Lots of appliances can have faulty wiring. In fact, the props team behind This is Us originally had a different appliance in mind when setting up the chain of events that led to the tragic death of Jack Pearson (Milo Ventimiglia) in the post-Super Bowl episode.
In the latest installment of EW’s Chasing Emmy podcast, Ventimiglia admits it wasn’t always the plan to put a slow cooker on the, ahem, hot seat. “I know it did change from [one] kitchen appliance to a slow cooker,” he reveals. “It was originally supposed to be something else known to have problems that got abandoned.” He believes the Crock-Pot was selected, instead, since it’s often used to create food for Super Bowl parties. (While the appliance shown wasn’t specifically labeled as a Crock-Pot brand slow cooker, the manufacturer ended up releasing a statement about the episode that said, in part, “for nearly 50 years, with over 100 million Crock-Pots sold, we have never received any consumer complaints similar to the fictional events portrayed” in the episode.)
Ventimiglia still marvels at the impact the episode had on viewers.
“It was an amazing backlash. It became the responsibility of us to stand up for a group that unfortunately was getting all the fingers pointed at them,” Ventimiglia says. “But it’s also one of those things you think about, the influence of TV. Oh, my god, people are throwing out physical objects that make delicious food because they think one that was 19 years old was at fault [for his death]. We took sympathy over the backlash and tried to do something about it.”