, the cast, AND the audience. Bays and Thomas have long said that Ted won’t meet the mother until the show ends its run, and a renewal would just postpone that date even longer. Moreover, although HIMYM still has the power to produce four or five great episodes a season (and 18 or 19 mediocre to bad episodes), creatively, the show simply cannot withstand another year of keeping Ted and his future wife apart.
However, with the entire cast also only under contract through the eighth season, a ninth season could potentially see the departure of several of the regulars. Most of the cast has already expressed a desire to leave, and some of them may not be able to be wooed back with money. Jason Segel, who has a healthy feature film career now, almost certainly wouldn’t re-up. The Avengers has jump-started Cobie Smulders’s film career, while Josh Radnor — who is directing films now — has strongly expressed an interest to move on, as far back as the fifth season. Neil Patrick Harris, of course, can do anything, so why would he re-up? That leaves Alyson Hannigan, and unless she’s Ted’s future wife (she’s not), a ninth season could see a new iteration of the cast, which would absolutely destroy what goodwill is left in the show.
Can we start a Cancel How I Met Your Mother Campaign? It’s for it’s own damn good. LET HIMYM DIE WITH DIGNITY.