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'This Is Us' season 6: Everything you need to know

We know we'll have to say goodbye, but here's what else to expect from the Pearsons.
This is Us - Season: 5
Justin Hartley (Kevin), Chrissy Metz (Kate), Mandy Moore (Rebecca) and Sterling K. Brown (Randall) are seen on season five of "This Is Us."Ron Batzdorff / NBC

In early 2022, the Pearsons will appear for new episodes of the hit NBC show "This Is Us" for their sixth and final season.

This came as a shock to some fans, especially after the raging success of season five, which tackled important conversations about racism, alcoholism, struggles with depression and more — but other fans knew the show had to end soon.

Mandy Moore said herself on TODAY that she doesn't know if she's emotionally "ready to accept that this is the end."

“We never set out to make a television series that was going to last 18 seasons, so we have a very direct plan," series creator Dan Fogelman said in 2019. In that same conversation, he also announced that season three would be the "midpoint" for the show — and with some basic math, this helped fans predict long ago that season six would be the last.

Even though we can't expect a premiere episode until 2022, here are some things we do know.

This is Us - Season 5
Sterling K. Brown and Justin Hartley play the Pearson brothers on "This Is Us."Ron Batzdorff / NBC

When does 'This Is Us' season 6 premiere?

Season six will have its first episode air on Jan. 4, 2022, in its typical time slot, 9 p.m. ET.

How can I watch the 'This Is Us' season 6 premiere episode?

You can tune into NBC from your cable TV, or log on to your NBC app from any device that streams to catch the episode. You can also catch the episodes on the following day if you missed the premiere — no cable login necessary!

Who's in the cast for season 6?

As fans know, every season's cast of characters changes slightly. Here's who we know will grace our screens for season six:

Milo Ventimiglia: Jack

Mandy Moore: Rebecca

Susan Kelechi Watson: Beth

Chris Sullivan: Toby

Caitlin Thompson: Madison

Sterling K. Brown: Randall

Chrissy Metz: Kate

Justin Hartley: Kevin

Jon Huertas: Miguel

Faith Herman: Annie

Lyric Ross: Deja

Griffin Dunne: Nick

Eris Baker: Tess

Parker Bates: young Kevin

Logan Shroyer: teen Kevin

Mackenzie Hancsicsak: young Kate

Hannah Zeile: teen Kate

Rachel Hilson: teen Beth

Lonnie Chavis: young Randall

Niles Fitch: teen Randall

If we had to take a guess, there are some other characters who will be returning based on what happened in season five (cough cough... Phillip, Kate’s boss), although nothing is totally confirmed on that front.

What happened at the end of season 5?

***ATTENTION: Spoilers ahead. To the viewers who aren't caught up yet: proceed with caution.***

After the season five finale, fans were left feeling shook.

Right at the start, we see Kate at her second wedding, four years ahead of the present. "This Is Us" is known for their time-jumping scenes, so some fans could have seen this coming. And, the fact of Kate and Toby splitting up had been hinted at a few times before throughout the show. But who is she marrying?

Her new boss, Phillip. (Hence why we predict he'll be coming around more often in season six.)

Switching back to the present timeline in the episode, Madison called off her wedding with Kevin. She addressed the fact that she thinks Kevin is not in love with her, but with the family and life they've created together — which wasn't great news to hear, especially after Kevin had already confided in his stepfather about his doubts, who reassured him that not every love story is going to be an "epic Hollywood romance." No kidding, Miguel.

Rebecca, Randall, and Kate then console Kevin, and then Rebecca asks him if he'll build the house that Jack always wanted him to build. Not only would that provide a new family space, but it would keep Kevin distracted and give him something else to focus on.

And, if fans remember, the season three finale had a scene of the Pearsons at Rebecca's bedside where she appears to be suffering from Alzheimer's disease or another form of dementia, and where fans also see a luxury cabin owned by the Pearsons.

In the current timeline, we also saw Randall and Rebecca having a sentimental moment, where she apologized to him for not being honest about his biological parents, and she asks him about his trip to New Orleans where he was able to find out information about his biological mom.

Yes, it's all very emotional.

Is there a season 6 trailer?

Yes! But be forewarned, this trailer may cause tears.

What's going to happen in season 6?

Well, we don't know for certain, but here are some small things we do know:

  • Mandy Moore directed an episode of the sixth season.
  • Fogelman expressed in multiple interviews that all timelines of the characters would come to completion, and fans wouldn't be left with questions by the end of the series finale.
  • It will be about 18 episodes long, which is about the same length as prior seasons.

To learn more about season 6 of "This Is Us," be sure to tune into the premiere on Tuesday, Jan. 4, at 9 p.m. on NBC.