by Julian Spivey
“This Is Us” has been such a surprising hit out of the gates for NBC that the network made the rare decision to renew the show for not just a second season, but also a third on Wednesday, Jan. 18. Each season will feature at least 18 episodes.
President of NBC Entertainment Jennifer Salke told Deadline: “’This is Us’ is as good as anything we’ve ever had, we’re thrilled to renew it for two seasons and there’s no doubt it will have a long life at NBC.”
The show, which features a cast of Milo Ventimiglia, Mandy Moore, Sterling K. Brown, Justin Hartley and Chrissy Metz, is about two generations of the Pearson family and uniquely features two different timelines throughout the series.
“This Is Us” is no doubt one of the two or three best new dramas of the 2016-2017 network television season, and by far the buzziest. But, there’s one thing about the series that irrationally bugs the hell out of me and has since its debut was met with so much success and critical praise and it really has nothing to do with the show at all. This irrational irritant popped up again on Wednesday when the network decided to give the show two more seasons before its first even wrapped.
When “This Is Us” debuted the popular thing to do among critics was to compare the show to NBC’s previous realistic family drama “Parenthood,” which aired six seasons from 2010-2015. Other than being realistic portrayals of family life the two shows don’t hold many other similarities with “This Is Us” featuring two different timelines.
“Parenthood” was one of my all-time favorite TV dramas and while six seasons is a fantastic achievement for network television the show never really got the respect it deserved from NBC. Only half of its season received a full order of 18 or more episodes and the show was always seemingly on the chopping block come time for renewals and culminated in a final season where prices were cut so much for its survival that all the cast members had to appear in fewer episodes.
Fans of “Parenthood” were always on pins and needles come the spring when the fall schedules for the next season were announced and it was truly unfair for the network to do for such an amazing show.
“This Is Us” may become a classic TV drama, it’s too early to tell, but it’s kind of irritating to see the show get so much love from NBC when an arguably better series struggled so much and for so long just to survive. I understand it’s a ratings business and “This Is Us” first season is averaging more than twice the number of live viewers than the final season of “Parenthood” did two seasons ago, which is strange to me in general with the similarity of the two shows being family dramas, but it’s still something that draws a slight bit of jealousy from me.
“This Is Us” has been fantastic in its freshman season and I hope it continues to provide great entertainment, but “Parenthood” – I got your back.