This Is Us is the most popular show on television right now. Everyone has fallen in love with the Pearson family and their struggles through life, from miscarriages to addiction to the loss of a loved one.
But even the most die-hard fan of This Is Us probably doesn't know these secrets, revealed by creator Dan Fogelman. Fogelman is a fan of the show himself, even if he knows what's coming.
"I love the actors," Fogelman told Glamour. "It always surprises me what they do. And to feel an audience roll with a show and laugh at the right points and get the sniffles [at others] is very rewarding."
It Wasn't Always Called "This Is Us"
"It was originally called 36, which is the age they're all turning at the beginning," Fogelman reveals. "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."
Dr. K Has A Sentimental Name
"I’m a huge New York Mets fan, so [ballplayer] Dwight Gooden was Dr. K (because the symbol for a strikeout in baseball is a K)," Fogelman told Glamour. "And I always thought, 'that would be a funny thing to nickname a doctor. My wife’s father’s side of the family are Katowskis—Polish—and I always liked the name. So, I put that name in there for [her] side of the family."
NBC Has Some Say, But Not A Lot
"They always said early on, 'When you go off the air around Christmas time, if there was some sort of cliffhanger that can lead into the break, that would be good,'" Fogelman shared. "We had always known this thing with Toby was gonna happen around that time, so that was a little guided by that. For the most part, though, [NBC's] notes have been kind of small and smart."
Age Is Just A Number
Mandy Moore has a unique challenge, which is that she has to play multiple ages of the same character.
"At first I was really excited and selfie-ing it up," Moore says of her "grandma" version of Rebecca. "Now, it’s like, ‘Here we go again!’ It takes about three and a half hours. It’s not an easy process. But I’m so grateful. Who gets to play a character from 27 to 66? I feel really lucky.”
There Was Never Hope For Jack
One of the biggest plot mysteries is how Jack Pearson dies. Fans often wish that he could still be alive to help the family with their issues, but Milo Ventimiglia says it was never an option.
"No, Jack was dead from the beginning [even though they removed that line in the pilot]," said Ventimiglia. "But life happens, death happens. Having Jack be gone in the present day gives so much to the [adult] kids [to play].”