When Dan Fogelman originally sat down with NBC executives to discuss what would become “This Is Us,” he came prepared. Walking them through the first few seasons of the show, he even suggested that a major character’s death could time out as a post-Super Bowl episode. (It did.) And if you ask him today if he knows where his hit series is headed, his answer is a resounding yes. He’s even got 35 pages of the final episode — some three seasons away — written out.
But that makes him a rare beast on broadcast TV. “I’ve made a lot of two-year shows,” he says. “The odds of being able to stay on the air long enough to execute a long-term plan are so slim, it feels like a fool’s errand.”