'I feel this is the right endpoint,' creator Dan Fogelman said of the series finale. 'I feel like we've put these stories to bed now.'
This story contains spoilers from the series finale of This Is Us.
This may very much be it for This Is Us.
With every successful TV show, talk of spinoffs, offshoots and movies permeate the conversation when it comes to possibly prolonging the life of a franchise. But creator Dan Fogelman, who has expressed over the years that he's had a firm six-year plan for the Pearson clan, remained steadfast on his stance that Tuesday's series finale -- which marked the end of an era as they celebrated their late matriarch, Rebecca, and looked ahead to their promising futures -- was likely the end. Even though there were a few story threads to further explore if there was interest.
"I'm pretty set on this being it. Outside of understandable questions about Audio the Dog, for the most part, we really answered the questions of the show," Fogelman told ET on a conference call with reporters Tuesday.
"My well is pretty dry right now and I think we wanted to end the show when we thought we were at our creative strong point before it got too tiring, too hard for us to come up with ways to keep it special and interesting. I feel this is the right endpoint," he acknowledged later. "Who knows what change of heart or midlife crisis brings but I feel like we've put these stories to bed now. Certainly for quite a bit of them."
There were a few lingering questions left open by the series' final episode. There was one about Randall's political future: Does he actually become the president of the United States in the future? To Deja's exciting journey into motherhood as she raises a baby boy she decided to name William after Randall's late birth father. Or what becomes of Kate and Kevin's families as they finally find solid footing on their lives, careers and inspirations.
"For Randall and Deja's story, this little girl who's adopted by him and who ends her journey by calling him Dad naturally and casually. And saying I'm pregnant with my childhood sweetheart, and I'm going to be naming my son after your father, that feels like the completion of that story. I don't think of it as a loose thread as much as we've completed this part of the story," Fogelman answered. "There's always going to be another part of the story to continue to go further [with], which is the whole theme of our show."
And the path Randall ends up taking is meant to be something viewers are left to ponder.
"Randall's journey ahead of him is the closest we've come to our Sopranos going to black and you're left to choose your own adventure as to what happens. Does he even get to decide to run in the end? Do he and Beth decide to settle at home? If he runs, how much traction does he get? Does he win?" Fogelman said. "In my mind's eye, I know what happens to Randall and his family but it's meant to not be answered and to end on promise. And to let the audience decide what they think happened to Randall. Did we watch an origin story without realizing we were watching one of the future leaders of the free world? Or was it a completion of Randall's arc to not push further in his career and settle into a role where he's comfortable?"
"It was always more about Randall choosing to move forward because his mother has now freed him to do what he wants, to go for the big choices if that was something he wants to do. That was always the completion," he noted, adding that there were "a lot of" conversations about possibly flashing-forwarding to an even older Randall to establish the end of his political journey. "We all felt that if we had hypothetically flash-forwarded to Randall sitting in the White House that wasn't what the show is and it could have broken [the reality] a little bit. We liked ending on the promise of further stardom for this exceptional, extraordinary character without going all the way there."
Attempting to expand This Is Us would prove difficult creatively, Fogelman pointed out, referencing the multitude of time-period jumps the series has done since the very beginning.
"One of the crutches I gave myself to avoid that conversation a little bit was the very nature of time and not setting a present-day story further in the past. It was always substantially enough in the future where that was very challenging and very difficult," he said. "I think it allowed people to kind of let me excuse my way out of it a little bit."
But Chrissy Metz seemed more than open to more This Is Us... somehow.
"Who doesn't love a spinoff? And I think that there's a lot of potential for all of it," Metz told ET on Sunday. "So who knows? In maybe a year or two, somebody misses somebody and somebody writes something. But yes, [there's] a lot of potential, I feel."
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