Wait For It…..

Maureen Ryan has what may well be The Longest How I Met Your Mother Post ever. But with interviews with co-creator Craig Thomas and Neil Patrick Harris, and information on everything from the upcoming Britney Spears appearance to the impending return of Robin Sparkles (her touching ballad “Sandcastles in the Sand” is sure to be quite a jagged little pill to swallow), it’s never dull.

HIMYM returns tonight with a St. Patrick’s day episode — as the post above reveals, it was originally written as a New Year’s episode, but was delayed due to the strike — and the Spears episode is next week. The plans for the last nine episodes of the season sound very promising, but we’ll have to see if it’s enough to save the show. Putting it after The Big Bang Theory (which gets better ratings) seems like a good idea, since part of HIMYM’s problem may be that it was never the kind of show that could lead off a lineup at 8 p.m. on Mondays. It may do better with a lead-in. But the show still has the basic problem that while it looks like a traditional multi-camera sitcom, its complicated time manipulation and convoluted continuity (I can’t imagine how confusing some of the jokes must be to someone who hasn’t been watching since the beginning) makes it a less than perfect fit with CBS’s multi-camera comedies. Though honestly I can’t think of any shows with which it would be a better fit, on CBS or elsewhere.

By the way, have you ever noticed that when a show has two showrunners, there’s usually one showrunner who handles most of the interviews? Craig Thomas did the above interview, and also kindly consented to provide some quotes the last time I wrote about HIMYM, and he did most of the talking to the press about the Spears appearance. Similarly, Matt Stone does most of the run-of-the-mill interviews for South Park (run-of-the-mill definitely including Maclean’s), one of the creators of Reaper seems to do more interview quotes than the other, and so on. Not that the other showrunner in these cases is incapable of talking to the press, but that it’s probably about division of duties: one producer takes on more of the burden of promoting the show and answering press inquiries while the other one concentrates more on something else.

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