Happiness is a Warm TV

What to Watch on Monday: The end of the ‘How I Met Your Mother’ story

“How I Met Your Mother” stars (from left) Jason Segel as Marshall, Josh Radnor as Ted, Neil Patrick Harris as Barney, Cobie Smulders as Robin and Ben Vereen as Rev. Sam Gibbs.
“How I Met Your Mother” stars (from left) Jason Segel as Marshall, Josh Radnor as Ted, Neil Patrick Harris as Barney, Cobie Smulders as Robin and Ben Vereen as Rev. Sam Gibbs. Richard Cartwright/CBS

How I Met Your Mother (8pm, CBS) - There’s a lot of speculation about what will happen on tonight’s series finale, but the only things we know for sure are that Barney and Robin finally get married, there will be a ring bear, and Ted’s storytelling concludes. One of the strongest finale theories floating around is that the nine seasons worth of Ted telling his kids how he met their mother is all because the mother has died. There are many compelling arguments for this theory (if you’re unfamiliar, I’ll let you do some Googling), but the biggest argument against it is that – as we all know – very, very little of this story has been about the mother at all. And the show’s creators and executive producers, Carter Bays and Craig Thomas, have maintained that they knew the ending of the show when the series started nine years ago and that they have never swayed from that ending. Also, Alyson Hannigan (Lily) recently told Jimmy Kimmel, “it’s not a sad show.” Hmmm. Well, we’ll see. 

The Voice (8pm, NBC) - Recently uncoupled Coldplay singer Chris Martin begins his stint as advisor.

Friends with Better Lives (9pm, CBS) - Behold the first episode of a disappointing new sitcom about a group of thirtysomething friends in various stages of romantic entanglement. There’s the happily married (and in a rut) married couple; the friend on the verge of marriage; the friend on the verge of divorce; and the single friend. Somehow, they’re all a little bit jealous of everyone else’s situation. The gang: Will ( James Van Der Beek) is the divorcing best friend of Bobby ( Kevin Connolly), who is married to Andi ( Majandra Delfino). If you’ve ever watched (and grown to hate) “Entourage,” good luck getting past Connolly. For my money, he’s the weakest link here. Brooklyn Decker plays Jules, who meets Lowell ( Rick Donald) on vacation and falls in love. Zoe Lister Jones (you’ll recognize her if you watched “Whitney” on NBC) plays the single – and allegedly superficial (Hey, maybe she just knows what she wants!) – friend, Kate. In the pilot at least, Kate gets the best lines – which can’t be printed on a family newspaper website. And that leads us to the very CBS-ness of this latest offering: there’s some pretty raunchy talk here, which should make it right at home with “2 Broke Girls” and “Mom” (both shows I so far find funnier than this one) and “Two and a Half Men.” In the post-HIMYM world, this moves to 8:30.

The Following (9pm, Fox) - A massacre leads Ryan and Mike into dangerous territory, while information about a potential new leader is revealed. Elsewhere, Joe continues training the Korban cult and confirms plans with Emma.

The Blacklist (10pm, NBC) - The team targets the Undertaker, a life insurance figure who steers ordinary people into becoming contract killers. Elsewhere, Liz and Red try to unearth Tom’s secrets.

Intelligence (10pm, CBS) - The first season ends with Gabriel and Riley shocked to discover there are foreign sleeper agents in the U.S. government. Even more surprising? The identities of those spies.