NBC has given a mega-three-season renewal to its flagship drama series This Is Us, taking it through a sixth season. While not unprecedented, the size of the order is very rare and only reserved for the biggest hits on television. CBS’ The Big Bang Theory most recently received a three-season pickup in 2014. Like the first three seasons, the next three will consist of 18 episodes each.
Asked during the NBC upfronts press call Sunday whether This Is Us would end with Season 6, NBC co-chairman Paul Telegdy said, “We’re keeping it open for now. Creator Dan Fogelman has a plan for the show, for now it’s being picked up for three more seasons.”
This Is Us‘ return was never in question, still it is unusual for a network’s top series to be officially picked up so close to the upfronts. However, saving the renewal news for today gave the network a big splashy upfront announcement which was likely the plan.
One likely factor in the delay of the official announcement was ensuring that series creator Fogelman, whose overall deal with 20th TV was coming to an end, would continue on the show. His massive re-up with the studio closed within the past week or so.
This is This Is Us‘ second consecutive multi-season pickup. The family drama was previously renewed for two seasons, two and three, halfway through its freshman season.
“In a television landscape with nearly 500 original scripted series, there are very few, if any, that have the critical and cultural impact of This Is Us, and we couldn’t be more proud to bring fans three more seasons of a show that so well represents the NBC brand,” said Lisa Katz and Tracey Pakosta, Presidents of Scripted Programming, NBC Entertainment. “A huge thank you and congratulations to our executive producers, cast and crew who reach new heights every week with the show’s inventive and compelling storytelling.”
Shortly after the news of the pickup was announced, Fogelman posted a heartfelt and witty three-part note to fans on Twitter. You can read it under the story.
This is the first renewal for the series under 20th TV’s new Disney ownership, and comes amid continued strong ratings for the critically acclaimed drama series.
In Season 3, This Is Us averaged a 3.79 rating in adults 18-49 and 13.8 million total viewers (Live+7). It is on track to finish as No. 1 broadcast dramas in 18-49 for a third consecutive season. It is currently the season’s #1 entertainment series on any broadcast or cable network in 18-49, as well as the #2 drama in total viewers.
This Is Us follows the lives and families of two parents, and their three children, in several different time frames. The ensemble cast includes Milo Ventimiglia, Mandy Moore, Sterling K. Brown, Chrissy Metz, Justin Hartley, Susan Kelechi Watson, Chris Sullivan, Jon Huertas, Niles Fitch, Logan Shroyer, Hannah Zeile, Mackenzie Hancsicsak, Parker Bates, Lonnie Chavis, Eris Baker, and Faithe Herman.
The final episodes of Season 3 saw Kate (Chrissy Metz) and Toby (Chris Sullivan) welcome their baby months early, Randall (Sterling K. Brown) and Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson) in the worst fight of their relationship and Kevin (Justin Hartley) relapsing and starting to drink again, and breaking up with Beth’s cousin Zoe (Melanie Liburd) over their different stances about having children. That storyline also led to the departure of Liburd as a series regular.
Creator Fogelman gave a hint at what’s to come in the new season, at TCA earlier this year, “I think this season has been a lot about redemption, but also a lot of rebirth. Next season is a season of new beginnings and restarts.”
The series has received 17 Emmy nominations for its first two seasons, including Outstanding Drama Series, winning three, a lead actor Emmy for Brown and guest actor trophies for McRaney and Jones. Additionally, This Is Us has won two Screen Actors Guild Awards for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
This Is Us is produced by 20th Century Fox Television. Fogelman, Isaac Aptaker, Elizabeth Berger, John Requa, Glenn Ficarra, Ken Olin, Charlie Gogolak and Jess Rosenthal executive produce.
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