With a ninth-season renewal still up in the air, the coming eighth season of "How I Met Your Mother" is being laid out as if it's the last.
Creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas spoke to reporters Tuesday. CBS, 20th Century Fox TV (the show's producer) and the cast, whose contracts are up at the end of the season, are currently in talks about a ninth season.
"We're in an odd conundrum of not knowing whether this season is the last or not," Thomas said. "We're writing this season like it's the end. We'll have a sort of Plan A, Plan B going, and we're approaching the moment where those plans diverge."
"It's going to be more and more work that we have to throw out if this isn't our last season," Bays added. "We'd like to know as soon as possible. If this is the last season of 'How I Met Your Mother,' it's everything we've dreamed of and more -- that being said, do we have a ninth season within us? Absolutely. We could do a ninth season, if it was possible."
Should the tales of the gang run their course, Bays and Thomas would like to give a wink to its past guest stars.
"We have a plan to bring back many people we've had on the show," Bays said. "Not to steal their idea, but I loved the 'Seinfeld' finale where you saw everyone that's ever been on the show. We have a way to do it that sort of fits in with the universe of our show."
But, hey, it's too soon to mourn the passing of a show that hasn't officially been pronounced dead, right? Here are some tidbits about what to expect this season:
--The mother's ankles, which made their debut a few seasons ago, make their return -- and so does the yellow umbrella! The day Ted (Josh Radnor) meets the mother is revealed.
--Baby buzz kill? Not so fast! Just because Marshall (Jason Segel) and Lily (Alyson Hannigan) have a new bundle of joy sucking the life out of them, don't expect it to change the dynamic of the show too much, the creators assured. But also, don't expect not to see the baby. "I'd like to think that we are tending to the fact that they have a baby more than other shows have," Thomas said. "But the baby doesn't take over the show."
--Team Robin (Cobie Smulders) and Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) take it all in. Last season's finale flashed forward to their wedding, and we'll see how that came into play for the two. "I think we've come up with a fun, weirdly appropriate way to get them back together," Thomas said.
--"True Blood" star Joe Manganiello comes back in November as Marshall's law school friend. "It will be Marshall's biggest trial that he's ever had and Joe is involved," Thomas said. "We set it up last year, with Martin Short's firm."
--Oh, and Robin Sparkles hasn't made her last appearance ...