How I Met Your Mother’s Final Season Premieres Tonight

HIMYM Season 9 Premiere

[] It’s (almost) happening! ‘How I Met Your Mother’ returns for its final season TONIGHT, and we have pics & video from the show’s long-awaited union.

America finally caught a glimpse of How I Met Your Mother‘s mysterious titular character on the eighth season finale; and now, as the CBS sitcom launches into its ninth and final season, it’s time for the rest of the cast to get acquainted with Cristin Milioti‘s game-changing persona. The Sept. 23 premiere will find the gang coming face to face with “the mother” for the first time, and based on these sneak peeks, it’s definitely been worth the wait.

‘HIMYM’ Season 9 Premiere

Are you ready for the longest weekend of your life? HIMYM‘s final season takes place solely during Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) and Robin’s (Cobie Smulders) wedding weekend, where Ted (Josh Radnor) met his own bride for the first time — but she’s not the only new face joining the cast.

The Sept. 23 season premiere, a special one-hour event, also features appearances by Sherri Shepherd – she has the unfortunate honor of sitting next to Marshall (Jason Segel) on a flight, as he talks her ear off about his problems with Lily (Alyson Hannigan) — and Whose Line Is It Anyway? funny man Wayne Brady.

Josh Radnor & Cristin Milioti Talk ‘The Mother’

CBS recently sat down with Cristin and her soon-to-be on-screen husband Josh for their thoughts on the mother’s highly anticipated reveal.

“I thought it was really smart to introduce her at the end of last season,” Josh says. ”Now, it seems like they’re threading her through the [final] season.”

As for what we can expect from the character, Cristin says, “I think she’s a lovable nerd. She’s a history nerd, she’s a bit of a music nerd, she’s a literary nerd, she’s very funny [and] hopelessly awkward. She’s actually a little bit like the female version of Ted, I think.”

“It really is a dream come true. That’s not a PC thing I’m just saying. That’s actual fact.”

WATCH: ‘HIMYM’ Season 9 — Behind The Scenes