In a different world — one without production delays caused by the coronavirus pandemic — This Is Us Season 5, Episode 9, "The Ride," would have been the season's winter finale. Fans would have ended the first half of the season on another flash-forward, one that would send them speculating for weeks: Who is in the car? Is Kate alive? Where is Madison? That wait until the season's return in January 2021 would have been unremarkable, as that's how TV works. But things are different this year, with random breaks happening throughout the season in place of one planned hiatus. So, will a new This Is Us air on March 9, 2021? Unfortunately, audiences are going to have to keep speculating about Episode 10 for at least one more week.
Instead of December 2020, This Is Us Season 5's first half came to an end at the end of February. And despite fans' confusion, it actually came at a lucky time for NBC. The network's hit reality competition series The Voice needed to have its two-night, two-hours-each season premiere — which would have forced This Is Us to take a week off anyway — during the first week of March. That the coronavirus filming delays caused the premiere of The Voice to line up with the original break of This Is Us worked out nicely.
But fans will be disappointed to learn the This Is Us break is not merely a one-week hiatus. The NBC website says the show will not return until Tuesday, March 16. Moreover, as of March 8, there is still no trailer for Episode 10, nor a title or synopsis.
So, what's going to air on Tuesday, March 9, at 9 p.m. ET on NBC? It's another episode of The Voice. But this time, it's evident the schedule is being shifted to accommodate This Is Us' break rather than the other way around. During the first week of March, the four-hour block over the two nights of The Voice's premiere filled the 8 to 10 p.m. ET gap on both Monday and Tuesday. The usual schedule then becomes three hours of "blind auditions" over two nights, with an 8 to 10 p.m. ET block on Monday and a single hour block from 8 to 9 p.m. ET on Tuesday, which is then followed by a new episode of This Is Us.
But this week, Tuesday's schedule has a rerun of The Voice's Tuesday premiere from last week in the 8 p.m. ET hour. The new one-hour episode then airs in the 9 p.m. block, a full hour later than audiences are used to.
Hopefully, this break will help the This Is Us production to get back on schedule after so many delays. Currently, Season 5, Episode 10 is scheduled to air on Tuesday, March 16, at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.