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This Is Why ‘This Is Us’ Is Such a Hit

This is Us is inclusive of race, gender, age, body shape, sexual orientation, and even time. We all come from somewhere; This is Us represents the power of family, the love from which we derive strength in taking on life’s various challenges. But also that, we have the agency to become whom we want to be, independent of primary institutions—as demonstrated by Jack and Rebecca. The show highlights making one’s own fortune through the innate human need for connection and truth.

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This is Us season 1 originally garnered 11 Emmy Nominations but lost one: ”Outstanding Contemporary Costumes for a Series, Limited Series or Movie” due to “technicality.” The submitted episode, “Moonshadow,” which also served as the season finale was later deemed ineligible due to its predominance of flashback to the 1970s, exceeding in proportion of scenes as well as the time limit of having 51% of content set within the past 25 years.

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The breakout drama is nevertheless helping broadcast TV make a comeback at the award shows. If This is Us wins, it would be the first time in 11 years since a broadcast TV series has won (the last time being Fox’s 24) in the TV drama category. Competition has been fierce in recent years with the uprising of cable and streaming-service programs. This is Us is the only broadcast drama nominated this year, competing against Netflix’s House of Cards, The Crown, Stranger Things, as well as HBO’s Westworld, and Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale, among others.

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The Emmy nominations include two lead actor nods for Milo Ventimiglia and Sterling K.Brown, and two supporting nods for Chrissy Metz and Ron Cephas Jones.

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 This is Ventimiglia’s first Emmy nomination after being in front of the camera for 21 years. "'This is now my 21st year in front of the camera, professionally; I feel like I’m at the beginning,' the 39-year-old actor tells [The Hollywood Reporter] with a smile and a laugh.”

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 Sterling K. Brown had just won an Emmy for Best Supporting Actor in a Limited Series for The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story.this-is-why-this-is-us-is-such-a-hit_6

The show’s ensemble cast formula is reminiscent of Friends. This is Us’s fluid and intricately woven script connects threads of emotions that resonate. It examines the individual, the whole, as well as the individual within the whole. Characters lend themselves to one another and each character’s agency is emphasized. In fact, characters are archetypal as they are multi-dimensional, ideal as they are vulnerable, the show deftly combines everything we want with everything we are. The developing plotlines are dynamic and keep us wanting more.

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Milo’s hot bod is no accident. The actor gets fit with the same trainer “who worked with Bradley Cooper on American Sniper and Matt Damon on the Bourne films.” "It's one of those things where I heard Will Smith say, 'It's better to be ready than to have to get ready.'"

 Mandy Moore is the youngest of the main cast. Sterling K. Brown, who plays her son, is in reality 8 years older, while Justin Hartley is 40 years old.

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Plus-size actors’ love interests are underrepresented on TV and to have the airtime that Kate and Toby do on the show is a step that Chrissy Metz is excited to be a part of.

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Chrissy Metz was on the brink of bankruptcy when she auditioned for This is Us; she only had 81 cents left in her bank account. Perseverance paid off and fortune came through just in time.

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Mandy Moore’s character required different prosthetic breasts for different trimesters of the pregnancy.

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As creator of the show, Dan Fogelman also has Crazy, Stupid, Love (which starred Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone), Disney movie Tangled, a musical comedy series Galavant, and TV show The Neighbours to his credit.

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 Part of why Chrissy Metz agreed to play Kate Pearson on the show is that character development would require the actress to lose weight in real life too, as contractually stated.

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BUT Chris sullivan, who plays Toby, wears a fat suit on the show.

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 Sterling K. Brown resonated with Randall because both grew up without knowing their father.

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Jack is the only main character to appear in every episode in the first season.

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The show’s trailer amassed an estimated staggering total of 70 to 80 million views within the first 11 days of release. This includes views from Facebook and Youtube, but not NBC’s own website.

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The “core cast members” — including Mandy Moore, Milo Ventimiglia, Sterling K. Brown, Justin Hartley, and Chrissy Metz, among others — each received $250,000 cash bonuses from the network and studio (NBC and 20th Century Fox TV) for the success of the first season. Strategic move before those raise negotiations come up.

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This Is Us has been picked up for two more seasons, a first move of its kind by NBC.this-is-why-this-is-us-is-such-a-hit_20

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