Meet ‘How I Met Your Mother’

Posted: January 28, 2009 in around town, how i met your mother, tvweek articles
Cobie Smulders, left, Alyson Hannigan, Neil Patrick Harris, Jason Segal, Josh Radnor, co-creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas, director/executive producer Pamela Fryman, co-executive producer and unit production manager Suzy Mamann-Greenberg and production designer Steve Olson.

Cobie Smulders, left, Alyson Hannigan, Neil Patrick Harris, Jason Segal, Josh Radnor, co-creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas, director/executive producer Pamela Fryman, co-executive producer and unit production manager Suzy Mamann-Greenberg and production designer Steve Olson.

“How I Met Your Mother” is the little show that did.

“It took three and a half years, but people are really catching on,” star Jason Segal said at a panel for the show held by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences on Jan. 27.

CBS, which kept the cast and crew waiting for a renewal for each of the first three seasons, seems to agree. All five cast members have extended their deals with the show through a possible eighth season.

“Mother” is known for its playful use of time, narrative and POV, drawing comparisons during the panel to a sitcom version of “Pulp Fiction.” Trying to figure out who the mother is, online fans often are sent into a tizzy of clue-descrambling akin to another show that likes to play with time.

“The bloggers are amazing,” said Neil Patrick Harris. “They keep everyone on point and hypothesize. It’s like an episode of ‘Lost.’” Mr. Harris had a gee-whiz moment of his own during the evening.

Online speculation has surfaced about upcoming guest star Laura Prepon, who plays Ted’s high school girlfriend Karen. Karen taught Ted everything he knew, Josh Radnor explained, which makes her even more pretentious than college-student Ted.

Not everything is a clue, however. Production designer Steve Olson admitted that a letter hanging both in one-time fiancée Stella’s apartment and behind Ted’s kids in the future is just a coincidence.

The show is beloved for its relatable stories about friendship, love and work. Creators Craig Thomas and Carter Bays Mr. Bays and Mr. Carter said they draw many storylines from the real experiences of the shows’ writers and their friends, including this season’s “The Naked Man” episode and season one’s cockamouse storyline (a personal favorite of the Daily Blink’s).

While Mr. Bays and Mr. Carter were tight-lipped about the ending of “Mother” and the owner of the mysterious yellow umbrella, they did offer up plenty of teases for the rest of the season:

—Barney and Robin fans, get happy. Or at least Mr. Thomas and Mr. Bays think you will be come season finale time. Viewers will see more of Robin’s side of the Barney/Robin equation, whose hook-up was preceded by months of debate in the writers room, as the show heads toward its season finale. Cobie Smulders said she was worried at first when the pair slept together, but now appreciates that they did their storyline backwards and a little more modern, with sex coming before love.

The cast of "How I Met Your Mother" channels "I Love Lucy" for a 2006 issue of Emmy magazine.

The cast of "How I Met Your Mother" channels "I Love Lucy" for a 2006 issue of Emmy magazine.

—The show has already filmed its season ender due to the real-life pregnancies of both Alyson Hannigan and Ms. Smulders. As for whether their pregnancies will be written into the show, Bays replied, “There’s too much fun to be had.”

In case you’re still wondering, that’s a no, so you’ll have to wait for those adorable Marshall and Lily babies. But viewers will get to meet Barney’s mom (played by “Six Feet Under’s” Frances Conroy), wife and child in an upcoming episode.

—The infamous goat will “appear in a big way” in the season finale. The creators also teased that they are building a robot goat.

—Next Monday’s episode features Barney singing a song in which 93 of the 100 total words are “awesome.”

—The reappearance of Robin Sparkles is not out of the equation, but it probably won’t be this season and it may be in the form of a prequel. The creators stressed that it’s not about writing the songs, but figuring out how to have another hidden video. Speaking of songs, Mr. Bays and Mr. Thomas had two words for fans hoping for a soundtrack release: “Stay tuned.”

– Written for TVWeek.com

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