Q: I am a huge fan of "How I Met Your Mother," almost to the point it drives my wife nuts! I have read the most recent articles I could find on whether season eight will be the last for the show, and most of what I found said that the show and CBS are still in talks about going into season nine. If this turns out to be the last season for the show, how far in advance do the producers need to have an agreement with CBS for a season nine so that the show can be written to a proper conclusion in time for the end of this new season, considering the continuing storyline that the show has? - Robert, 53, Economy, Pa.

A: Good question. At the TV critics press tour in July, CBS Entertainment President Nina Tassler was asked just that question. She said CBS would like the show back for a ninth season.

"Well, we're not there yet in terms of resolving the season," Tassler said. "We're in early conversations, and we're pretty optimistic."

So that doesn't really answer your question, but considering that shows are usually in production through late March or early April, I think CBS has some time. I'd say a decision probably needs to be made by sometime in February, sooner if the goal is to wrap up stories in more than just a couple of episodes.

Q: I have not seen anything about "A Gifted Man" in the fall lineup. Will it return? I thought the show was well-acted and -presented. - Sharon, Johnson City, Tenn.

A: Sorry to report that "A Gifted Man" was canceled by CBS in May.

Q: How do TV networks decide what programs to offer On Demand? It seems that some networks, specifically CBS, are only hurting themselves by not offering programs On Demand or online. - Heather, 32, Mount Washington, Pa.

A: Each network has its own priorities and strategy when it comes to making content available online. It's a new area, and no one has set upon one "right" way to manage the availability of programming on multiple platforms. Another factor: Sometimes networks don't own the shows they air, and they don't have a deal with the producing studio to put a program online. To further complicate matters, network strategies continue to evolve, so the timing of when shows are available online or On Demand can change.