Carter Bays and Craig Thomas

Comedy Impact Report '08: Tube Titans

Though never an awards favorite but reliably popular with its fan base, “How I Met Your Mother” came into its own last season with an arc in which Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) and Robin (Cobie Smulders) spend an ill-fated night together. It could have been nothing more than a comedic blow-off, but the coupling had emotional resonance.

“When we came out of the strike, we went to the ‘break the glass in case of an emergency’ story, which was getting Barney and Robin together,” says Carter Bays, one half of the exec producer duo.

Higher ratings have followed the compelling storylines. Comparing the first five shows this season to last, the show is up a very healthy 24% in the 18-49 demo, and 15% in overall viewers. And the move from 8 to 8:30 p.m. on Monday seems to have helped, too.

“We’ve spent the last four years honing all of our respective crafts,” Bays says. “You just get better at it,” agrees Craig Thomas.

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