Merry Christmas, 'How I Met Your Mother' fans. After months of deliberation and uncertainty over which direction the long-running CBS series would take toward introducing its titular character, 'How I Met Your Mother' is officially taking the long way through season 9. The renewal came as a close call, with Jason Segel's departure all-but-assuring that 'How I Met Your Mother' would end with the current season, but what changed his mind for season 9?

'How I Met Your Mother' fans rest assured, this season won't be the last for Ted, Barney, Robin, Marshall and Lily. According to Deadline, deals between the full cast and crew are all but assured to lock down a ninth season come fall 2013. Details are still forthcoming, but series creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas previously expressed a desire for a potential ninth season to run a full 24 episodes rather than a truncated final year.

Supposedly the negotiations for 'How I Met Your Mother' season 9 came down to star Jason Segel, who had expressed a desire to move on from the series and focus on his abundant film career. Segel apparently held out until the very last minute, all-but- assuring that 'HIMYM' would end after the current season, but relented in the end out of solidarity and camaraderie with cast-mates Josh Radnor, Alyson Hannigan, Neil Patrick Harris and Cobie Smulders.

Series creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas previously indicated that they were writing the current season to be the last, but had a plan in place to write for an additional season if CBS negotiated the multitude of deals. After the recent mid-season finale "The Final Page," Bays and Thomas were soon to reach a writing crossroads and needed a decision from CBS before the end of the month. Creators, cast and crew are all keeping silent for now, but the official announcement is expected to come at the January TCA press tour.

Well, what say you? Are you happy to have 'How I Met Your Mother' back for a ninth season, or would you prefer the current be the last, and introduce the titular mother already? Sound off in the comments!