“This Is Us” has already produced its fair share of twists and turns, but there are plenty more revelations to come.
Showrunner Dan Fogelman teased several developments fans can expect in the second half of Season 1, as well as in future seasons.
NBC gave “This Is Us” a huge two-season renewal of 18 episodes each, and Fogelman insists he was not taken off guard by the unusually large episode order.
“Once the show became quote unquote successful, I’ve known that we were going to do more seasons,” the showrunner told reporters after the show’s recent TCA panel. “I kind of knew the size of this season and imagined that would be what would happen going forward.”
Below, teases and previews from Fogelman on five ongoing storylines.
1. There’s more to the Jack-Rebecca-Miguel story
Rebecca (Mandy Moore) being married to Jack’s (Milo Ventimiglia) in present day was one of the big bombshells the show dropped early on. And how that all came about is an ongoing, unfolding story.
“The question of how she wound up with Miguel is a big question,” Fogelman teased. “Did something untoward happen? Did it happen long after Jack passed away? How did that all – that’s a big part of the discovery of the series. There will definitely be more done with that, but it will be spread out over a long period of time.”
2. Randall’s origin story
There’s also a lot more to discover about William (Ron Cephas Jones) and Randall’s (Sterling K. Brown) birth mother, who was never seen again after an early Season 1 episode.
“We will [learn more], this season,” Fogelman promised, teasing another appearance from Randall’s birth mother. “This coming season, before the finale, you’re going to learn a lot more about William’s character and William’s backstory… You’ll get a lot more information in the back half of the season.”
One more spoiler nugget: She is no longer alive in present day, according to Fogelman.
3. Jack’s fate
Just because we now know roughly when Jack died – when the Big Three were teenagers – doesn’t mean that story is completely told. There are many more holes to fill in.
“It’s going to play out over the course of many, many episodes and even into future seasons,” Fogelman said. “Until you get the full picture of what happened, when it happened and how it happened. It’ll be a much longer [arc].”
4. More stories with supporting characters
One “This Is Us” episode set completely in Jack and Rebecca’s timeline was a delightful surprise for fans as it expanded the world to tell stories about Dr. K (Gerald McRaney), the doctor who delivered their babies, as well as the fireman who brought infant Randall to the hospital.
Expect more of that.
“There are [more stories for periphery characters], especially as we move into the future of the series,” said Fogelman. “The reference I keep giving is, I’m very excited to one day get to a young Gerald McRaney and his wife, who he talks so often about. I’d be fascinated to see them get married, lose a child, start a career as a doctor. As an example, that’s one way you can do it, but there’s many others.”
5. No spinoffs – yet
“Not yet” was the refrain Fogelman stuck to when asked whether NBC’s breakout hit could produce more series centering on other characters outside the Pearson family.
“Rather than doing a spinoff, I’d rather keep it within this series at first,” he said. “We did an episode where Sterling, Chrissy, Justin weren’t in the episode at all and the audience just went with it. In a couple of episodes there’s one that’s entirely Sterling. And I think our audience will go with it if it’s well executed. What would be a spinoff could be done just as an arc or a couple of episodes in our series. It helps to make it so that the series doesn’t become the same thing over and over again and start boring the audience.”
“This Is Us” airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.