This Is Us fans, prepare to be without your favorite family drama for a little longer than usual this spring and summer. The hit show will be ending its sophomore season a little earlier than usual, with the season 2 finale airing Tuesday, March 13 at 9 p.m. ET.
While the move isn't unusual for the series, it is unusual compared to other dramas with longer episode orders; many shows extend into May for the competitive Sweeps Week of spring finales.
NBC and show creator Dan Fogelman voted last year to keep the show on Tuesdays in order to air more new consecutive episodes, rather than move the show to Thursday nights. The Thursday night airings would have extended season 2 later into the year because the newer episodes would have had to compete with Thursday night football and other scheduling breaks.
With the decision to stick to Tuesday nights, This Is Us had to break only for the holidays.
This Is Us' exit will make room for Rise, the new drama about a high school drama teacher trying to reinvigorate his students' desire to perform. The first episode of Rise will air at 10 p.m. ET following the This Is Us season 2 finale, then fall into This Is Us' 9 p.m. time slot for the following weeks.
Tuesday's episode of This Is Us saw Jack Pearson's funeral after dying from a smoke inhalation-induced heart attack after the family's house caught fire. Fans lost their mind during the funeral episode, which turned out to be much more emotional than Super Bowl Sunday's episode that showed his death.
The funeral saw the return of Rebecca's mom, Miguel and other friends and family. Randall gave an emotional speech, saying he wishes to one day find love like the one his dad had for his mother. The real emotions come later, when Rebecca and The Big Three honor their dad by dropping some of his ashes at his favorite tree.
The episode, titled "Across The Border," also saw various flashbacks depicting the Pearson family dynamics through the memory-filled history of their Grand Wagoneer. The episode also saw the return of fan-favorite Dr. K (Gerald McRaney), who stopped by Jack's funeral to give Rebecca some encouraging words after the service.
"As we were shooting that episode, I just kept thinking in my mind for those moments like, I'm floating," she said. "I'm so unconnected and so disconnected from anything and everything around me including my kids. I think she just couldn't find any ground."
Moore also talked about why the funeral was set outside, referencing the time Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) told her that when he died he didn't want to be put underground, but he wanted to be outside.
"...I feel like Rebecca really honored his wishes by having his service outside, and I don't think she was really present at the ceremony, I think she was sort-of going through the motions," Moore added.
“I think that it’s more gut-wrenching than [the Super Bowl episode] because people knew what to expect,” Moore said to Entertainment Weekly. “They were like, ‘All right — this is it.’ You’re bracing for impact. You know that this is the episode where you get all the answers that you’ve been asking since the show started. [With 'Across the Border'], in typical This Is Us fashion, they’ve found a way to meld really beautiful stories from the past to highlight what an incredible example of a man and a father and a husband that Jack was in every sense. They highlight every one of his most winning attributes and couple that with us going through the steps of burying him — of saying goodbye to him.”