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There aren’t many scripted shows on network television that audiences flock to week after week, but This Is Us is definitely one of them. The NBC drama featuring the Pearson family — more specifically The Big Three, Kevin, Kate, and Randall — as they deal with the present-day struggles stemming from their dad’s untimely death, makes viewers ugly-cry at least once every episode and the series just getting more and more popular. 

However, what if we told you that the This Is Us you know and love could have been radically different? Like, did you know that Jack Pearson was almost played by a TV actor, and not Milo Ventimiglia? Or that one of the child stars on the series escaped kidnappers when he was just 8 years old? Luckily, everything worked out in the end and the show came together perfectly. 

Keep scrolling to see all the ways This Is Us almost didn’t happen.

1

Lonnie Chavis was almost kidnapped.

2

Oliver Hudson was *this close* to being cast as Jack Pearson.

3

Chrissy Metz almost quit acting before her ‘This Is Us’ audition.

4

Mandy Moore was ready to quit acting before ‘This Is Us,’ too.

5

The Pearsons were initially called the Peasings.

6

Jon Huertas was in the Air Force before he turned to acting.

7

Lyric Ross luckily aged out of her ‘The Chi’ role.

8

Logan Shroyer almost skipped his audition.

9

‘This Is Us’ was originally titled ’36’ — and creator Dan Fogelman wanted it to be a movie.

10

Sylvester Stallone’s ‘This Is Us’ cameo took some convincing.

11

Milo Ventimiglia surprised Mandy Moore by sticking around for his death scene.




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