As if resurrected from the surefire scrap-heap, How I Met Your Mother was renewed by CBS for a ninth season. This comes on the heels of rumors that star Jason Segel would leave at the end of this eighth season. In any realistic sense, there’s no way the show could go on without the burgeoning film star, even in spite of the fact that his character, Marshall Erikesen, has received reduced screentime. It’s a situation where the show really was damned by its format, as flashforwards via Future Ted (Bob Saget) have verified Marshall’s presence, such that it would be nigh on impossible to write him out.
The full story comes to us from Deadline.com, as negotiations came down to the wire…
So here’s what happened: HIMYM is in the last year of its current license deal with the network, while the contracts of creators Craig Thomas and Carter Bays and the cast are all up at the end of the season. Understandably, Thomas and Bays had requested a decision to be made by the end of this month because of the overarching mythology of the show, which needs to finally begin building toward that big mother reveal when an end date is set. As the clock kept ticking, activity on all three fronts stepped up between CBS and HIMYM producer 20th Century Fox TV as well as between 20th TV and Thomas-Bays and between the studio and reps for the series’ stars: Jason Segel, Josh Radnor, Cobie Smulders, Neil Patrick Harris and Alyson Hannigan. It was well-known that Segel was the lone holdout with everyone else wanting to continue. After all, a virtual unknown when the show launched in 2005, he has a prolific film career now and gave the sitcom 8 seasons already. I learned tonight that Segel indeed “decided to bail and leave the cast hanging. But he just got turned around today at the last second. The show was literally dead.”
As for the cast, the HIMYM quintet is a very tight group, with the actors supporting each other. So it may have been a sign of camaraderie for Segel to agree to the final season. CBS has been very public about its desire to bring HIMYM for another season. (“We want the show to come back next year,” the network’s entertainment president Nina Tassler said in August.) 20th TV and Thomas & Bays also wanted another season. CBS and 20th TV both have a good track record in completing complex negotiations. CBS has been able to bring back Two And A Half Men, also from an outside studio (Warner Bros), several times in down-to-the-wire negotiations. And 20th TV has successfully renewed the deals with the casts of its top series after sometime contentious negotiations.
Full story: Deadline