8 Questions with HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER Showrunner Carter Bays

how i met your mother cast
Carter Bays, picture right.

By all accounts, heading into the fourth season, HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER is a well-oiled machine. Should loyal fans expect any changes in order to grow the audience? More guest stars perhaps?
Carter Bays:
We don’t really think about that stuff. It’s hard enough coming up with funny stories every week. I think we try to tell all the funny stories we can and leave the job of promoting the show to the publicists and the network. And they’ve done a spectacular job. I think our Emmy campaign was great this year even though we didn’t get nominated. But Neil [Nell Patrick Harris] got nominated, which was great.

Since you brought up the subject, is the lack of Emmy love for HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER a bone of contention for those involved with the show? Because my theory is that Charlie Sheen and the gang from TWO AND A HALF MEN must have some highly incriminating photos of Emmy voters to score all those nominations year-in-year-out.
I take great comfort in the fact that all of my favorite shows in the past never got nominated and I’ll continue to do so until we do get nominated. At which point I’ll disavow any statement like that and say that the Emmy Voters always get it right.

Do you have a favorite episode from last season?
“First Time in New York” was a highlight from last season, and what’s great about it was that it was a nice self-contained story. I think we’re really good at telling a fully fleshed out story, as opposed to “previously on…” or “tune in next week for…”

Does that mean fans should expect less “Mother-Mythology” this season?
I think it’s fair to say that this season we’re not going to lose the serialized elements of the show, especially in the first half of the season. I mean, just based on the stuff we set up in the season finale, there’s going to be a pretty meaty ongoing story.

But I think we’re always trying to find ways to make a show that sort of nudges the bigger story along week by week without making it inaccessible like LOST or 24. Ideally, HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER should be a show you can just dive into.

So you don’t fill HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER with convoluted clues and hidden messages that fans can only fully comprehend after spending 72 hours online?
Not that I don’t want to be exactly like LOST because I love that show to no end.

Are you at all concerned with Jason Segal’s budding movie career?
I’m delighted by it. Nobody deserves it more than Jason. He works so hard and is so tremendously talented. And God love him, he’s tremendously loyal. We’re just so happy to have him week in and week out.

Does his puppet fetish ever find it’s way onto the set of HIMYM?
I don’t know if you saw FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL [I did!]. But the puppets in the film, are his. He’s always been a big puppet guy. In between takes we’ll be sitting around and all of a sudden you’ll hear the MUPPET SHOW theme song and it’s Jason sitting at the piano. As a fan of Jason Segal I’m really excited to see what he does with the movie [Note: Per Variety, Segal has been signed by Disney to develop a new MUPPETS Movie]

For the few readers of theTVaddict.com who have yet to get hooked on HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER, here’s your opportunity to pitch why they should watch the show.
You know, it’s kind of hard to describe. I feel like one the virtues of the show is that it’s hard to sell it in just one line. It’s not like it’s about a guy who can talk to animals. It’s sort of deeper than that. It’s sort of like explaining who you are as a person to somebody. I feel like the charm of the show is the characters and the actors and the sense that you’re watching these people’s lives unfold week by week.

In other-words, as Barney might put it, the show is “Legen… [wait for it]… dary” And you best not miss it’s return to CBS this September at 8:30PM following THE BIG BANG THEORY.

  • Just Jody

    Great interview. Thanks.

  • Thanks for the kind words Just Jody!

  • Josh Emerson

    Good stuff! I’m really surprised by what he considers his favorite episode of last season. Personally I thought “First Time In New York” was one of the worst episodes of HIMYM.

  • Elliot

    thank you for this post, if not only because i’m a huge HIMYM fan.

    but i actually just went back and watched the episode “first time in new york” and it’s way better then i remember it. barneys freeway theory & dirty dancing scene are amazing! and i had totally forgotten barney mentions rhonda as his first time. the episode was just all around good, and i can kinda understand why it be held up. then again i can also understand why it wouldn’t look as good since there are sooooo many legendary episodes in season 2.

  • Alio

    Nice interview, can’t wait for the new season 🙂

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