'This Is Us' Season: Why It Will Be the Last Ever Season—And Why It Will Be Delayed

This Is Us is coming to the end of its current season this May, but the show will be back later in the year with Season 6. Fans have known the show would run this long since May 2019, when the show was renewed for three seasons by NBC. However, they did not know until recently that Season 6 will be the last ever set of episodes for the hit emotional drama.

What we know about This Is Us Season 6

The exact release date for the next season has not been confirmed, but NBC has revealed that viewers will have longer than usual to wait before they get their next fix of Pearson family drama.

While all previous seasons of the show (except the current one, which was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic) came in late September, This Is Us is missing from the NBC fall 2021 line-up. This is because Season 6 is not coming to the network until the midseason, meaning fans will have to wait until at least January 2022 before they get to see the last episodes of the show.

Though this means that fans have an eight-month wait for new episodes, it also means that the final episodes of the show will air weekly, uninterrupted by the gaps that network shows have to take to spread them out across a year.

All the cast's contracts were signed up to Season 6, meaning Milo Ventimiglia, Mandy Moore, Sterling K. Brown, Chrissy Metz, Justin Hartley, Susan Kelechi Watson and Chris Sullivan will all be back for one last season.

Though not yet confirmed, the final season is expected to have 18 episodes.

this is us canceled
"This Is Us" is ending after Season 6, which is not coming to NBC until 2022. NBC

Why This Is Us is ending after Season 6

The show definitely has not been canceled due to poor ratings. The show is the fourth highest-rated scripted show on NBC, and the most watched show on the entire network among the 18 to 49 demographic, key to the advertisers that keep networks afloat.

Per its creator Dan Fogelman, This Is Us was always meant to end after its sixth season. And these are not just the words of a man covering the fact his show was canceled—he has been saying Season 6 would be the end since the early years of the series.

After Season 4 ended in spring 2020, for example, he said of Season 6 to Deadline, "That's when the Pearson story will basically come to a close." The previous year he called the Season 3 finale the "midpoint" of the show in a Hollywood Reporter interview, adding: "I think we're roughly in the middle of where the television series is going to go."

Asked whether Season 6 would be the final season in May 2019, NBC co-chairman Paul Telegdy said: "We're keeping it open for now. Creator Dan Fogelman has a plan for the show, for now it's being picked up for three more seasons." At the time, however, there were numerous reports the show would come to an end after Season 6.

When Fogelman first pitched the time-jumping show, it was as a limited series that would have a definitive end. The cast's contracts were also set to end after Season 6.

The This Is Us Season 5 finale airs on Tuesday, May 25 at 9 p.m. ET / 8 p.m. CT on NBC. All episodes so far are streaming on Hulu.