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This Is Us Season 6 Release Date, Cast, And Plot - What We Know So Far

Over 5 million people tuned in to the Season 5 finale of "This Is Us" last week, according to Deadline. This does not include all those who eagerly watched the episode on Hulu when it was made available on the streaming platform the next day. With a crazy twist ending at the end of the finale, as well as the popular series confirmed to be ending after Season 6, it's safe to say that fans have the Pearson family on their minds.

The time-hopping drama, created by Dan Fogelman, focuses on the Pearson family, spanning multiple decades of their lives. The earlier timeline shows Rebecca (Mandy Moore) and Jack Pearson (Milo Ventimiglia) as they raise their three children. The "present" timeline depicts those three children as adults — 36 at the start of the first season — with their own families, as they navigate their own adult lives, including the long-lasting effect of their father's death when they were teenagers. As the series has progressed, it's even showcased scenes from future timelines, going as far as to show the youngest generation as adults.

Following the shocking finale of Season 5, fans are itching to know more about the upcoming final season. Here's everything we know so far.

When will Season 6 of This Is Us be released?

Fans of "This Is Us" are likely used to its airing schedule and know that the series has historically begun its seasons around September. A September start date is pretty typical for most network television shows, which often go on break mid-season before coming back at the start of the following year to complete it.

Season 6 of "This Is Us," however, will be doing things a bit differently. NBC confirmed to TVLine that its final season will air "mid-season" — in other words, it'll premiere in early 2022, instead of September of 2021, without that mid-season hiatus. Susan Rovner, NBC Universal Television's Chairman of Entertainment, told the outlet that this decision was made so that the episodes can all air back-to-back with "the least interruptions possible." Rovner added that they "want to honor the fans by making sure [they] have the best viewing experience possible."

In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, star Chrissy Metz, who plays Kate Pearson, spoke about her excitement for the changeup in the airing schedule. She told ET, "It's sort of like, 'Thank you for sticking with us, here's a whole season in its entirety ... [It'll be] really nice to have all the episodes together."

Who will be in Season 6 of This Is Us?

For the final season, we can expect to see all of the key players of the first five seasons coming back in order for their stories to be wrapped up. This, of course, includes Rebecca and her three now-adult kids, Kate, Randall (Sterling K. Brown), and Kevin (Justin Hartley). And, as we know, Jack is no longer around, but if the first five seasons are anything to go off of, we can expect to continue seeing him through flashbacks.

Each of the "Big Three" Pearson siblings have intricate family ties of their own. Kate and her husband, Toby (Chris Sullivan), have hurdles ahead of them to be worked out, including continuing to raise their two children — both of whom we've seen as adults in flash-forwards. As such, we can expect to see the adult actors, Blake Stadnik and Adelaide Kane, return as well. Randall's family will return as well, including his wife Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson) and their three children, Tess (Eris Baker), Annie (Faithe Herman), and Deja (Lyric Ross). 

We've also seen each of Randall's daughters as adults in flash-forwards, so their actors can likely be expected back as well — Iantha Richardson as Tess, Iyana Halley as Annie, and La Trice Harper as Deja. Finally, Kevin's future storyline will involve his infant twins — who we've seen in flash-forwards as young kids — as well as the mother of his children and his once-fiancee, Madison (Caitlin Thompson).

Finally, a Season 5 guest star has been promoted to series regular to the final season — Chris Geere, who plays Kate's boss turned (future) love interest Phillip (via The Hollywood Reporter). This brings us to where Season 5 left off and what to expect plot-wise in the final season.

What will Season 6 of This Is Us be about?

The big twist of the recent finale came at the very end of the episode in a flash-forward about five years down the line from the present day: Kate is getting married again to her boss, Phillip, which hints that her marriage to Toby fell apart. That's just one of the many questions fans want to be answered in the show's final season; others include what Rebecca's future looks like with her Alzheimer's diagnosis and who Kevin ends up with.

Following the Season 5 finale, creator and showrunner Dan Fogelman spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about what fans can expect for the final season. He suggested that Season 6 will be "ambitious in terms of the way it jumps time, and even more ambitious than other seasons." Namely, much of the focus will be on two time periods we've seen from flash-forwards so far: a few years ahead of the present around Kate's wedding and further down the line around 15 years ahead with the family gathering as Rebecca gets significantly sicker. Fogelman also explained that the show will delve into both failed marriages shown in the finale — Kevin's and Madison's, which never came into fruition, and Kate's and Toby's, which will eventually end. 

Fogelman also confirmed that another marriage that will receive substantial attention is that of Rebecca and her second husband, Miguel (Jon Huertas); while fans know they've been married for several years, their backstory and coming together has remained fairly elusive. Finally, the last season will reveal the show's conclusion, which Fogelman has had planned for quite some time now. He told THR that he has thought of "images of scenes and lines of dialogue" that he eventually wants to bring to life.