This Is Us returned to NBC later than usual for its fifth season, but the latest batch of episodes took viewers right back into the Pearson family drama. Despite the show's relatively early return to production under pandemic protocols, however, This Is Us is heading into an unexpected delay with only hours ahead of what was supposed to be the release of Season 5's seventh episode. There will be no new installment of This Is Us on January 19, but the good news is that the show has already announced when it will be back.

The official This Is Us Twitter account broke the news of the delay, posting this:

Sadly for fans, this delay won't last for just one week. This Is Us won't be back for another two weeks, placing its next 2021 episode on Tuesday, February 2. The announcement came less than half a day before the episode was scheduled to air on January 19 at 9 p.m. ET, so there may be some disappointed fans tuning into NBC if they don't get the delay news in time. So, why is This Is Us pushing back an episode when it was only hours from airing?

This Is Us creator Dan Fogelman provided the answer to the particular question, and it's not especially surprising. Also on Twitter, Fogelman said:

No new episode of #ThisIsUs tonight - 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!

Just as the COVID-19 pandemic is to blame for This Is Us getting to a late start in the 2019-2020 TV season, the pandemic has resulted in production delays for This Is Us in Los Angeles. Dan Fogelman's announcement follows the news that broke via Deadline at the end of December 2020 that This Is Us was among 16 series that would be extending their holiday breaks through to January 18 due to the COVID surge in LA.

The show was then slated to return on January 18, so the question now is whether the late announcement of the delay means that further production delays are happening for Season 5 or if this is just accounting for the delays that already happened. Other shows that extended their holiday breaks in December were Grey's Anatomy, Station 19, American Housewife, black-ish, mixed-ish, Rebel, 9-1-1, 9-1-1: Lone Star (which just premiered with a COVID-related cast change), Last Man Standing, American Crime Story: Impeachment, American Horror Story, Mayans, Big Shot, The Orville, and Love, Victor.

The relatively early return of This Is Us with a new episode after just two weeks will see Kevin embarking on a stressful road trip in the present, while young Kevin and Jack attend a football training camp. NBC will air reruns in the This Is Us slot on Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET for the weeks ahead of the February 2 return. For some TV premieres that are on the way between now and February 2, be sure to check out our 2021 winter and spring premiere schedule.

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