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"This Is Us" aired a special episode after Super Bowl LII. The title of the episode was "Super Bowl Sunday", and it dealt with a pivotal event occurring on the night after the Super Bowl 20 years ago, and then shows how the family members each deal with the memory of it on the anniversary in the present.

I'm wondering about the cause-and-effect on the part of the show creator and the network. Did he always have this plotline in mind, and then convince the network to put the show on after the game? Did he revise his plan for the show when he learned that they wanted to air it after the Super Bowl. Or did he plan the plotline, and it was a happy coincidence that the show also got the Super Bowl lead-out (which might have influenced the timing of the reveal).

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Yes...kind of.

The show's creator, Dan Fogelman, spoke to The Hollywood Reporter

Was the three-part episode something you plotted out from the beginning or was it also a helpful way to make sure Jack's death fell on the Super Bowl episode?

"No, we always knew that. We didn't know how many episodes that would fold out on, but making Jack's reveal be [after the] Super Bowl — we were always going to reveal Jack's death around this point in the second season.

"It was going to be some kind of big [event] — it was maybe Christmas, it was maybe going to be Valentine's Day, some holiday that holds [significance] to this family. The second the show started getting successful in season one, I started pestering [NBC executives] Jen Salke and Bob Greenblatt a bit and saying, "I understand you guys are going to have the Super Bowl next year." Because this was a football family and it would make so much sense, karmically, but I think in order to spread out for the schedule we would have shifted our schedule a little bit. We would have created extra episodes."

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