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ATX

This Is Us: Milo Ventimiglia considered playing Kevin

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Entertainment Weekly is on the scene at ATX. Go inside the TV festival with all our coverage, available here.

Can you imagine a world in which Milo Ventimiglia wasn’t paired up with Mandy Moore on This Is Us? Well, neither can we, but the actor considered going after a different role when he first read the show’s pilot script.

“At first, I was like, ‘Should I be Kevin?’ Because I’m an actor. So I’m thinking, ‘Well, maybe, no, I’ll be the actor,'” Ventimiglia revealed during a This Is Us panel moderated by EW editor Henry Goldblatt at ATX Television Festival in Austin, Texas on Friday. “But then, you know, I’d been a huge fan of not only Dan Fogelman but John Requa and Glenn Ficarra, and I knew the three of them together, and I believed in what they believed in me.”

Kevin, the actor son of Ventimiglia’s Jack, went on to be played by Justin Hartley, and the rest, as they say, is history.

“When I dove into Jack, I found this instant connection to a man that felt incredibly familiar even though I don’t have kids and it just felt right,” Ventimiglia added.

RELATED: Exclusive Portraits From ATX Festival 2017

Speaking of changing one’s mind, Jennifer Salke, president of NBC Entertainment, addressed the recent scheduling shifts for the hit series. To refresh: In May, the network announced that This Is Us would be moving to Thursdays, but a few weeks later, they decided to keep it on Tuesdays.

“We wanted to build another night — we have a big show we feel like no matter where we put it, the audience will follow — but the truth is, once Dan [Fogelman, the showrunner] came in and laid out what he wanted to do with the second season, [after] six episodes on Thursday nights, we would’ve hit a wall with football,” she said. “So we were looking at six episodes of This Is Us, a two-month break, and then the show coming back. We all sort of looked at each other and just said, ‘This is not in the best interest of the show.’ So we moved it back.”

As a result, the first 10 episodes of the season will air in consecutive weeks. And the cast will begin filming again on July 11.

This Is Us season 2 will premiere this fall on NBC.