Fall TV Preview

CBS Boss 'Optimistic' About HIMYM Season 9, Has Plan to 'Solve' Sunday's NFL Delay Problem

CBS is inching closer to a deal to bring How I Met Your Mother back for a ninth and possibly final season.

“We’re in early conversations and we’re pretty optimistic,” CBS president Nina Tassler said Sunday at the Television Critics Association’s summer press tour in Beverly Hills. “[But] we’re not there yet.”

Tassler went on to say that HIMYM bosses Carter Bays and Craig Thomas are plotting “a strategic wrap-up” to the series, which is entering its eighth season this fall.

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Other highlights from CBS’ exec session at press tour…

TVLine asked Tassler if she is concerned that The Good Wife and The Mentalist will be delayed more so than any previous Sunday line-up by the NFL’s slightly later kick-off times. She said that in addition to on-screen “bugs” and network tweets notifying viewers of estimated start times, CBS will also employ SMS text alerts to get the word out. “We do everything possible, and will continue to do everything, to make sure the audience knows the show will be delayed.” Additionally, The Mentalist, which never before made full episodes available online, will this year do so at CBS.com.

* Canceling CSI: Miami (over CSI: NY) was “a difficult decision,” said Tassler. “Saying goodbye to a CSI was a very big deal. That show has been extraordinarily successful for us… What we looked at was [the flow on] Friday vs. Sunday night. It was a very tough choice, but it was just a jump ball and it had to do with the schedule.”

* Look for “more humor” and “New York event-type stories” on CSI: NY this season, shared Tassler.

* There’s talk of changing the setting of CBS’ death-defying drama Unforgettable from Queens to Manhattan in Season 2. And in addition to Poppy Montgomery, Dylan Walsh and Jane Curtin, Kevin Rankin (Justified) may return as Roe Saunders in some capacity.