Confirming what many who watch the show have long suspected, How I Met Your Mother co-creator Carter Bays told a TCA audience today that the CBS series has had no specific discussion regarding a set end date, and would be perfectly content to just go on like this beyond next year’s contracted eighth season. “Oh, we’ve talked about it, because we’ve gotten that question a lot,” Bays said while presumably stretching lazily and pausing to fix himself a mint julep, as he breathed in the warm California air. “I imagine when we’re going into the final season, we’ll get people hip to that. But right now it’s hard for us to say it will be May 14, 2000-whatever. It will happen when we’re officially out of ideas.” Bays did promise, however, that he still has an “endgame” in mind, one that definitely involves future Bob Saget finally telling those poor, surely exhausted kids how he met their mother already, provided they haven’t died of neglect during one of his rambling, uncomfortably personal tangents.
In the meantime, Bays isn't willing to put a definitive eight or even nine-season cap on the show—nor is co-star Jason Segel, who said he’s willing to stick around however long it takes for it to reach a “natural conclusion.” That open-ended deadline should give them plenty of time to figure out who they’re going to cast as said mother, at least, with E! quoting Bays as saying, “There's one school of thought where she turns around and it's Jennifer Aniston, some huge star. Or you might want someone you've never seen before." And who knows? With the show in no hurry to wrap up, the actress who ends up playing the mother may not even be born yet.