Since the show came out in 2005, it has appeared only on Monday nights. The largest markets for TV are Wednesday and Thursday Nights. The most watched show for the last 8 Years, American Idol has shown on Wednesday and Thursday, not Monday.Actually, for the last 30 years, the most watched show for each year always appeared on Thursday. That means, the best shows are competing for that prime spot Thursday nights. Don't believe me, here was this season's Thursday night line up.
MTV : Jersey Shore
FX : Always Sunny in Philadelphia
NBC : Community, The Office, Parks and Rec, 30 Rock [Out Sourced]
ABC : Grey's Anatomy, Private Practice
Fox : Glee, American Idol,Bones
Of course, there is more, but just look at that line up. Competing against that is like playing in the All-Star Game. How I Met Your Mother, finished with two million less viewers than GLEE, which had all of that competition. The key thing to understand here is market share. The market is not as tough on Monday, so it is easy for How I Met Your Mother to succeed, because frankly there aren't as many "All-Star" shows. Instead everyone goes after that Thursday night slot [which is stupid if you ask me].
Some things to note, Modern Family has the same approach as How I Met Your Mother. It is on Wednesdays, where its main competitor is American Idol Wednesday (the singing portion, not the vote off show). Since it has a lack of competition, it ranks fourth on market share with 12%. Parks and Recreation has the opposite effect, it is punished for being on Thursdays, pulling in a sad 7% of the Market. Something to note here is that Modern Family is on its second season while Parks and Recreation is on its third season. How I Met Your Mother ranks (25th) with 10% of the market.
Well isn't Monday Night Football a problem? No sweat move the show time.Once ESPN gained the rights to show Monday Night football, (2006) CBS moved the show time to 8:00 from 8:30 to avoid losing all those manly dads who dream of telling their kids about how they met there mother, then watch some men crush each other.
What amazes me the most is how long this show survived. Shows with terminal starts (meaning they start with an ending, like Lost) typically suffer after three seasons. Think of it this way, its like a person telling you a story, but it just wont end. Ok I got it, you wrecked 6 cars on your route, but how did you get there already. There have been 2640 minutes of How I Met Your Mother aired already. If anyone ever took that long to tell me a story I probably wouldn't be friends with them.
Prediction : Sooner or later, the producers are going to have to cut the show. If they are not idiots like those that produced Jericho they will start the season letting everyone know it is going to end that season (just like lost did). I just hope Ted doesn't come on the screen and say, sorry kids you are adopted, so i never actually met your mother, if so i can promise you i will sue CBS for all my lost minutes watching that show, and even its repeats.