Don’t do it, Jason.
As many of you may already know, there’s been talk of How I Met Your Mother being renewed for a ninth season, even after the series showrunners (and the cast) insisted last year that this would be the final season, that Ted would meet the mother, and that we could all finally let the once great series go and move on with our lives. Unfortunately, thanks in large part to the new viewers that reruns of HIMYM have brought in over the past few years on syndication, the CBS series is a rare sitcom whose ratings have actually increased past its sixth year. Now, the greedy bastards on CBS want to bring it back for ANOTHER final season. Contract negotiations are currently underway between CBS and the showrunners, Craig Thomas and Carter Bays, as well as with the cast.
Who will put his foot down to prevent the travesty of a ninth season?
Hopefully, it will be Jason Segel, the one man with enough going on in his career to happily walk away. The contract situation on How I Met Your Mother is shaping up to be like the 10th and final season of NBC’s Friends. The hold-up on a 10th season of Friends was Jennifer Aniston, whose feature career had taken off and who had very much wanted to leave the sitcom. In the end, however, she agreed to a 10th season mostly because she was paid an obscene amount of money, and because she didn’t want to let the rest of the cast — her friends over the last nine years — down.
Jason Segel, on the other hand, needs to let the rest of his cast down. Sure, the other cast members could also put the kibosh on a lucrative deal, and they all will likely have a decent post-HIMYM careers. To wit: Alyson Hannigan will be fine; she’ll land another sitcom. Cobie Smulders still has The Avengers (and could even sign on to the S.H.I.E.L.D. show if HIMYM ends), Neil Patrick Harris could make a career of hosting every awards show on television for all time ever (and I’d be OK with that), and Josh Radnor, well, he makes movies (good movies, too, it’s just that no one sees them). They’d all be fine, but none of them will ever see the kind of money that CBS is about to throw at them. They’re going to say yes to another season because, financially and for the sake of their careers’, it would be dumb not to. The creative quality of HIMYM is probably not as high a priority to them as a milking the show for every last cent while they can. After all, CBS has profited mightily off of them , so why not?
Jason Segel, on the other hand, can continue to get that kind of money in feature films.
It’s up to him to prevent a ninth season.
So listen, Jason. I know there will be a lot of pressure to sign a deal. Much of that pressure may come from your own cast members, cast members who you probably consider family now. But you need to do it for them, too, because they may not be able to see that How I Met Your Mother is truly awful this season. The highlights of this season haven’t been episodes, the highlights have been scenes in episodes, and even those are few and far between. The only thing somewhat compelling about the show at this point is Barney and Robin’s romance, and WE KNOW HOW THAT ENDS ALREADY.
This not like Friends. There are no viewers clamoring for another season. Yes, the ratings are still solid, but that’s only because we’re all sticking around to find out who the mother is, and we’re growing increasingly bitter by the week. Add yet another season to that wait, and you’re spoiling what little good will we have left in the show. Will we watch another season? Probably. Maybe. With our eyes half open. We’ve been with the characters so long now that we’re unlikely to completely abandon them and we’re anxious for the anti-climactic finale (seriously, after nine years, unless it’s Alison Brie standing naked under that yellow umbrella, there’s no way we won’t be disappointed). But if we do stick around, we won’t enjoy it. We will bitch and moan and call for the death of Ted Mosby every single goddamn week of the season. And you know what? The audience may be so bitter with the show that they will tune out to the HIMYM reruns, and there goes the syndication money that was going to put all your kids in college someday.
Perhaps as detrimental, however, is that even as we’ve grown weary of the show, everyone LOVES the cast of How I Met Your Mother (except for maybe Josh Radnor). On a personal level, I don’t think there is a more well-liked cast in television. You make this deal, though, and the public will turn on you. You will have put greed over the good of the show, and while your contracts had kept you in the show up until this point, that will not be an excuse for next year. We will not blame CBS for an ninth season. We will blame the cast for accepting a deal to allow such a travesty to happen.
You will have Office’d How I Met Your Mother. You may as well bring in Catherine Tate for the final season.
So say no, Jason Segel. Do it for the good of your cast mates, who may not be able to see past the dollar signs. More importantly, do it for your audience. Do it for the people who still have some affection for your show while we still have it. And let’s hope that, if Jason Segel says no, the rest of the cast will, too, because a How I Met Your Mother without Marshall is, well, it’s just dumb, and anyone that green lights a final season without him should get the sh*t slapped out of them.