July 16, 2009 at 08:15 PM EDT

After getting snubbed for four consecutive years, How I Met Your Mother finally scored an Emmy nomination for best comedy series this morning. And the news just gets better: I now have a legitimate excuse to get exec producer Craig Thomas on the phone and grill him for scoop on season 5! Um, I mean congratulate him on his Emmy nod!

Thank you. And thank you for supporting our show. You always have our back and we appreciate it. We got a kick out of seeing our show on your Dream Emmy Ballot.

I’m happy to help. The show always felt like such an underdog. But this year you set ratings records and now you’ve got an Emmy nomination.
It’s funny because when you don’t get nominated you find yourself being, like, 17 years-old and going, “The prom is stupid!” because no one asked you. But deep down you want someone to ask you. It is kind of nice to get asked to the prom and put on a tux and all that.

Neil is hosting this year. Is the ceremony going to be one big HIMYM lovefest?
Clearly if How I Met Your Mother wins the Emmy for best comedy there’s going to be a huge investigation into Neil’s backstage behavior. There’s going to put a steroids-like asterisk next to our win.

Jeremy Piven didn’t make the cut in the supporting actor category so Neil stands a really good chance of winning this year.
I have this horrible fantasy that Piven’s still somehow going to win. Until I see someone else walk up and get that award I think Piven is the frontrunner.

While I have you in such a good mood, how about some season 5 scoop?
For a long time the mother was in this big vast ocean of New York City; she could be anyone. And we ended the season with Ted teaching at Columbia University — literally in the same room as the mother. So that has added a great suspense element in the writing. We’ve gotten some great material out of that, including a whole story that plays almost like a horror movie. Suspenseful ominous music is playing and at any point Ted can round a corner and run into the mother. It’s been a really nice engine for writing the season so far.

Don’t you have to wait until the final episode of the series to reveal who the mom is in order to stay true to the premise?
You could certainly argue that. I don’t want to say which way we’ll go with that, but I think it’s a very valid argument.

Ted, Robin, Barney, Marshall, and Lilly remind us all of the joy of slap bets
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