It looks like a ninth season of "How I Met Your Mother" is still a possibility. Many fans expected the upcoming eighth season to be the last for the show. However, strong ratings during Season 7 triggered talk about extending the series. Now, CBS has opened the negotiation process. There is still a long way to go before a deal is reached, and there might be too many obstacles to clear. However, the idea that a ninth season might happen is certainly interesting. As the discussion process unfolds, here are some of the things that fans should understand.
There are a lot of contracts that need to be signed
The first step toward a ninth season is extending the contracts of creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas. The deals for the two end after the upcoming season. Obviously, if nothing can be reached with them, the negotiation process will come to an end. There is also the matter of extending the licensing deal with 20th Century Fox, the studio that produces the show. While both negotiations matter, they should easily be settled. What might be much harder is signing all of the actors. The five main cast members all have deals that end after the eighth season. Some of them, namely Jason Segel, might be ready to focus entirely on movies. "I think after eight years, I'll feel like I honorably did my commitment," Segel said in an interview. Unless all five actors return, a ninth season would be less than satisfying.
The timing matters
When a three-year deal was reached in 2010, most assumed that the eighth season would be the last. For a show that is building toward a planned conclusion, timing is everything. The producers clearly laid out a plan that culminated with Ted meeting his future bride late in the eighth season. It was only recently that the idea of a ninth season came to the forefront. If the show is extended, the producers will need to adjust storylines in the eighth season so that they can save the big reveal for another year. At the same time, they can't bank on a ninth season only to have negotiations fall through. That would spoil the creative process. Basically, if any deal is going to be reached, it is likely to happen early in the fall.
Since the ratings improved in the seventh season, it's no surprise that CBS is interested in extending the show. After all, it has a steady audience that can help launch new shows around it. That being said, this is a show that has already been on the air a long time. For the most part, eight seasons marks the peak of a sitcom series in terms of quality. While it's still funny at times, "How I Met Your Mother" has had its fair share of thin storylines. A ninth season would only increase the number of weaker episodes. If Bays and Thomas do want to keep the show going, fans can only hope that they have a proper plan in place that ensures the quality will continue. Otherwise, this is just a grab for money.