'How I Met Your Mother' officially renewed for 9th and final season

We won't meet the Mother until season 9, but hopefully early

<p>The &quot;How&nbsp;I&nbsp;Met Your Mother&quot;&nbsp;gang will be back for a ninth and final season, now that renewal is official.</p>

The "How I Met Your Mother" gang will be back for a ninth and final season, now that renewal is official.

Credit: CBS

It's official: "How I Met Your Mother" has been renewed for a ninth and final season.

And we won't be meeting the Mother until that season. Although in theory, we'll get some time to know her before things end.

CBS and 20th Century Fox Television finally closed the deal to bring the entire cast and crew back for a ninth and final season, when, according to the press release, "audiences will final learn the identity of the ‘Mother.’"

When a premature report suggested the renewal was happening around Christmas-time, I suggested that all the dithering suggested that the "HIMYM" creators were going to take the title of the show literally, no matter what, and push the meeting off until the very end of the series. But a few episodes ago, the show committed to Robin and Barney's wedding — the event where Ted meets the Mother — happening in May of 2013, and on a press conference call yesterday, co-creator Craig Thomas said that "That will definitely happen. We are heading toward a set date. We set it on TV and we will stick to it. We've been seeing glimpses of this wedding for like three years — we have to get there already, right?"

The wording of the press release, though, makes clear that even if we see the wedding before this season is out, we won't be seeing all of it, and that the moment of the night where Ted bumps into his future wife will be held off at least until next season's premiere. It would be hard to imagine Thomas and Carter Bays dragging it out past that point, but then, we're already pretty much past the point where Ted could realistically father a daughter who, in 2030, looks like Lyndey Fonseca (who plays Future Ted's daughter) did back in 2005.

If we fade to black this spring before the Mother shows up, but get most or all of a ninth season to get to know her, I can live with that. "HIMYM" isn't what it was, but perhaps introducing the woman of Ted's dreams into the mix can revitalize the show in the same way she'll finally make its main character happy.

Alan-sepinwall-sm
Alan Sepinwall
Sr. Editor, What's Alan Watching
Alan Sepinwall has been reviewing television since the mid-'90s, first for Tony Soprano's hometown paper, The Star-Ledger, and now for HitFix. His new book, "The Revolution Was Televised," about the last 15 years of TV drama, is for sale at Amazon. He can be reached at sepinwall@hitfix.com
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