It’s hard to say goodbye, as fans of the heartbreaking hit show This Is Us know all too well.
But producers hinted that the Pearson family could leave TV much sooner than their dedicated audience might like.
In a new interview with Deadline, showrunners Isaac Aptaker and Dan Fogelman revealed that they have a detailed plan for "about" three more seasons of the show.
While nothing is set in stone yet, the producers say that this will be a "elegant" and "satisfying" way to let the show’s unresolved plot lines bear out, without overstaying the show’s welcome.
Fogelman also teased that he’s had the show’s ending planned from the very start, so it won’t feel like the show is being hastily wrapped up. He even revealed parts of the dramatic final scene have already been filmed.
This Is Us was America’s fourth most-watched TV show in 2018, according to the ratings trackers at Nielsen, but there’s no telling what the future could bring.
Even beloved shows like Grey’s Anatomy and The Big Bang Theory have seen viewers lose interest after more than a decade on the air.
Of course, the producers don’t really have the final say in whether This Is Us ends. If audiences keep tuning in year after year, the show could easily stretch past the six seasons they have planned out.
But in any case, Aptaker and Fogelman don’t want audiences to be upset by the news
"I would hope that when we reach our ending," Aptaker said, "people think it's a really satisfying end place that makes sense, and it feels like they've watched something that is a complete piece of work because that's really how we're trying to plan it."
"We've had this end in mind for a long time, so we're able to plan for it and try to make it feel like it's a whole, as opposed to a series that's going to go endlessly."
It’s certainly better news than fans of Criminal Minds received when the crime drama was brought back for one final, shortened 15th season earlier this year.
The This Is Us producers say next season will be one of "new beginnings and restarts" for the cast, so there's still plenty of reasons for fans to tune in.