This Is Us Renewed For Two More Seasons In Effort To Solidify Ratings

This Is Us has proven to be a smash success for NBC, with ratings that rival some of the most popular shows in years. Now that the data is in on the show’s return after the winter break, NBC has announced that it will renew the show for two more seasons.

That’s obviously a rare move among the broadcast networks, but it’s one that makes sense given today’s market. Cable networks have recently jumped on the multi-season renewal bandwagon, and the psychological effects of the move can’t be denied. One of the most frustrating things about television is the risk of investing something that won’t be around long, and even this season has given some examples that prove people don’t want to stick around if a show may get axed, or if it already has.

Of course, we all know that it’s something of a pseudo-renewal as well, because if the show somehow tanked next season NBC isn’t going to keep going anyway, but it’s still nice. Season two will likely get an extra boost off the people who will now give the show a shot based just on knowing that there’s a lot “guaranteed” to come.

The order is for two 18-episode (minimum) seasons, and is itself likely to become a trending topic.

This Is Us Renewed

Photo by: NBCUniversal

Jennifer Salke, President, NBC Entertainment, may have been overselling unnecessarily with the announcement, calling This Is Us, “as good as anything we’ve ever had.”

She went on to say that – “On behalf of everyone at NBC, we’re grateful for the artistry of the cast, crew, and producers assembled by our gifted creator, Dan Fogelman. In a world where there are literally hundreds of television dramas, we’re proud to have one of the very best that is also one of the highest-rated.”

You can’t deny that people are tuning in, with an average of 14.6 million viewers 18-49, making it the top new show of the season. And, while there is always some question about what a break will mean, the show returned to similar ratings, and moreover gave NBC their highest rating in the timeslot with scripted programming since April 2008. That’s the sort of thing that will get you renewed.

Add in all forms of viewing on all platforms and the show has managed a mind-boggling 72 million viewers. Possibly one of the notes that most impressed NBC were the pre-air trailer views leading into the show’s premiere, and the premiere’s digital footprint, becoming NBC’s most-viewed series premiere ever, more than doubling the network’s record for one-day views of a debut.

Critics, though not this one (This Is Us review), have largely been behind the show as well, despite the fact that most of the show’s praise is easily translated to “treacly melodrama.”

Still, if you’re a superfan, rejoice, and if you aren’t, you may really want to jump on board now and catch up if you can, because you don’t have to worry about getting this one yanked away from you any time soon.



Written by

Marc Eastman is the owner and operator of Are You Screening? and has been writing film reviews for over a decade, and several branches of the internet’s film review world have seen his name. He is also a member of The Broadcast Film Critics Association and The Broadcast Television Journalists Association.

  • renamoretti1

    What is frustrating about TV journalism today is that it over-sells anything that isn’t DOA in the ratings (and sometimes even what is DOA in the ratings).

    To wit, This is Us isn’t a “smash hit” anywhere except on NBC’s press releases and their Amen Corner in the Hollywood press.

    It is a solid show that only shines because of the many disasters that surround it (especially on the hit-deprived NBC).

    Another thing that is frustrating about TV today is the endless renewals of flops, or the endless renewals of solid shows that become flops.

    Now, All of Us may maintain its solidity and the renewal may work out, but it also may not and now that NBC has committed itself to 3 seasons, it may as well have said 5 as no matter the ratings, it will be extended under pressure from the syndication people who’s rather have a flop to sell than nothing.

    Of course we are in a world were mega-flops like Supernatural get 13 seasons, unwatched and unknown by the general public, so renewing 2 seasons for a solid show lamost looks intelligent in comparison.

    • areyouscreening

      Well, I appreciate the comment, but I’m not sure what you mean by the TV journalism comment. I’m not sure if you are going a different way with “smash hit,” but you’d have to using a different definition than most people if you don’t think it is one. It’s the number 6 show in total viewers for 2016.

      As for renewing it for two seasons, as I said, if it were to flop next season and really take a nosedive, NBC would unrenew it. And, there are no “syndication people.”

      • renamoretti1

        Thanks for the comment.

        To elaborate on what I mean: The media has kept lowering the bar every year for what is a “hit”, to the point where it refuses to even admit there are flops.

        Any show in production is called a hit.

        So what “most people” say just does not hold much sway with me because what ‘most people say” is just what they read in the pliant Hollywood press.

        I have been following ratings for a number of years (started very young as I loved TV growing up) and my observations of what constitutes a “hit” does not match the “all shows are hits” mentality of the media.

        I also don’t buy into the “if it’s ranked higher it’s a hit” idea as we live in a sad era where most shows are terrible and most shows are, indeed, flops.

        The #1 and #2 rated shows on TV are really old shows that have seen better days. In a healthy industry, they’d have been taken over by actual hits and replaced.

        Today, I’m told a show with 65% of NCIS’ ratings is a “smash hit”.

        I’m sorry, but this characterization fails to account for the reality of a dismal situation.

        On “unrenewing”, it never happens any longer. The networks don’t have enough money to program full slates and are forced to show every show they produce, no matter how poorly they do, and even if they do poorly, they keep making and renewing them because the syndication arm needs product, no matter how awful it doesin the marketplace.

        • areyouscreening

          Well, I can understand your general idea, but you seem to be clearly mixing your adjective definitions. When the media talks about a show being “a hit,” only ratings matter. That’s all they’re saying. You seem to mixing that together with “goodness,” which isn’t actually relevant to “hitness”. For example, you say that the #1 and #2 shows are old, and in a healthy industry would be taken over by actual hits. Unless you are using “hits” to mean something that it doesn’t mean, that sentence makes no sense. Also, obviously you say flat out that you don’t buy into the “if it’s ranked higher, it’s a hit,” idea. That’s fine, you can mean anything you want when you say hit, but what you’re saying – in basically impugning the media for calling things hits – is that just because things have more viewers doesn’t mean they have more viewers.

          The media have of course been lowering their standards (in terms of total viewers, and therefore hits) because the market is increasingly flooded with channels and no show gets the same ratings as 10, 20, 30 years ago. By comparison, Growing Pains was once the #5 (I think) show on television, and American Idol, easily the highest viewer ratings in its prime, never had as many viewers. It’s just a different world.

          However many viewers, in whatever year, if you’re the number 5 show on television, you’re a hit. Especially in today’s market, for a new show to hit that high is something to brag about. It doesn’t make it good. Most of the highest rated shows are awful at any given time.

          As to your last paragraph, I don’t want to get into details and dive into the time it would take to cover everything there, but it misrepresents how the industry works in several ways. To the specific point though, there’s nothing that would keep them from “unrenewing” the show for a second future season if viewers abandoned the show next year. “Forced to show everything they produce,” isn’t true, but more importantly is confusing if I try to think about it in industry terms… like, “what does ‘produce’ mean?” Do you mean has been produced, like a final version exists, or has been in production, or what? Things never get close to a final version unless they are going to air, and everything that’s been “in production” in the last five years couldn’t air in the next 100 unless you added 50 more networks to air it. So, it’s hard to figure what “produce” is meant to convey.

          • renamoretti1

            Thanks for the response and apologies for the tardiness of mine. 🙂

            I do not confuse quality and ratings. Hits are highly-rated shows. They also happen to be quality shows for the most part (would YOU watch a crappy show?)

            The name of the game is “attract the viewers” not “impress the critics with incompetent filmmaking – I’m talking about you Mr. Robot!)

            I do attack the media for calling “hits” shows that are not hits by any rational definition. The media are calling EVERY Show on the air a “hit” these days.

            The “different world” explanation to me only holds so much water. First of all because we had oodles of channels 20 years ago and ratings were MUCH higher.

            10 years ago, we had oodles of channels and other choices and cable ratings were twice what they are now for scripted shows.

            Saying “it’s a different world” is just trying to deflect from the reality that Hollywood isn’t making good shows, thus can’t find a hit to save its industry.

            The “biggest hit” of the season, according to the media has the same audience as Blue bloods, another ageing show that’s actually never been a hit (it’s a solid performer), yet we are told “All of Us” is the “#1 new hit on television (it’s neither as Bull has better ratings and neither of them are really hits).

            I’m not sure it makes things clearer, but I tried. 🙂

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