During a panel, Dan Fogelman revealed that his show’s reputation caught on pretty quickly, even among people you’d expect to be immune to staged emotions: television executives.
After the first episode aired in 2016, Fogelman said “This Is Us” tissue boxes were kept at the NBC offices (via The Hollywood Reporter). Fogelman explained that some of the show’s sadder moments, taken out of context, likely helped build its reputation as tearjerkers.
“I would write these artistic scenes, and then all the internet would be like, ‘Share the moment’ – and it’s a contextless scene that makes people cry. It’s not like we’ve ever sat around and said, ‘I don’t think we have enough to make people cry.’ But people just cried a lot. I can’t quite explain it,” the writer commented. The impact of the show’s script never waned, with Fogelman revealing that even the pitching of the 6th and final season proved to be a uniquely emotional experience, with some no doubt leaving a few tissue boxes needed.