In 2012, seven years after its premiere, the series won the People's Choice Award for Favorite Network TV Comedy, and Neil Patrick Harris won the award for Favorite TV Comedy Actor.
The ninth and final season began airing on September 23, 2013, and concluded on March 31, 2014, with a double-length finale episode, which received polarized reviews from critics and fans alike for its controversial twist ending, as many critics and fans believed it contradicted many of the previous episodes.
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The role of Barney was initially envisioned as a "John Belushi-type character" They then cast Cobie Smulders for the role who, at the time, was fairly unknown.
Bays and Thomas later said, "Thank God we did for a million reasons...
The show's frame story depicts Ted (voice of Bob Saget, uncredited) verbally retelling the story to his son Luke (David Henrie) and daughter Penny (Lyndsy Fonseca) as they sit on the couch in the year 2030.
This future-set frame is officially the show's "present day" and How I Met Your Mother exploits this framing device in numerous ways: to depict and re-depict events from multiple points of view; to set up jokes using quick and sometimes multiple flashbacks nested within the oral retelling; to substitute visual, verbal or aural euphemisms for activities Ted does not want to talk about with his children (sexual practices, use of illicit substances, vulgar language, etc.); and even to add some elements of humor: in the episode "How I Met Everyone Else", Ted describes his dates with a girlfriend whose name he has forgotten, leading all characters to act as though her given name were "Blah-Blah"; later in the series, Ted remembers her name as Carol.
The series was created by Craig Thomas and Carter Bays, who also served as the show's executive producers and were frequent writers.
Mac Laren's, an Irish bar in the middle of New York, in which some of the show is set, is loosely based on four favorite bars of Bays, Thomas and others from the Late Show staff.
They include: Mc Gee's, a Midtown tavern near the Ed Sullivan Theater where the Late Show is taped; Mc Hale's, a legendary Hell's Kitchen bar which closed in 2006; Chumley's, a since-closed historic Greenwich Village pub; and Fez, another closed bar on the Upper West Side.
The lives of all characters are entwined in each others.
The series explores many storylines, including a "will they or won't they" relationship between Robin and each of the two single male friends, Marshall and Lily's relationship, and the ups and downs of the characters' careers.