'How I Met Your Mother' has always had a playful relationship with its fans, given that eight years in the show isn't much closer to revealing the titular matriarch.  CBS had previously contracted the show through the recent seventh, and upcoming eighth seasons, but what swirling rumors might keep fans from learning the truth even longer?  And who might abandon the show before the end?

According to Variety, CBS has entered into preliminary talks to extend the run of staple hit 'How I Met Your Mother' through a ninth season.  Currently, all involved with the show, including cast and creative are only contracted through the upcoming eighth season.  The move comes after 'How I Met Your Mother's most recent season experienced an unexpected ratings surge up to 8.5 million, having initially peaked in its ratings around 2008.  'How I Met Your Mother' remains CBS' youngest skewing show as well, with a  median viewer age of 45.  Yeah, seriously.

The move may not be feasible however, as the network would have to re-negotiate contracts for all five series regulars, including Jason Segel, Josh Radnor, Neil Patrick Harris, Cobie Smulders and Alyson Hannigan.  Of course, that's presuming show-runners Carter Hayes and Craig Thomas can be wooed back as well, if CBS isn't willing to move forward without them.

Nearly all of the cast maintains burgeoning film careers, Jason Segel appearing in more and more films while Josh Radnor has continued pursuing directing.  Smulders recently received a career surge in 'The Avengers,' and Alyson Hannigan too appeared in theaters this summer with 'American Reunion.'  Neil Patrick Harris is Neil Patrick Harris, and we should count our lucky stars he does anything, let alone everything.

While Carter Bays and Craig Thomas reportedly have a storytelling endgame in place whether or not 'How I Met Your Mother' season 9 goes forward, CBS may simply be looking to shore up its most lucrative shows, as 'Two and a Half Men' is rumored to be making the upcoming tenth its final season as well.  It's also possible that 'How I Met Your Mother' could continue minus one or more of its current leads, but unlikely.

What say you?  Would you want an additional season of 'How I Met Your Mother,' or would you rather just learn the woman's identity already?  Sound off in the comments below!