How I met Your Mother, Cobie Smulders

Cliff Lipson/CBS

Super Bowl Sunday? Pshaw.

It's all about Super Bowl Monday, which, as fans of the best heartwarming comedy on TV already know, is of far greater importance than that other sporting event I hear some people watched yesterday. (Just kidding, I love baseball...It was baseball, right?)

See, Super Monday is actually the theme of the latest and greatest episode of How I Met Your Mother, which airs tonight and is the first of four all-new episodes in February. To celebrate, I suited up (Barney would be proud) for a chat with executive producer Craig Thomas, who reveals why February will be a different kind of Mother than you've seen before. And even more fascinating (at least to me): He tells me why he isn't afraid of spoilers anymore:

The season has been phenomenal so far. So how do you top that for February sweeps? Our goal this season, especially with February sweeps, is to do the biggest, most awesome stand-alone episodes we can. We love the drama element and we love the larger storyline of the series, and we will come back to that at the end of the year, but February sweeps is the best goddamned How I Met Your Mother episodes we can possibly do and we have four of them. I know you hate spoilers, but what can you tell us about the next episodes? I'm not afraid of spoilers. The first episode [which airs tonight on CBS] is about how the gang can’t watch the Super Bowl, because they have to go to a funeral. So, they can’t find out what happened in the Super Bowl until Monday night at seven when they can all watch it on TiVo, and it’s the biggest thing in America—how do you avoid that? We had so much fun. Emmitt Smith guest stars, and Barney has a lot of money on the game and gets handcuffed to the radiator, because he doesn't trust himself to not find out what happened. Um, rewind. Did you say you're not afraid of spoilers anymore? Yeah, thanks to people like you, and you have always been so kind to the show, there are lots of ways to find out what’s going on with How I Met Your Mother. When we had the Robin Sparkles episode, it was leaked ahead of time. We actually changed the title of the episode, because we didn't want people to search that and find out too many things. But now, we've really loosened up about spoilers. The sitcom world is not an easy world and, hey, anything you can do to get people to watch the show! We want people talking about the show even when it's not on the air, and that's really hard when you're talking about a comedy. Wow. Okay. So tell me everything that happens for the rest of the season! I know you won't. But let's just see how much you'll spill. Like I said, each episode has its own little world, and there’s a great episode that deals with destiny. Ted misses a flight to Chicago, and the whole episode is about [that]: Why did he miss this plane? Whose fault is it? Ultimately, it’s about those little things in life that you don’t do—maybe there was a reason. Maybe he would have never met the mother if he made that flight. Wait, does that mean he meets the mother in that episode?! You'll see. And then the year ends where we get into Lily and Marshall getting married and Ted and Robin at a major crossroads. We have a really interesting way we portray what goes on with Ted and Robin that I won’t talk about now. Lots of big stuff happens at the end. At this point, how much of the show is based on what actually happened in your own lives? The Ted and Robin storyline, not very much at all...because I don’t think [co-executive producer] Carter Bays has met someone as awesome as Robin. Marshall and Lily, I feel like we do continue to draw stuff from my wife and I. The lead-up to the marriage and inviting people you didn’t mean to invite, we're getting to relive all that now. It's fun. Previous Story: Lost Is Back! And So, So Good
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