This Is Us was officially the best show to hit network TV last fall, and it's kind of hard to imagine a variation of this story that we wouldn't like to watch. One little anecdote about the original script, on the other hand, has us thanking our lucky stars we got the Pearson family we know and love instead of the alternative.
According to an in-depth look at the show from The Hollywood Reporter, creator and showrunner Dan Fogelman originally pitched the idea as a film script. The film would have followed eight strangers, building to the final reveal that they were all actually grown-up octuplets. The Big Eight somehow just doesn't pack the same emotional punch as The Big Three, am I right?
Fogelman apparently felt the same way, saying that while he loved each of the characters he created, every time he'd sit down to write, he'd end up asking himself, "What's the f*cking point of this?"
After inking a deal with Twentieth Century Fox Television though, Fogelman finally realized that the script he couldn't quite figure out would become an entirely different animal if adapted for TV, which is where the magic really started to happen. A few of the octuplets obviously had to go, including a soon-to-be divorced sister and a hotshot movie-star brother, but the heart and soul of the story remained — and so did that ever-important twist. With the knowledge that the story would be ongoing instead of a 90-minute standalone, the Pearson family in all their glorious dysfunction was born.
And the rest, as they say, is Emmy-worthy history.
This Is Us returns for Season 2 on Tuesday, Sept. 26 at 9/8c on NBC.