Fall TV Preview

How I Met Your Mother Bosses: 'We're Writing This Season Like It's the End'

How I Met Your Mother Last SeasonIs How I Met Your Mother preparing for its swan song?

Although there’s a chance that the CBS sitcom could continue for a ninth season, cocreators Craig Thomas and Carter Bays are treating the upcoming Season 8 as if its their last. In fact, the premiere (airing next Monday at 8/7c) “is the first episode of the final season of How I Met Your Mother,” Thomas told a group of reporters on Tuesday.

“I don’t feel like we altered it because of not knowing if it’s the end,” he asserted. “We’re writing this season like it’s the end.”

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However, there’s still a possibility that HIMYM will live on, as negotiations are currently taking place between the studio, network and actors to extend the series. That puts Thomas and Bays in the position of needing “to have a Plan A and a Plan B going.”

But as time goes on and the future of the hit comedy remains uncertain, “it gets more and more difficult,” Bays admitted. “It’s going to be more and more work that we have to throw out if this isn’t our last season. We’d like to know as soon as possible.”

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Thomas used stronger words, saying, “We’re going to need to know pretty soon,” because the writers are fast “approaching the moment where those two [plans] would diverge.”

Whether this is the last chapter of the gang’s saga or the jumping off point for another year of comedic misadventures, the EPs are happy either way. “If this is the last season… it’s everything we ever dreamed of and more,” shared Bays. “Eight seasons is great. That being said, do we have a ninth season in us? Absolutely.”

“But wrapping it up in Season 8 would be amazing,” Thomas noted. “There’s a part of us as writers that [is] drawn to that. It’s exciting. We get to answer everything. Every episode of the season is so much more important because of that. [That’s] something sort of thrilling and very nostalgic and sad to think about, but it’d be exciting to write.”

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Should talks take them down another path to renewal, the showrunners are willing to rule out one possible scenario: Continuing the show without one or more of its original cast members. “We would never. Never ever ever,” reassured Thomas. “It’s a family, and we’re finishing this thing together.”