Why Isn't 'This Is Us' Airing On Feb. 26? There's A New Premiere Happening
This past month has been a bit of a disaster for This Is Us fans. First, "Songbird Road: Part 1" was followed by a one-week pre-scheduled break for the State of the Union. Then it was pushed back a second week because the government shutdown delayed the State of the Union. The fallout meant the Season 3 finale would also get pushed back from when it was previously scheduled. Now, there's another one-week hiatus at the end of February. What gives? Why isn't This Is Us airing on Feb. 26? The good news is, at least this time, it was a pre-planned break and has nothing to do with politics.
The final week of February is a busy one for broadcast networks, many of which are debuting the spring premieres of shows held for mid-season. ABC, for instance, will debut Whiskey Cavalier after the Oscars. FX will drop the first episode of Pamela Adlon's new show, Better Things.
NBC has two shows returning for the spring season. The first is The Voice, now in Season 16, with a judging lineup of Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, Kelly Clarkson, and John Legend. (Chrissy may have opinions.) The second is World of Dance, with judges Jennifer Lopez, Ne-Yo, and Derek Hough. To give World of Dance the best kickoff possible, NBC is airing it on Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET after The Voice Season 16 Episode 2.
As much as this development may frustrate This Is Us fans, it's only a temporary situation. World of Dance Season 1 first landed in 2017 as a summer show, premiering at the end of May, in the slot This Is Us occupied during the fall and spring. It did very well there, with a debut audience of nearly 10 million viewers. However, by the time Season 2 ended around Labor Day of last year, those numbers had dropped substantially to 5 million and change.
NBC decided to push the show back to a spring slot instead of summer this year. There's just one small problem; the usual Tuesday slot is in use. So the plan is to have only the premiere episode air on Tuesday, giving the series The Voice's massive lead-in as a bonus. From there, the series will move to a new date and time. Starting March 3, World of Dance will air in a new slot: Sundays at 8 p.m. ET.
Whether or not the show will thrive in a new but more cutthroat environment remains to be seen. On the one hand, it gives NBC a three-night block of musical competition programming, with World of Dance followed by The Voice on Mondays and Tuesday. On the other, Sundays are traditionally the place where prestige TV shows go. Before long, World of Dance will find itself airing on the same night as Killing Eve, American Gods, Game of Thrones, and perhaps most importantly, ABC's revived American Idol, where it will go head-to-head in the 8 p.m. hour.
At least the show gets one week of prime real estate before dancing into the dragon's maw. World of Dance premieres on Tuesday, Feb. 26 at 9 p.m. before moving to Sundays at 8 p.m. This Is Us will return on Tuesday, March 5.