Why 'This Is Us' Ending Isn't Surprising

Fans of the Pearsons were devastated to find out that This Is Us will reportedly be coming to an end after the sixth and final season. The Hollywood Reporter broke the news, and NBC is expected to release an official statement on Friday. While no details have been revealed about the final season, it is reportedly 18 episodes long, bringing the series' episode count to 100 and lining it up for potentially lucrative syndication deals.

While many viewers were devastated at the news that the weepy drama would be coming to an end, anyone who has been paying attention to showrunner Dan Fogelman shouldn't be surprised that the series is coming to an end after six seasons. NBC renewed the series for Seasons 4, 5 and 6 in 2019, and Fogelman had said at the time that he was plotting out the endgame and that the overall story arc had reached a "midpoint."

"We’re roughly in the middle of where the television series is going to go," Fogelman explained at the time. "We never set out to make a television series that was going to last 18 seasons, so we have a very direct plan. I have script pages I have written and I’m writing that really are deep, deep, deep into the future. We have a plan for what we’re going to do, and I know what the plan is." NBC Entertainment co-president Paul Telegdy was asked about whether or not those were the planned final seasons at the time, replying "Dan is a maestro and has a plan for this show."

Fogelman reiterated this plan in 2020, after he was asked whether the pandemic and the difficulties that it brought to shooting television would drive his decision to end the show after season six. However, Fogelman made it clear that he has always planned on six seasons to tell the Pearson family saga and had not deviated from that. "NBC doesn’t like when I… I drop through the floor if I talk about it too literally," he joked. "But I think our plan has not changed for the show… My plan has not changed. Does that answer your question without saying anything?"