‘This Is Us’ Will Tackle Coronavirus ‘Head On’ — But When Will It Return?

Break out the masks. This Is Us season 5 will tackle the coronavirus pandemic, creator Dan Fogleman confirmed in a new tweet.

“Some vague #ThisIsUs answers (sorry),” the writer, 44, began on Sunday, August 16. “Not sure yet on production start. Not sure when new eps will air. Yes on Covid. We’ve decided to attack things head on. Very proud of @ThisIsUsWriters.”

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Season 4 of This Is Us ended on a very intense note in both present time and in the flash forwards. In present day, Kevin (Justin Hartley) and Randall (Sterling K. Brown) had a massive blowout and threw some extremely low blows. Kevin said the worst day of his life was not when their father died but when their parents brought home Randall; Randall told Kevin that their dad died disappointed in him. Kevin also found out he was expecting twins with Madison (played by Fogelman’s wife, Caitlin Thompson).

This Is Us Will Tackle Coronavirus Head On Justin Hartley Sterling K Brown
Justin Hartley as Kevin and Sterling K. Brown as Randall on This Is Us. Ron Batzdorff/NBC

In the flash forward to about eight or nine years later, while looking at their ill mother (Mandy Moore) about eight or nine years later, the brothers share a half hug.

It’s not clear as to how coronavirus or the pandemic overall will be written into the story line — will it be something they talk about in past tense during the flash forward scenes? Or will the present day story include masks, quarantining, etc.

It’s also unclear as to when This Is Us will be back. Over the past four seasons, the drama has debuted during the fourth week of September. Filming, however, usually begins in early July.

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The Pitch creator also noted in his tweet that the series ending — which he already decided on and has actually already filmed a few scenes for — will still go as planned and it will include the “same route to get there.”

This Is Us Will Tackle Coronavirus Head On Dan Fogleman
Dan Fogelman at a ‘This Is Us’ brunch panel in August 2019. Photo by Frank Micelotta/20th Century Fox Television/PictureGroup/Shutterstock

In January 2020, he told The Los Angeles Times that they’ve “always known the plan” for the show as a whole.

“If you know where you’re going, you’re just playing with time. It feels like a page-turner because we’re telling the story about a family over the course of 80 years by the time we’re done. And so all of our families could seem really interesting in that way,” he said at the time. “We’ve all lost parents, experienced the birth of children, had divorces, wound up with people we didn’t expect. And if you told that whole story broken into different chapters and mixed up all the pieces, it would have made your family’s stories seem like a mystery. That’s all we’ve done here. It’s not like we’re telling a murder mystery.”

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The series, which has been renewed through season 6, will eventually end on a “normal” note.

“I think by the time we’re in our sixth season, you’ll have a lot of the information about what’s happened to this family and what will be left is some resolution,” the Crazy, Stupid, Love writer said. “I think when the show eventually comes to an end, I think in the best way, it’ll be very quiet and normal. That’s always been the plan, because at the end of the day, it’s a story about this kind of regular family.”

This Is Us season 5 is set to debut on NBC Tuesdays in the fall.

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