It’s hard to imagine a world where This Is Us is anything but a television show, but it turns out there was a point in which the story of the Pearsons could have been told in an entirely different medium.
Trying to unpack the family history of the Pearsons on such a constricted time frame is hard to imagine, but that’s not even the most shocking part of Fogleman’s original script.
Fogleman told The Hollywood Reporter that the first incarnation of the story involved This Is Us centering around the lives of eight strangers. In the end, the film would have revealed that they were all grown up octuplets.
Thankfully, Fogleman realized that focusing his efforts around creating a movie about octuplets didn’t pack a very powerful punch. It got to the point where every time he sat down to write, Fogleman would ask himself the same question: “What’s the…point of this?”
So when did This Is Us make the leap from a film script to a television series? We’ve got Fogleman’s deal with Twentieth Century Fox Television to thank for that.
The story goes that the showrunner realized that his idea for This Is Us would work much better on the small screen than it would on the big screen after he inked the deal with the production company.
Once the idea of This Is Us became a television show in his mind, everything else started falling into place.
It’s crazy to think of This Is Us starting out on a different trajectory, but we’re glad we live in a world where we get to watch the stories of Kate (Chrissy Metz), Kevin (Justin Hartley), Randall (Sterling K. Brown), Rebecca (Mandy Moore), and Jack (Milo Ventimiglia), unfold on television!
(H/T TV Guide)
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