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    TV Press Tour '07: How I Met Your Mother Season Three Scoop

    How I Met Your Mother: Neil Patrick Harris Robert Voets/CBS

    OMG, Barney Stinson got nominated for an Emmy! A round of celebration drinks at McLaren's on me!

    Yes, as anyone who reads Korbi's Quickie knows, I'm a psychotic Neil Patrick Harris fan and couldn't be happier for the man. And yesterday, he accompanied How I Met Your Mother cocreators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas to an informal press conference, where we were given the opportunity to grill 'em. The following is a full rundown of what you missed. In the meantime, I'm running off to the CBS party, so I can formally congratulate the guy.

    Even the Publicists Are Awesome:  As the session began, CBS rep Beth Haiken asked “anyone here who is not currently awesome to stop and start being awesome instead.”

    They Kid, They Kid:  Before any of us could ask a question, Carter Bays addressed the absence of Ted, Robin, Lily and Marshall: “We should just get into it, as far as where everyone else is. You'll probably read it in the paper, it was just creative differences, but—the other four—we'll figure it out. We'll write around it.” No, come on, this cast totally hearts each other. Neil informed us that Cobie Smulders is up in Canada working on her Shakespeare chops and the other three are enjoying their summer.

    What Is This, LostAccording to Carter, there have been little clues laid out over the past two seasons that hint at whom the mother could end up being, as well as various other storylines: “Sometimes we plant things intentionally. Sometimes things grow out of little [lines or mentions]. We'll write one joke in season one, and that will turn into an entire episode in season three.”

    Robin and Ted Are Totally Kaput:  If you thought Robin and Ted's breakup was unusually amicable, and they could work things out, think again. Said Carter, “We sort of explore [the breakup] in the first couple of episodes. But beyond that, they've had their relationship. They tried it out. It didn't work. So now the future is wide open.” Moreover, the season-three premiere delves directly into Ted's search for the mother of his children. “The last episode [of season two] felt, to us, like opening a new chapter. Almost like a pilot for a new show, because it's Ted out there, Ted and Barney out on the town. It's going to be a whole new world for Ted Mosby and Barney Stinson.”

    Marshall Has a Heavy Hand:  When a reporter brought up the infamous "slap bet," Neil admitted Jason was “devilish” with the palm-to-cheek contact. The good news? We get to see the second installment of it this season. Said Carter, “In the first episode, Barney is sitting at his computer, just there at work, or whatever. And he gets a phone call from Marshall, who's like, 'Hey, check your email.' So, Barney opens up his email from Marshall and there's a link to a Website. It's slapcountdown.com. And it's going to literally be a ticking clock...to when the slap will occur.”

    Flashback  Though we've already heard about how Barney lost his virginity, we might actually get to see it happen this season! Said Craig: “He lost it to his mom's 45-year-old friend Rhonda, who smells like menthol cigarettes. And we're going to see that story and what it does to Barney in present day.” Neil also shared the possibility of seeing hippie Barney again, as Craig and Carter enjoy delving into each character's past so very much. “We find a lot of rich material is there.”

    Growing Up and Moving On?  The guys wouldn't say whether or not Ted is still living with the newlyweds when HIMYM returns, but they're definitely going to be exploring it. Taking a cue from their own personal lives, as they often do, Carter and Craig bought homes this past year, and some of that pain will spill over into the show: “One of the sort of general arcs of the season is Marshall and Lily dealing with their housing situation. We want to do the story of Marshall and Lily buying an apartment in New York and making every mistake you can possibly make. We're also going to deal with Marshall's career. He just graduated from law school. He wants to be an environmental lawyer. He's going to find out that when you have $100,000 in law school debt, that's maybe not the best financial decision.”

    Brotherly Lovin':  The guys are actively trying to bring Wayne Brady back for an additional episode. Said Carter: “He will figure into the story of Barney's first love, the woman he lost his virginity to.” Said Craig: “We're going to see Barney's gay, black brother before he was gay and acting very macho, totally overcompensating.”

    Can't Get Enough?  The HIMYM team will be posting racier, raunchier versions of scenes on their Website this season. It'll be called “How It Really Happened” and will include the parts of the story that grown-up Ted can't actually tell the kids!

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