This Is Us fans will soon learn when Jack Pearson died, but they’ll be waiting a long time to find out how it happened, series creator and executive producer Dan Fogelman said Wednesday at the Television Critics Association press tour in Pasadena, California.
Teasing next week’s episode as a “big” one that will provide “some information” about the death of Jack (Milo Ventimiglia), Fogelman revealed that the full story of the Pearson family losing its patriarch will be told in bits and pieces over many episodes and seasons. NBC renewed the show for two more seasons on Wednesday.
“There’s a before and after to this family,” Fogelman said. “Before Jack, and after. There’s a hinge in this family, and that will be really interesting to show where that hinge was.” Viewers will first learn when Jack died, he explained. “And then, much later, how, and later you’ll see it [happen].”
Although Ventimiglia doesn’t get to work in present-day scenes with actors Sterling K. Brown, Chrissy Metz, and Justin Hartley, he said he doesn’t feel like an outsider and often spends time on set watching them work. The actor called his role on NBC’s Golden Globe–nominated drama “the best of his career.”
“I had one gal tell me that the work we’re doing was important,” he said of the show’s success. “That’s one of the things that impacted me the most. I think it’s filling a void, particularly in a television landscape that does get cynical, that does get dark, that does get riddled with zombies. It’s more hopeful.”