'How I Met Your Mother': Ashley Benson connects with Barney

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ashley-benson-how-i-met-your-mother-gi.jpg "Pretty Little Liars" star Ashley Benson will catch the eye of one of "How I Met Your Mother's" regulars come January.

Benson has booked a guest spot on the CBS comedy, the network says. She'll appear in an episode scheduled for Jan. 21 as a -- to quote the CBS tweet -- "????" for Barney ( Neil Patrick Harris).

TVLine reports that Benson will be an "unconventional love interest" for a member of the gang -- but stops short of saying it's Barney. If it is, that would mean another obstacle to clear before the inevitable Barney-Robin ( Cobie Smulders) reconciliation that leads to the wedding we've seen teased countless times on the show.

On the other hand, she could be tied to Barney in some other way (a long-lost little sister, maybe?) -- which would mean another member of the group falls for her. But we may be parsing things a little too much there.

What do you think of the casting? Thoughts on how Benson's character will fit into the story?
Photo/Video credit: Getty Images