Hiding pregnancy on TV -- Suggestions for TV writers looking to cover up stars' real-life pregnancies on shows like ''How I Met Your Mother'' and ''Gossip Girl''

By Dan Snierson
Updated February 27, 2009 at 05:00 AM EST

TV writers must brainstorm clever ways to hide the pregnancies of actresses such as Kelly Rutherford (Gossip Girl), Sarah Shahi (Life), and Alyson Hannigan and Cobie Smulders (How I Met Your Mother). May we suggest this multi-episode arc?

1. Shop Till You Pop
You have a little confession: You’re a shopaholic! Which means that you’ll constantly be toting around bags of stylish goods from your fabulous adventures. Gee, we can barely see you behind all of your spoils!

2. Become a Guitar Hero
Your bill for the shopping spree is $10,000. You don’t have $10,000. (Lily, you lost everything. Um, bad investments.) But wait! There’s a Guitar Hero tournament with a prize of…$10,000! Better practice 24/7.

3. Hide Behind Your Job
Oops. You didn’t win the Guitar Hero tourney. And the bill’s waaaay overdue. And the economy blows. Time to find a second job as a tollbooth operator (kiosk) or maybe a fast-food cashier (drive-through window).

4. Take Comfort in a Snuggie
Moonlighting job plunges you into crippling depression. Spend rest of season on couch, wearing Snuggie and sobbing. Win Emmy for unusually poignant portrayal of crazy person. Thank new baby in teary speech.