‘This Is Us’: The Show Was Originally Titled ’36’, Here’s Why It Changed

It’s undeniable that This Is Us has been NBC’s biggest show in the past decade. Devoted fans have tuned in every week since the premiere in 2016 to see the Pearson family grow and endure trials and tribulations. Unfortunately, it’s all coming to an end after the sixth season. But as we look back on the years spent with the Pearsons, we wonder if things would be different had This Is Us kept its original name.

'This Is Us' actors Sterling K. Brown, Justin Hartley, and Chrissy Metz, in character as Randall, Kevin, and Kate in the show, gather in a backyard. Randall, wearing a maroon blazer over a blue plaid shirt and jeans, sits in a lawn chair. Kevin, wearing a gray jacket over a black shirt and light black plants, leans against a pole. Kate stands in front of them wearing a yellow and white floral dress.
Sterling K. Brown as Randall, Justin Hartley as Kevin, and Chrissy Metz as Kate | Photo by: Ron Batzdorff/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

‘This Is Us’ creator reveals the original name for the show

Per Glamour, This Is Us was not the original title of the NBC show. Dan Fogelman, the creator of This Is Us, revealed, “It was originally called 36, which is the age they’re all turning at the beginning.”

Fogelman added, “I didn’t like it. I had done a series of movies where I had never titled them, and no one can agree on the title. I threw 36 on it, and then I never liked it. Nobody ever liked it. I came up with This Is Us, I think, when I was in editorial. I decided I liked how it looked at the beginning [of the show], and I put it in there. But, there was a lot of debate over what the title of the show was gonna be.”

Titles are quite important for television shows. And we wonder if more or fewer people would have tuned in to that first episode of This Is Us had it been called 36. We’ll never know the answer, but we think that This Is Us has done just fine for itself throughout its six seasons.

‘This Is Us’ has won many awards during its run on NBC

Throughout its five aired seasons, This Is Us has been widely celebrated by fans and television show critics. The series has received Primetime Emmys, Critics’ Choice Awards, Golden Globes, and everything in between. It’s safe to say that This Is Us has been a massive hit.

Sterling K. Brown’s portrayal of Randall, in particular, has gained a lot of attention. The actor received an Emmy, a Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild Awards, a Critics’ Choice Award, and an NAACP Image Award for This Is Us.

After This Is Us Season 3 ended, NBC renewed the show for three additional seasons. This is quite rare in the television industry and almost unheard of. But now that This Is Us Season 6 is approaching, it’s time for fans to say goodbye to the Pearsons.

The show is coming to an end with ‘This Is Us’ Season 6

In May 2021, NBC announced that This Is Us Season 6 would be the show’s last. And while some fans might be sad that it’s ending, star Milo Ventimiglia, who plays Jack, believes that this is the right time to end the series.

Ventimiglia told Extra, “The opportunity to wrap things up in a very thoughtful way with purpose and intention, I think, is more important and more impactful than just kind of floundering through, having filler episodes just to fill air, to fill space. It feels like there’s more intention, which feels … right, especially for the show.”

The actor also believes that the ending is rather epic. Ventimiglia said, “I’ve got an idea of how I would want it to end, but I also know how it does end. My version is completely shadowed by how great of an ending Fogelman has come up with.”

The final season of the NBC show, This Is Us, premieres on Jan. 4 at 9 p.m. ET.

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