This Is Us fans are in the midst of an emotional roller coaster as the series time-jumps its way to its final episodes. The writers and actors are as hot as ever, with the last two episodes featuring some MVP-caliber performances but were so heartbreaking I was left sobbing long after the episodes ended, and that’s not an exaggeration. Just as we’re getting back into our Tuesday night groove, This Is Us is going on a three-week hiatus for the Winter Olympics, and although that’s not welcome news to the fans, there's a reason we really shouldn’t be too upset about it.
The Winter Olympics kicked off this week in Beijing, with the Opening Ceremony on February 4, and some of TV’s biggest shows — including Chicago Fire and Law & Order: SVU — will be affected by the schedule change. This Is Us fans, however, aren’t really missing out, Steve Kern, head of scheduling for NBC, explained to Variety, because new episodes wouldn’t have aired on those dates regardless.
So regardless of the interruptions, there were only going to be 18 episodes in This Is Us’ final chapter anyway. Having to break for the Olympics won’t deprive the fans of episodes we would have gotten otherwise. A “better viewing experience” is probably subjective, because I’m sure there are people who would have preferred a This Is Us rerun to the content pre-empting it, but the point is really that we’re getting every last bit of Pearson love that was planned for us.
In fact, this break and one more have been in the plan since NBC scheduled the hit drama to premiere in January. They knew the show would have to work around not just the Olympics but the State of the Union on March 1 as well, Steve Kern said.
It brings me comfort that this hiatus was in the plans from the beginning, and the final chapter will be able to fulfill creator Dan Fogelman’s hopes for the series’ last episodes. Season 5 seemed to be all over the place, with multiple two- and three-week breaks and one unexpected seven-week hiatus. Taking that into consideration, on top of knowing there weren’t new episodes planned for those weeks anyway, the next few weeks should be easier to get through.
This Is Us will return at 9 p.m. ET, Tuesday, February 22, on NBC. In the meantime, check out how you can watch the 2022 Winter Olympics, and take a look at our 2022 TV Schedule to see what shows are premiering soon.
Mom of two and hard-core '90s kid. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Can usually be found rewatching The West Wing instead of doing anything productive.
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