This Is Us' Not on Tonight, New Episodes Not Returning Until 2021

Fans tuning in to NBC at 9 p.m. ET on Tuesday night will be in for a bit of a disappointment as This Is Us will not be airing. The reason for the absence of a new episode was part of NBC’s winter schedule and not due to the holiday week. The fifth episode of This Is Us will not air after the holiday season completely wraps up, meaning fans will have to wait until Jan. 5 for the fifth season to resume.

Mandy Moore, who stars as Rebecca on the series, provided some further information on her Instagram about the prolonged break. Part of it has to do with the pandemic and post-production editors' strain having to put together episodes in a quick turnaround, much faster than usual. There are also the difficulties that all of the safety protocols have placed on filming and the cast, so the time off will give them a much-needed break.

Fans of the series have been treated to a fascinating first four episodes of Season 5. The show tackled the pandemic head-on in the first episode, showing the characters wearing masks and talking about the strain COVID-19 has had on their on-screen families. The new season has taken the Big 3 into some new territory. Randall, played by Sterling K. Brown, has switched therapists, whom he now sees via Zoom, continues to take on local politics and has taken his daughter’s boyfriend under his wing. Kevin, played by Justin Hartley, is an expected father who moved in with the woman bearing his child, whom he barely knew beforehand. Then there’s Chrissy Metz’s Kate who has befriended her and Toby’s surrogate mother.

Dan Fogelman, the creator of the hit NBC series, told Deadline after the premiere that the show was eager to take on the pandemic and felt it was necessary considering the impact it has had on the world. “Obviously it’s something that’s happening to many people all over the country and all over the world right now,” Fogelman rationalized. He also hinted that the season will continue to dive into Rebecca and Miguel's relationship, a story that has prominently been featured but never fully delved into. The first episode featured them more than usual, but Fogelman suggested it will be something that the season continues to evaluate, “It becomes a bigger part of the season in the back half of this season and heading into next,” Fogelman explained. This Is Us will air on Tuesday, Jan. 5 on NBC at 9 p.m. ET.