Season 5 of This Is Us came to an end recently. But, it was originally meant to be an even longer season. The Wrap reported in April that Season 5 of This Is Us was shortened by two episodes. Like many other shows, the NBC drama's production was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, which is why their episode count was on the shorter side.
While Season 5 of This Is Us was originally supposed to be 18 episodes long, it has since amended that count. Now, the series will air 16 episodes in total for Season 5, with the finale set to air on May 25. The Wrap noted that this is a strategy that many other television productions are implementing, as the reduced amount of time for production could help curb the spread of COVID-19. Even though this news may not be what fans want to hear, there are still three more new episodes of This Is Us, which you can watch on the streaming service Peacock, ready to air on NBC. The next new episode will air on May 11.
Ahead of Season 5, which premiered in October 2020, This Is Us creator Dan Fogelman opened up to Entertainment Weekly about how the show will tackle the pandemic. Considering that the NBC series showcases the characters in different stages in their lives (and across different time periods), it was only a matter of time that they would have to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic just as the rest of the world is in real-time. According to Fogelman, the pandemic has left an impact on the show, but it has also opened numerous doors as far as storylines are concerned.
"[It, the COVID-19 pandemic] has allowed us to stick with our plan for the shape of the characters' storylines, but makes present a whole host of different feelings and issues as we all try to make sense of our world right now," he explained. "There's a lot of things hanging in the balance. And that can often be a meditative time where you're thinking, 'Where does life go from here?' And I think on a macro level, zooming out, I think that's where a lot of people find themselves right now, which is: What happens next? What do I want for my family and for the world right now?" Fogelman said that because of all of these questions and new viewpoints, they have been able to have a more "contemplative" and "meditative season."