This Is Us

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This Is Us
This Is Us (Logo).png
Genre
Created byDan Fogelman
Starring
Composer(s)Siddhartha Khosla
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons4
No. of episodes63 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
Production location(s)Los Angeles, California
Camera setupSingle-camera
Running time42 minutes
Production company(s)
Distributor20th Television
Release
Original networkNBC
Picture formatHDTV 1080i
Original releaseSeptember 20, 2016 (2016-09-20) –
present
External links
Website

This Is Us is an American comedy-drama television series with tragic elements created by Dan Fogelman that premiered on NBC on September 20, 2016.[5] The series follows the lives and families of two parents, and their three children, in several different time frames.[5] It stars an ensemble cast featuring Milo Ventimiglia, Mandy Moore, Sterling K. Brown, Chrissy Metz, Justin Hartley, Susan Kelechi Watson, Chris Sullivan, Ron Cephas Jones, Jon Huertas, Alexandra Breckenridge, Niles Fitch, Logan Shroyer, Hannah Zeile, Mackenzie Hancsicsak, Parker Bates, Lonnie Chavis, Eris Baker, and Faithe Herman. This Is Us is filmed in Los Angeles.[6]

The series has been nominated for Best Television Series – Drama at the 74th Golden Globe Awards and Best Drama Series at the 7th Critics' Choice Awards, as well as being chosen as a Top Television Program by the American Film Institute. Sterling K. Brown has received an Emmy, a Golden Globe, a Critics' Choice Award, and an NAACP Image Award for his acting in the series. Mandy Moore and Chrissy Metz received Golden Globe nominations for Best Supporting Actress. In 2017, the series received ten Emmy nominations, including Outstanding Drama Series, with Brown winning for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series.

On September 27, 2016, NBC picked up the series for a full season of 18 episodes.[7] In January 2017, NBC renewed the series for two additional seasons of 18 episodes each.[8] The second season premiered on September 26, 2017. The third season premiered on September 25, 2018.[9]

On May 12, 2019, NBC renewed the series for three additional seasons.[10] The fourth season premiered on September 24, 2019.[11]

Series overview[edit]

The series follows the lives of siblings Kevin, Kate, and Randall (known as the "Big Three"), and their parents Jack and Rebecca Pearson. It takes place mainly in the present and uses flashbacks to show the family's past. Kevin and Kate are the two surviving members of a triplet pregnancy, born six weeks premature on Jack's 36th birthday in 1980; their brother is stillborn. Believing they were meant to have three children, Jack and Rebecca, who are white, decide to adopt Randall, an African American child born the same day and brought to the same hospital after his biological father abandoned him at a fire station. Jack dies when his children are 17, and Rebecca remarries over a decade later to Jack's best friend Miguel. Randall becomes a successful finance professional and marries college classmate Beth; they raise two daughters and adopt a third. Kevin becomes a successful actor while struggling to be taken seriously. After lacking direction much of her life, Kate meets and marries Toby, pursues a career in music, gets a degree, and becomes a mother.

Most episodes feature a storyline taking place in the present (2016–2019, contemporaneous with airing) and a storyline taking place at a set time in the past; but some episodes are set in one time period or use multiple flashback time periods. Flashbacks often focus on Jack and Rebecca c.1980 both before and after their babies' birth, or on the family when the Big Three are children or adolescents (and played by two sets of younger actors); these scenes usually take place in Pittsburgh, where the Big Three and their parents are born and raised. As adults, Kate lives in Los Angeles, Randall and his family are in New Jersey (and later Philadelphia), and Kevin relocates from Los Angeles to New York City and back again. Various other time periods and locations have also served as settings, and some episodes have focused on the earlier experiences of other characters, including Randall's family members William, Deja, and Beth. Beginning in the second season, the show also uses flashforwards to show a later time period, when Randall's daughter Tess is an adult and an elderly Rebecca is on her deathbed.

Cast and characters[edit]

Main cast members (left to right) Jones, Watson, Brown, Ventimiglia, Moore, Hartley, Metz, and Sullivan at PaleyFest 2017.
  • Milo Ventimiglia as Jack Pearson: Rebecca's first husband, and Kate, Kevin, and Randall's father.
  • Mandy Moore as Rebecca Pearson: Jack's wife, and Kate, Kevin, and Randall's mother.
  • Sterling K. Brown as Randall Pearson: Jack and Rebecca's adopted son, and Kate and Kevin's adopted brother. Also played by Niles Fitch (ages 16–17) and Lonnie Chavis (ages 9–12).
  • Chrissy Metz as Kate Pearson: Jack and Rebecca's daughter, and Kevin and Randall's sister. Also played by Hannah Zeile (ages 16–17) and Mackenzie Hancsicsak (ages 9–12).
  • Justin Hartley as Kevin Pearson: Jack and Rebecca's son, and Kate and Randall's brother. Also played by Logan Shroyer (ages 16–17) and Parker Bates (ages 9–12).
  • Susan Kelechi Watson as Beth (Clarke) Pearson: Randall's wife, and mother of Tess and Annie. Also played by Rachel Naomi Hilson (teen) and Akira Akbar (child).
  • Chris Sullivan as Toby Damon: Kate's husband.
  • Ron Cephas Jones as William "Shakespeare" Hill: Randall's biological father. Also played by Jermel Nakia as a young adult. (main seasons 1–2; guest season 3–4)
  • Jon Huertas as Miguel Rivas: Jack's best friend and Rebecca's second husband. (recurring season 1; main season 2–present)[12]
  • Alexandra Breckenridge as Sophie: Kate's childhood best friend as well as Kevin's childhood love and ex-wife. Also played by Amanda Leighton (ages 15–17) and Sophia Coto (age 10). (recurring season 1; main season 2;[12] guest season 3)
  • Eris Baker as Tess Pearson: Randall and Beth's older daughter. (recurring season 1; main season 2–present)
  • Faithe Herman as Annie Pearson: Randall and Beth's younger daughter. (recurring season 1; main season 2–present)
  • Phylicia Rashad as Carol Clarke, Beth's mother.
  • Melanie Liburd as Zoe Baker: Beth's cousin and Kevin's ex-girlfriend. (guest season 2; main season 3)
  • Lyric Ross as Deja: Randall and Beth's adopted daughter. (recurring season 2; main season 3–present)[13]
  • Asante Blackk as Malik (season 4)
  • Griffin Dunne as Nicholas "Nicky" Pearson: Jack's brother and Kevin, Kate and Randall's uncle. (recurring season 3; main season 4)

Episodes[edit]

SeasonEpisodesOriginally airedRankAvg. viewership (inc. DVR)
(in millions)
First airedLast aired
118September 20, 2016 (2016-09-20)March 14, 2017 (2017-03-14)614.70[14]
218September 26, 2017 (2017-09-26)March 13, 2018 (2018-03-13)417.43[15]
318September 25, 2018 (2018-09-25)April 2, 2019 (2019-04-02)613.80[16]
418September 24, 2019 (2019-09-24)TBATBATBA

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

This is Us originally began as an 80-page movie script that Dan Fogelman was developing while working for ABC Studios in the spring of 2015.[17] The story line, which Fogelman admitted to not having a definite direction, revolved around the lives of eight adults who, as it would be revealed, were octuplets. After moving to an eight-figure deal with 20th Television, Fogelman made the decision to develop a TV series from the characters of his original script, cutting a few characters and shortening the script to 45 pages before bringing it to the studio. Jennifer Salke, president at NBC[18][citation needed], commented on the conception of a title for the series, saying "The title didn't come easy...but This Is Us tapped into everything, and the show's about us." It has been revealed that other ideas for the title included 36, Happy Birthday, and The Story of Us.[17] Despite positive reviews from both 20th Television and sister company, Fox, there were concerns regarding the lack of views it would attract on the network, leading Fox to sell it to NBC.[19] Fox did so because NBC promised to use the high volume of viewers from The Voice and the Summer Olympics to bring additional viewers to the series, and Fox wanted to solidify the reputation of its studio among writers and directors as placing shows where they are most likely to succeed, even if it is not Fox.[19]

Commitment to diversity[edit]

Fogelman intentionally recruited behind-the-scenes talent that would reflect the diversity of his cast, with the goal of bringing greater authenticity to the dialog and storylines. These include black directors Regina King and George Tillman Jr. and black female writers Kay Oyegun and Jas Waters (part of a 30% black core writing staff that far outpaces the industry standard of 5%).[20][21] In addition, Fogelman's sister Deborah, whose struggles with weight were one of the initial inspirations for the show, serves as a consultant.[22]

Release[edit]

In May 2017, Hulu acquired the SVOD rights to new and past episodes of the series to air exclusively on Hulu, in addition to NBC.com and the NBC app.[23]

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

The review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes reported an 91% approval rating for the first season with an average rating of 7.68/10 based on 68 reviews. The website's critical consensus reads, "Featuring full-tilt heartstring-tugging family drama, This Is Us will provide a suitable surrogate for those who have felt a void in their lives since Parenthood went off the air."[24] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the season a score of 76 out of 100 based on 34 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[25]

Season 2 received a 92% approval rating from Rotten Tomatoes based on 24 reviews, with an average score of 7.95/10. The site's consensus reads: "This is Us continues to tug at heartstrings with an emotional exploration of family that ensures viewers will want to keep the tissues close -- and their loved ones closer".[26]

Entertainment Weekly gave the first few episodes of This Is Us a rating of B, calling it "a refreshing respite from the relational violence and pessimism that marks the other buzz soaps that have bubbled forth from a culture of divisiveness". Moreover, they praised all the actors, specifically Sterling K. Brown, for being able to navigate "his scenes with such intelligence, authenticity, and charisma".[27]

Ratings[edit]

Season Timeslot (ET) Episodes First aired Last aired TV season Rank Avg. viewers
(millions)
18–49 rating
(average)
Date Viewers
(millions)
Date Viewers
(millions)
1 Tuesday 9:00 pm 18 September 20, 2016 (2016-09-20) 10.07[28] March 14, 2017 (2017-03-14) 12.84[29] 2016–17 6 9.84[30] 2.68/16[30]
2 18 September 26, 2017 (2017-09-26) 12.94[31] March 13, 2018 10.94[32] 2017–18 4 11.14[33] 3.07/16[33]
3 18 September 25, 2018 (2018-09-25) 10.54[34] April 2, 2019 (2019-04-02) 8.22[35] 2018–19 6 TBD TBD
4 18 September 24, 2019 (2019-09-24) 7.88[36] TBA TBD 2019–20 TBD TBD TBD

Outside of the regular Tuesday 9:00 pm, the first season's first two episodes and eleventh episode aired on a Tuesday at 10:00 pm, while the second season's fourteenth episode, "Super Bowl Sunday", aired on a Sunday at 10:15 pm.[37]

Accolades[edit]

Year Award Category Nominee(s) Result Ref.
2016 African-American Critics Association Awards Top Ten TV Show This Is Us Won
American Film Institute Awards Top 10 TV Programs of the Year This Is Us Won [38]
Critics' Choice Television Awards Best Drama Series This Is Us Nominated [39]
Most Exciting New Series This Is Us Won [39]
2017 ACE Eddie Awards Best Edited One Hour Series for Commercial Television David L. Bertman (for "Pilot") Won [40]
American Film Institute Awards Top 10 TV Programs of the Year This Is Us Won [41]
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Drama Series Dan Fogelman, Jess Rosenthal, John Requa, Glenn Ficarra, Ken Olin, Donald Todd, Charles Gogolak, KJ Steinberg, Isaac Aptaker, Elizabeth Berger, Joe Lawson, Steve Beers, Vera Herbert and Bekah Brunstetter Nominated [42]
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series Sterling K. Brown (for "Memphis") Won
Milo Ventimiglia (for "Moonshadow") Nominated
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Ron Cephas Jones (for "Memphis") Nominated
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series Chrissy Metz (for "Pilot") Nominated
Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards[a] Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series Brian Tyree Henry (for "Memphis") Nominated
Gerald McRaney (for "The Big Day") Won
Denis O'Hare (for "Last Christmas") Nominated
Outstanding Casting for a Drama Series Bernard Telsey and Tiffany Little Canfield Nominated
Outstanding Makeup for a Single-Camera Series (Non-Prosthetic) Zoe Hay, Heather Plott, Elizabeth Hoel-Chang, Judith Lynn Staats and John Damiani (for "I Call Marriage") Nominated
Golden Globe Awards Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film Chrissy Metz Nominated [44]
Mandy Moore Nominated
Best Television Series – Drama This Is Us Nominated
Hollywood Music in Media Awards Outstanding Music Supervision – Television Jennifer Pyken Nominated [45]
MTV Movie & TV Awards Best Actor in a Show Mandy Moore Nominated [46]
Show of the Year This Is Us Nominated
Tearjerker Milo Ventimiglia and Lonnie Chavis (Jack and Randall at Karate) Won
NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series Sterling K. Brown Won [47]
Outstanding Drama Series This Is Us Nominated
Outstanding Performance by a Youth Lonnie Chavis Nominated
Peabody Awards Entertainment and Children's programs This Is Us Nominated [48]
People's Choice Awards Favorite Actor in a New TV Series Milo Ventimiglia Nominated [49]
Favorite Actress in a New TV Series Mandy Moore Nominated
Favorite New TV Drama This Is Us Won
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series Sterling K. Brown Nominated [50]
Seoul International Drama Awards Best Director Dan Fogelman Nominated [51]
Grand Prize This Is Us Won
Teen Choice Awards Choice TV: Breakout Star Chrissy Metz Nominated
Choice TV Actor: Drama Sterling K. Brown Nominated
Milo Ventimiglia Nominated
Choice TV Show: Drama This Is Us Nominated
Television Critics Association Awards Individual Achievement in Drama Sterling K. Brown Nominated [52]
Outstanding Achievement in Drama This Is Us Nominated
Outstanding New Program This Is Us Won
Program of the Year This Is Us Nominated
Writers Guild of America Awards Episodic Drama Vera Herbert (for "The Trip") Won [53]
[54]
New Series This Is Us Nominated
2018 Critics' Choice Television Awards Best Actor in a Drama Series Sterling K. Brown Won [55]
Best Drama Series This Is Us Nominated
Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series Chrissy Metz Nominated
Golden Globe Awards Best Actor – Television Series Drama Sterling K. Brown Won [56]
Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film Chrissy Metz Nominated
Best Television Series – Drama This Is Us Nominated
Guild of Music Supervisors Awards Best Music Supervision in a Television Drama Jennifer Pyken Nominated [57]
Best Song/Recording Created for Television "We Can Always Come Back To This" Nominated
MTV Movie & TV Awards Best Musical Moment Kate sings "Landslide" Nominated [58]
NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series Sterling K. Brown Nominated [59]
Outstanding Drama Series This Is Us Nominated
Outstanding Performance by a Youth Lonnie Chavis Nominated
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series Susan Kelechi Watson Nominated
Outstanding Writing in a Drama Series Vera Herbert (for "Still Here") Nominated
People's Choice Awards The Drama Show of 2018 This Is Us Nominated [60]
The Drama TV Star of 2018 Justin Hartley Nominated
Chrissy Metz Nominated
The Female TV Star of 2018 Mandy Moore Nominated
The Male TV Star of 2018 Sterling K. Brown Nominated
Milo Ventimiglia Nominated
The Show of 2018 This Is Us Nominated
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Drama Series This Is Us Nominated [61]
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series Sterling K. Brown Nominated
Milo Ventimiglia Nominated
Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards Outstanding Contemporary Costumes Hala Bahmet and Elinor Bardach Nominated
Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series Ron Cephas Jones Won
Gerald McRaney Nominated
Outstanding Makeup for a Single-Camera Series (Non-Prosthetic) Zoe Hay, Heather Plott, Luis Garcia, Elizabeth Hoel-Chang and Tania McComas Nominated
Outstanding Music Supervision Jennifer Pyken Nominated
Satellite Awards Best Drama Series This Is Us Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Eris Baker, Alexandra Breckenridge, Sterling K. Brown, Lonnie Chavis, Mackenzie Hancsicsak, Justin Hartley, Faithe Herman, Ron Cephas Jones, Chrissy Metz, Mandy Moore, Chris Sullivan, Milo Ventimiglia, Susan Kelechi Watson and Hannah Zeile Won [62]
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series Sterling K. Brown Won
GLAAD Media Awards Outstanding Drama Series This is Us Won [63]
2019 Critics' Choice Television Awards Best Actor in a Drama Series Milo Ventimiglia Nominated [64]
Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Justin Hartley Nominated
Humanitas Prize 60-Minute Drama Kay Oyegun (for “This Big, Amazing, Beautiful Life”) Nominated [65]
Producers Guild of America Award Best Episodic Drama Dan Fogelman, Isaac Aptaker, Elizabeth Berger, John Requa, Glenn Ficarra, Ken Olin, Charles Gogolak, Jess Rosenthal, Steve Beers, KJ Steinberg, Kevin Falls, Julia Brownell, Vera Herbert, Bekah Brunstetter, Shukree Hassan Tilghman, Cathy Mickel Gibson and Nick Pavonetti Nominated [66]
Satellite Awards Best Drama Show This Is Us Nominated [67][68]
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series Sterling K. Brown Nominated [69]
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Eris Baker, Sterling K. Brown, Niles Fitch, Mackenzie Hancsicsak, Justin Hartley, Faithe Herman, Jon Huertas, Melanie Liburd, Chrissy Metz, Mandy Moore, Lyric Ross, Chris Sullivan, Milo Ventimiglia, Susan Kelechi Watson and Hannah Zeile Won
Writers Guild of America Awards Episodic Drama Isaac Aptaker & Elizabeth Berger (for "The Car") Nominated [70]
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Drama Series This Is Us Nominated [71]
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series Sterling K. Brown Nominated
Milo Ventimiglia Nominated
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series Mandy Moore Nominated
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Chris Sullivan Nominated
Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series Michael Angarano (for "Songbird Road: Part One") Nominated
Ron Cephas Jones (for "A Philadelphia Story") Nominated
Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series Phylicia Rashad (for "Our Little Island Girl") Nominated
Outstanding Music Composition for a Series (Original Dramatic Score) Siddhartha Khosla (for "Songbird Road: Part One") Nominated
Teen Choice Awards Choice Drama TV Actor Justin Hartley Nominated [72]
Sterling K. Brown Nominated
2020 Critics' Choice Television Awards Best Drama Series This Is Us Pending [73]
Best Actor in a Drama Series Sterling K. Brown Pending
Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Asante Blackk Pending
Justin Hartley Pending
Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series Susan Kelechi Watson Pending
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series Sterling K. Brown Pending [74]
Writers Guild of America Awards Episodic Drama Eboni Freeman (for "Our Little Island Girl") Pending [75]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ In 2017, Hala Bahmet, Marina Ray and Elinor Bardach were nominated for Outstanding Costumes for a Contemporary Series, Limited Series, or Movie. The nomination was rescinded after it was determined that the submitted episode "Moonshadow" was primarily set in the 1970s, violating the TV Academy's rule that "more than 50 percent" of the episode must be contemporary (within 25 years of the air date).[43]

References[edit]

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  2. ^ Bradley, Laura. "This Is Us Adds Another Layer of Flashbacks—and Another Tragedy". www.vanityfair.com. Retrieved April 3, 2019.
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    Aptaker: And I think they will. I think audiences are so sophisticated nowadays and they have so much choice that people give up on a show not when it takes a turn into something a little darker than they were expecting, but when it starts to feel false or it doesn't take risks. Hopefully people will feel like we've told a story where our characters behave in a way that's very organic to the people we've presented up until now, and that while this one was an episode that's maybe the heaviest we've ever done, there will be episodes that are lighter than we've ever done. The show is about the experience of being a human alive in the world, and that comes with really, really dark upsetting moments, and really, really joyous ones. The show covers all of that.
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External links[edit]

Preceded by
24: Legacy
2017
Super Bowl lead-out program
This Is Us
2018
Succeeded by
The World's Best
2019