Sitcoms are a notoriously tricky beast to handle in terms of success, simply because if a show grows enormously in popularity and critical regard, so will the cast members who feature prominently in it, therefore leading to tempting offers for them from higher-profile projects. “How I Met Your Mother” is a sterling example of such a conflict, with a breakout cast including Jason Segel, Neil Patrick Harris, and Josh Radnor, who have established major careers outside of the show, but nevertheless CBS are still confidently pushing for a new season.
Negotiations have begun between CBS and 20th Century Fox to keep their ratings-darling for a 9th season, and obviously their cast along with it, but in terms of ensuring that goal, the odds are about even. Executive producers Carter Bays and Craig Thomas‘ contracts don’t extend past the 2012-2013 eighth season, nor the cast’s, so if a ninth season is in the works, you better believe everyone involved will be asking for a heftier paycheck for their work. That said, Segel has been the most vocal about potentially leaving the show, telling GQ in a 2010 interview, “I think after eight years, I’ll feel like I honorably did my commitment.”
Segel has kept busy enough since his start on ‘Mother’ in 2005, lending a hand to basically every comedy or family film from the past few years, while co-star Neil Patrick Harris has charmingly lobbied a case for hosting every ceremony dedicated to the arts. Even Josh Radnor, the main character on the show, could be tempted with his new gig directing features like “happythankyoumoreplease” (although please, not like that) and his recent Sundance hit “Liberal Arts.” Not to mention that Cobie Smulders is now part of the Marvel universe, thanks to a role in “The Avengers.” Adding a trump card in the cast’s favor at the negotiating table is the show’s recent resurgence in viewership with 8.5 million watching over the course of the seventh season. [Variety]
‘HIMYM’ may have just found total support on the executive side, but one show that proved a solid relationship on both network and creative sides during Comic-Con this year was FX‘s “Sons of Anarchy,” with the panel — the last in Hall H’s hectic schedule — drawing a crowd of thousands still. After revealing a seven-minute preview of the show’s 90-minute Season 5 premiere, creator and showrunner Kurt Sutter told the audience he’d “love to do a prequel about the formation of the club,” bringing up a direction teased before that has only grown faster toward becoming a reality. As for the new season, which starts airing Sept. 11th, expect roles for Joel McHale and Ashley Tisdale, alongside the usual gang of Charlie Hunnam, Katey Sagal, and Ron Perlman. “Where we’re going I’m not really sure but I know it’s going to be fraught with tension and possibilities,” Perlman offered, and for anyone who’s caught a glimpse of the show, they’ll know that statement to be more than accurate. [Deadline]