This Is Us will not air a new episode this week, and now fans are finding out why.
After last Tuesday's enlightening "Birth Mother" flashback, viewers were teased with a promo for the next episode. In the clip, Kevin (Justin Hartley) was in a panic because his pregnant fiancee Madison (Caitlin Thompson) was in labor and he was racing to the hospital. The promo ended with a car accident scene that presumably involved Kevin, as his open wallet was seen in the road.
While viewers assumed the story would pick up this week, showrunner Dan Fogelman delivered the bad news hours before the show's usual start time.
"No new episode of #ThisIsUs tonight," he wrote on Twitter. "Covid-related production delays in LA have forced us to delay a few weeks. But the next few are big ones, and we are close, so we hope you'll hang in there with us. Sorry!"
In lieu of a new episode, NBC will air a rerun of Season 4's "The Cabin."
While Fogelman did not reveal the exact return date, several commenters noted that the show is on hiatus until February 9.
The absence of a new episode is the latest blow for This Is Us fans.
After a production shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the This Is Us cast didn't even start filming Season 5 until late in 2020. The show, which usually premieres in September, dropped its first episode on October 27 and then went on a two-week break. After it resumed on November 10, new shows aired for two weeks in a row before it went on a lengthy hiatus over the holidays. This Is Us returned to NBC's schedule on January 5 for another two-week stint.
On Twitter, fans of the NBC drama replied to Fogelman's update to express frustration and disappointment.
"So Kevin is just gonna be on the side of the road needing help for weeks? I hope he at least has water in the car because…" one viewer's tweet read.
"So we have to digest last week and wonder about Kevin and his twins. Huh," a second person added on Twitter.
"I know it's not your fault but I would have been a lot better if the episodes just drop all [consecutively], even if we have to wait until February for [Season 5]," another tweeted.
Other commenters appreciated that producers were keeping everyone safe and that Fogelman kept viewers posted. One fan told the This Is Us showrunner that just knowing that the cast and crew "haven't given up on us.... we Will NOT give up on you!"