‘This Is Us’ Creator Dan Fogelman Reveals Details About the Early Episodes of Season 6: ‘We’re Really Going to Stay in the Present’

The mystery surrounding the Pearson family’s future in This Is Us is part of what makes the show so enthralling. But, unfortunately, fans will have to wait a little longer to have all their questions answered. Dan Fogelman, the creator of This Is Us, promises that the slow pace is intentional and will pay off by the time season 6 comes to a close.

'This Is Us' Season 6 stars Sterling K. Brown, Chrissy Metz, and Justin Hartley, in character as Randall, Kate, and Kevin Pearson, pose together for promotional photos. Brown wears a dark red sweater and glasses. Metz wears a green dress. Hartley wears a brown jacket.
Sterling K. Brown as Randall, Chrissy Metz as Kate, and Justin Hartley as Kevin | Photo by: Joe Pugliese/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Dan Fogelman teases the first few episodes of ‘This Is Us’ Season 6

Before the This Is Us Season 6 premiere, Dan Fogelman sat down with Entertainment Weekly to discuss the final episodes. He also revealed how much the first batch of episodes takes place in the future.

“Not a lot in the early part of the season,” Fogelman shared. “The early part of the season pretty much stays in the present day, except for when we’re going back in time for Jack and Rebecca. And then there’s a clear shape to our season as we move forward. On occasion, you’re getting glimpses of things in the future — the way we do give you an endpoint until you learn how we get there. But for the most part, we’re going to really stay in the present.”

He added, “[The premiere] is nostalgic. It’s reflective. This season’s going to have a nice, quiet, slow pace to it, intentionally. And some things need to be set up to then explode later or come to fruition later. So these first episodes are doing the job to — hopefully in an entertaining and fulfilling way — set the table for some really big stuff that’s coming down the pike.”

This Is Us has rarely let down its fans, so season 6 should be no different. The audience will have to be patient and enjoy the ride for the beginning episodes.

‘This Is Us’ Season 6 is the most ‘ambitious’ season yet, according to the creator

When asked to use one superlative to describe This Is Us Season 6, Dan Fogelman replied, “By the end, it may be the most ambitious.”

He explained, “How we’re playing with the form to get to the point where I’ve wanted to get to since the beginning has required a lot of planning.”

“What we’re asking of some of the actors — particularly Mandy Moore right now — is beyond ambitious,” Fogelman said. “I’m hesitant to say [that season 6 is] more emotional because then there’s 9,000 things about how much people cry [laughs], but as the season builds and builds, and as you feel it come to an end, I think you’re going to feel the weight of that emotion as well.”

Going off of all of the This Is Us cast interviews and teaser videos leading up to season 6, it’s safe to say that fans will need at least one tissue box per episode to dry all their happy and sad tears.

Dan Fogelman reflects on the final season’s premiere

While speaking with Entertainment Weekly, Dan Fogelman provided some inside scoop about the This Is Us Season 6 premiere.

“We’re coming off an ending of the previous season that had a bunch of big moves for our characters,” he said. “You saw Kevin essentially get left at the altar. You saw that five years in the future, Kate is marrying somebody who’s not Toby and who is a co-worker of hers. We’ve seen that Kate and Toby are going to be trying a version of a longer-distance marriage for a moment in time. We have seen Rebecca worrying about where her health is going next.”

The This Is Us creator continued, “So as we pick up on [the Big Three’s] birthday, a lot of those stories are getting continued, and we’re finding these characters in a different place and time — certainly from where they were at the end of the season, but especially from where they were when they started the show. That first episode is really about marking where these characters are now versus where they were five years ago.”

This Is Us Season 6 premieres on Jan. 4 at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.

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