Everyone’s favourite comfort television is sticking around for the near future.
In need of a good cathartic cry? Put on an episode of This Is Us.
The enormously successful television series about the intertwining lives of three siblings and their parents, told in flashbacks and the present day, is one of the best pieces of comfort pop culture out there. The grooves of its particular family drama are well-worn and familiar – spending time with the Pearson family is like settling into a warm bath. You know what you’re in for. And what you’re in for is floods of tears.
It tugs at the emotional heartstrings, This Is Us, which is why it has struck a chord with millions of viewers around the world. And it’s also why the big-hearted series has been renewed for three more seasons, slated to begin filming later this year.
Television network NBC has announced that This Is Us will return for a fourth, fifth and sixth season after its third and current season finishes airing this year.
“In a television landscape with nearly 500 unscripted series there are very few, if any, that have the cultural and critical impact of This Is Us and we couldn’t be more proud to bring fans three more seasons of a show that so well represents the NBC brand,” Lisa Katz and Tracey Pakosta, presidents of scripted programming for NBC said in a statement. “A huge thank you and congratulations to our executive producers, cast and crew who reach new heights every week with the show’s inventive and compelling storytelling.”
Stars Mandy Moore, Chrissy Metz, Sterling K Brown, Justin Hartley, Jon Huertas, Milo Ventimiglia, Susan Kelechi Watson and Chris Sullivan will all be returning for the fourth season, even though on the show Ventimiglia’s character has died. The nature of the series’ timeline and its use of flashbacks means that, Iron Islands style, what is dead may never truly die. Also, it’s just a pleasure to watch Ventimiglia on screen, isn’t it?
Showrunner and creator Dan Fogelman has already written the first episode of the fourth season, and teased to audiences that the next there seasons will see an expansion in plot as the narrative of this one particular family becomes even more wide-reaching and relatable.
Fans wondering about the future for Randall (Brown) and Beth’s (Watson) marriage, and the health of Kate’s (Metz) premature baby, will get their answers in season four, Fogelman said in an interview with Variety. He also said that season four will focus on Rebecca (Moore) and her relationship with her father, a new character that has yet to be cast.
“Our world’s going to expand a little bit in a really interesting way,” Fogelman told Variety. “I think where we’re starting the season is as ambitious as we’ve been, kind of like storytelling way. We have a plan; we’re at the midpoint. We know where we’re doing, we know what we’re doing. I’m more excited about the back half of the plan than the front half.”
Though fans of This Is Us will be happy with the news that they’re getting three more seasons, they would be wise also to prepare themselves for its inevitable ending.
Fogelman hinted to Entertainment Weekly that he thinks that, right now in the third season, the show is at its midway point and that he has planned an ending already. “In speaking purely about the characters’ stories, I think we’re in the middle of their stories,” Fogelman said. “If you were in a movie theatre, you’d be at the one-hour mark.”
The stars of This Is Us, including Ventimiglia, have spoken about wanting to keep their options open and explore further series if the interest was there. But Fogelman might be suggesting that this renewal will be the television show’s last. If the midway point is season three, then it stands to reason that the series finale will be coming at the end of season six.
“We aren’t just throwing things on TV to throw them on TV,” showrunner Isaac Aptaker added to Entertainment Weekly. “Whenever we make a decision, we know we have a plan in place… [W]e have a plan here, like a complicated long novel. We know where it’s headed, and we hope to be doing it as long as people want us to do it.”
Whatever happens, get the tissues ready. The only way This Is Us will end is in tears.