How I Met Your Mother: Producers Reveal Original Backup Ending, Cast Addresses Approaching The End

CBS’ “How I Met Your Mother” is getting closer to taking its final bow this March, but if the plug had been pulled way back in Season 1, Ted would have found love with a different character, show producers revealed.

It should come as no surprise to fans of the comedy that the “Mother” Josh Radnor’s Ted talks about on the show could very well have been Victoria, who was played by actress Ashley Williams.

“Before we got our back nine [episodes in the first season], I don’t think we even — I don’t even know we ever consciously said this out loud… Ted meeting Victoria happened at the end of Episode 12… and I think there was a feeling of like God forbid the show just gets yanked, it would be great to – it would have been Victoria, probably,” Executive Producer Carter Bays told reporters as the cast and creators gathered for one final Television Critics Association panel session, held on the show’s set on Wednesday night.

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With renewal after renewal of the series, producers were able to draw out the reveal over eight seasons, finally introducing her in May 2013 – The Mother or The Girl with the Yellow Umbrella, played by Cristin Milioti.

Executive Producer Craig Thomas said the 200th episode of the show will look at her side of the story, and the real romance between Ted and The Mother.

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“We’re gonna get some more glimpses at their relationship for sure and some big moments in it and there’s also this wonderful episode - our 200th episode — that fills in the eight years in the life of The Mother that we’re really excited about,” he said. “There’s a lot of fun intersections between her life and our gang. So our gang is in that episode, but it’s her episode and I feel like that kicks off the end game of the season and the series where you’re gonna see more of her and Ted and learn more about them and that episode kicks that off beautifully.”

With just 11 episodes to go, knowing they will be saying goodbye to the show not for a summer hiatus, but for the last time, is not something that has gone unnoticed by the cast and producers.

“We’re saying the word ‘last’ a lot more than we ever did,” Neil Patrick Harris said when asked about saying goodbye during the panel. “For a TV show, you’re always hoping that it goes on and on and on and on as long as it possibly can and I think that [because the producers] had an eight, nine year plan for it meant that we knew it was going to come to an end, but we never really [talked] about the end. So this season has been filled with a lot of us saying, ‘Oh.’ We were walking down here just now saying, ‘Oh, this is our last TCA panel,’ wistfully.”

For Director and Executive Producer Pamela Fryman, she has noticed the shift in emotions as they edge closer to the end.

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“There are absolutely days that are tougher than other days and there have been table reads that we’ve had recently where we certainly are feeling that the ending is near and it’s really — it’s hard,” she said.

“I love these people,” she continued. “This has been the most spectacular nine years. … It doesn’t do it justice to tell you all how great it’s been because it’s so much better than that and because I’m the oldest person on this panel, I’ve gotten to do a lot of other shows and I can tell you what we have here is truly special. This doesn’t happen all the time. So there are moments that are absolutely tough. It won’t be impossible until the very end, but then it will absolutely be impossible.”

-- Jolie Lash

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