How I Met Your Mother launches its eighth season on Sept. 24 which, by our calculations, is roughly two months from now. To mark the occasion, we present you with 16 spoilers — two for each week you have to wait for fresh episodes — directly from series co-creator Craig Thomas and exec producer/director Pamela Fryman.
TVLINE | Do the Season 9 negotiations change any of your trajectory for Season 8?
CRAIG THOMAS | Yeah. [Laughs] It’s a really interesting situation because there’s a negotiation going on that could extend the show, for sure. But right now, the thing that we know to be true is we have this year and no deal for next year. So we have to proceed as though this could be the last year of HIMYM. Hopefully we will know soon. Basically, we couldn’t possibly know soon enough. But we’d be thrilled to tell either story – either wrap it up this year or to tell another chapter of this story. We don’t know yet which way it’s going to go.
TVLINE | If there is a ninth season, would that be the last season?
THOMAS | Who knows? We can’t guarantee anything. It’s not impossible it could go beyond Season 9.
TVLINE | When Season 8 starts up, where is Victoria and Ted’s relationship headed? She’s coming back for a multi-episode arc…
THOMAS | We’re in a funny predicament. [The premiere] begins with three couples we know are doomed: Barney and Quinn – Barney’s going to marry Robin – Victoria we’ve said is not the mother, and Robin has a new love interest that starts off the season too, played by Michael Trucco. But we know Robin’s going to end up marrying Barney. It’s cool to start with everybody coupled up, but it’s like a horror movie. We know all these people camping at Camp Crystal Lake are going to be killed by Jason in a hockey mask. There’s a fun feeling of doom to these three couples. We’re calling October, “Breakup Month.” This is the month where some stuff went crazy in these relationships. … But Victoria is around for a while. I don’t want to say what happens there and how that doesn’t work out, but we look at her very much this season. I think everybody has this in their life – the last door you have to close before you’re actually ready to move forward and meet the person you’re going to spend your life with.
TVLINE | Is Michael Trucco’s character the significant romance you mentioned before?
THOMAS | Yeah, that’s an arc. We said a couple years ago when they had a brief meeting this guy would come back around, and we’re finally at that point in the story.
TVLINE | Are Quinn and Barney in a good place when the season begins?
THOMAS | Yeah, they’re engaged in Episode 1. But we know they’re not going to get married. So it’s kind of an existential storytelling conundrum. We’ve shown everyone a lot of what the end is, and now it’s like, “Tune in for the exciting middle!” But of course, we can also get away with that because there’s also a couple huge surprises coming up about how the series will end.
PAMELA FRYMAN | The first episode of the season is going to be an incredibly exciting way to start. It’s going to give everybody a glimpse [of the future] again. I think everybody’s going to be satisfied.
THOMAS | We jump further forward in that future wedding day. … The glimpses of that future Barney/Robin wedding day have been really important to the story. We blow [everything] out of the water in Episode 1. We jump further into that day and show you more information deeper into that wedding day that I think will blow some people’s minds. It’s really, really exciting.
FRYMAN | It blew mine when I read it.
THOMAS | It’s the day Ted meets the mother. And we jump perilously deep into that day and show you some glimpses of some really huge stuff that’s happening. We jump to the end of that wedding day and show you something crazy.
TVLINE | Barney and Robin are both in relationships this season, but we know they get married. So is there a hint of them growing closer together this year?
THOMAS | Yeah. They couldn’t start further apart. Barney’s engaged to another woman, and Robin is just getting into a relationship with [Michael Trucco's character]. It’s fun. It’s a fun challenge. We like painting ourselves into impossible corners on How I Met Your Mother. How do you get those two characters together? They’re probably as far apart as they can possibly be. We will tell you that story. There’s going to be some relationship carnage to free them up to do that. It’s a bit of a relationship bloodbath in the first six episodes, and I hope in very entertaining way.
TVLINE | Will Marshall and Lily be separate from the group now that they have this big parenting challenge?
THOMAS | We’re going to tell a story figuring out, “Who’s our babysitter? Who’s our nanny? Who’s going to help us with this?” There’s a cool and meaningful answer to that question that we’ll see Marshall and Lily arrive at in the first few episodes. It will free them up to have at least the occasional beer with the gang. And the gang will consider [the baby] the sixth member of this group. It’s going to be very sweet.
TVLINE | Any chance we’ll get another Robin Sparkles installment?
THOMAS | [Co-creator] Carter [Bays] and I haven’t quite figured this out yet. We’re going to release the How I Met Your Mother soundtrack album! All the original music [on the show] will come out the day of our season premiere [on Sept. 24 on iTunes]. It’s like 20 tracks. It’s really cool. So it got me thinking again about Robin Sparkles.