Photo Credit: RON P. JAFFE/FOX
If you're still a fan of CBS' How I Met Your Mother after six seasons of never finding out who the freakin' mother is, then chances are you watch the show for other reasons. You enjoy the humor, perhaps. Or you glean dating tips from Barney (Neil Patrick Harris).
But as we enter season 7, creators Craig Thomas and Carter Bays say that they might soon deliver on the details the show promises in its title because it may be near the end of its run. "Right now we're contracted to go through Season 8, and at that point, there is every chance that that's the end of 'How I Met Your Mother,'" Bays tells AOL TV. "If that's the case, then that's our end point."
With just two seasons left, story lines will have to start wrapping up. And that would sure be nice, since last season just opened up new mysteries. In the season 6 finale, viewers were shocked to see Barney at a wedding altar. The episode left fans wondering about the identity of his bride -- who is she, and how did this happen?
"That's Season 7 -- how he gets to that church, puts on that tuxedo and ends up moments away from marrying somebody." Thomas tells TV Guide. "We love the storytelling challenge of showing how this character is so notoriously and proudly single, who has always hated the notion of marriage, getting there."
And if the show does end after Season 8, then of course we'll learn about Ted's (Josh Radnor) future wife the following year. "I can tell you we're going to fill in pieces of the puzzle now since we know Ted meets the mother at Barney's wedding," says Thomas. "We sort of did that because ultimately, we like the idea of further complicating the mystery."
Meanwhile, in the season to come, Ted will finally have a chance to sow his oats. "He's a hotshot architect having his building built in New York City," says Thomas. "He's realizing, 'Wait a second. I'm kind of a catch right now.' His stock is very high and he's dealing with the fact that he's very attractive to the ladies at the moment. He's struggling with whether to take advantage of that or stay on track of trying to find the right person to settle down with. Is this the moment to work it a little bit? He's a little torn."
As for Lily (Alyson Hannigan) and Marshall (Jason Segel), "the pregnancy and a baby will open up more stories," says Thomas. "And Marshall is still unemployed at the start of Season 7. He just learned he's going to be a father, but he doesn't have a job. We'll eventually see Marshall land at an environmental law firm with [guest star] Martin Short."
Fans of Lost might remember that that series began to come together once the producers had a firm end date in sight. Hopefully, that will happen here, too. The storylines are already in place for the season to come: "We know exactly the ending minute or two of Season 7," says Bays. "It's going to take place in the future at that wedding day and we're going to end Season 7 there. It's going to be something! And we'll also end with a baby being born and then head into 8. And maybe there'll be more."
Of course, right now the plans to end the show post-season 8 are still tentative. CBS might want it to continue if its top hit, Two and a Half Men, begins to slide in the ratings without Charlie Sheen.
"We are open to doing this as long as we feel we have stories to tell, and, of equal importance, as long as people want to watch it," says Bays. "If it still feels exciting going into a Season 9, then we'll keep doing it."
So maybe next year we'll know who the "mother" is. And…maybe not.