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'How I Met Your Mother' producers 'optimistic' about season 9

An image released by CBS of the “How

An image released by CBS of the “How I Met Your Mother Cast.” From left, Jason Segel, Alyson Hannigan, Cobie Smulders, Neil Patrick Harris, and Josh Radnor are shown in a scene from “How I Met Your Mother.” Photo Credit: AP

BEVERLY HILLS -- "How I Met Your Mother," TV's shaggiest dog story, enters its eighth season in September, but how much longer this tale keeps spinning has been of concern to fans and CBS alike. Co-creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas have said there's an endpoint for this hugely successful series. They just haven't said when, nor has CBS.

But at Sunday's TV critics tour here, CBS Entertainment chief Nina Tassler said the network is "in early conversations" with the producers "and we're pretty optimistic" about a ninth season.

She added that "they have a very strategic wrap-up to the show [and] they know we want the show to come back" in 2013, so "we are having conversations right now about extending it."

CBS News to keep 'Face the Nation' hourlong format. "Face the Nation" was launched nearly 58 years ago, but over much of its history trailed "Meet the Press." No longer -- it's been Sunday's most-viewed network public affairs show in recent months, thanks in part to an hour expansion that began in the early spring on a trial basis. On Sunday, CBS News announced the program would be permanently expanded to an hour.

Separately, CBS News chairman Jeff Fager, who is also executive producer of "60 Minutes," was asked if there were plans to add a new commentary segment to "60," replacing Andy Rooney's popular feature, which aired from 1978 until just before his death in November. "We're in no hurry" to find a replacement, Fager said, adding that the show will add more viewer mail, feedback and updates next fall instead. "We don't have anybody in mind for that position."

Fager also deflected a question about last week's abrupt replacement of Erica Hill with Norah O'Donnell on "CBS This Morning."

"It really is about Norah and her abilities. I feel like where we are going with the broadcast, she's just a perfect fit."

Jason O'Mara tweaks Fox over 'Terra Nova' cancellation. It's rare that a star raps a competing network at one of these events but Jason O'Mara, starring on CBS' new drama "Vegas," couldn't help himself. Fox, he said, took "an awful long time to make what was ultimately a premature decision" -- canceling "Terra Nova," which he also starred in.


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