NBC's This Is Us season 3 has been off the air for two weeks. This is because President Donald Trump's State of the Union Address was postponed from January 29 due to the then-ongoing government shutdown in United States; it was rescheduled on February 5, which forced the show to extend their hiatus for an additional week.
The network has previously scheduled to skip January 29 to give way to the U.S. national event, but since the delay wasn't announced until a couple of days before Trump was supposed to deliver his speech, NBC stuck with their initial timetable. Now, last week's break is stretched until this week, much to the chagrin of fans. That means that This is Us' upcoming episode titled "Songbird Road: Part Two" will now air on February 12 instead of February 5.
Aside from having to wait two weeks for a brand new episode, this unforeseen circumstance effectively pushes This Is Us' full timetable. When This is Us returned last month following its mandatory winter break, the show only allotted a week of additional break for Trump's address. Now that there's a two-week hiatus between "Songbird Road: Parts One" and "Part Two," every episode after next week's This is Us episode will air a week later than scheduled, with the This is Us season 3 finale arriving on April 2 instead of March 26.
This isn't the first time that This Is Us was affected by Trump's State of the Union Address, which explains why NBC already scheduled an extra week hiatus in the middle of season 3. Back in 2017, the This is Us season 1 finale was also delayed for a week (from March 7 to March 14) in order to accommodate the president's address during the joint congressional session on February 28. However, unlike This is Us season 3, fans welcomed the gap between season 1's "Memphis" and "What Now" episodes, considering that This is Us just came from an emotionally taxing episode with William's (Ron Cephas Jones) death. It allowed people to recuperate after Randall's (Sterling K. Brown) loss and, at the same time, gave it the breathing room to set up the season finale.
However, things are a bit different in This is Us season 3. The extended break couldn't come at a worse timing since the show's latest episode ended on a cliffhanger. The fact that "Songbird Road: Parts One" and "Part Two" are titled like a two-parter means that the episodes are meant to be rolled out back-to-back. After learning that Jack's younger brother, Nicky (Michael Angarano/Griffin Dune) is still alive, the Big Three sought their uncle who, fortunately, was still living in the same trailer truck he did almost three decades ago. During their encounter with him, Jack's kids learned what really happened in Vietnam, and just before the episode ended, it was hinted that Kevin (Justin Hartley) might take Nicky in especially after learning about his suicidal tendencies.
Once This Is Us returns to its regular programming schedule, season 3 will only have seven episodes left before it wraps up in April. There's been no official word yet from NBC on if This is Us season 4 will happen - a dilemma that the series have yet to encounter since it was quickly awarded a two-year renewal before season 1 wrapped up. However, considering that This is Us remains a steady ratings performer for the network, chances are that it will be picked up for season 4; fans would just have to wait for the official announcement. In the meantime, they can enjoy remaining episodes of This is Us season 3, which will not only continues the current plot line involving Nicky but also dedicates a full outing for Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson) as well.
This Is Us airs Tuesday nights on NBC.