In Depth

CBS Orders 4 More Scripts for ‘Mother,’ Boosting Likelihood of Renewal

CBS is giving “How I Met Your Mother” a big vote of confidence, ordering four additional scripts of the Monday night hit.

The scripts are for the 2009-10 season, and the early order is designed to give producers a head start on planning the show’s fifth year. While technically not the same as an early renewal, the script order makes it a virtual certainty that “HIMYM” will be back next fall.

CBS has previously kept “HIMYM” fans and producers on pins and needles regarding renewals, often waiting until May before giving the show the greenlight for another season. But given the penny-pinching ethos at all the networks these days, it’s hard to imagine CBS executives spending money on four scripts of a show it doesn’t plan to bring back.

Helping the case for “HIMYM”: The show is having a stellar season in the ratings, adding 33% more viewers compared with last season, according to Nielsen. It’s now the third most-watched comedy in TV among adults 18-49, behind only “Two and a Half Men” and “The Office.”

“HIMYM’s” success is part of an overall Monday night comedy surge for CBS.

News of the “HIMYM” script orders comes as CBS and Warner Bros. continue discussions over multiseason pickups for “Two and a Half Men” and “The Big Bang Theory.” The studio also is hoping to get another season for “The New Adventures of Old Christine,” which is just a couple dozen episodes away from being syndication-worthy.