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.



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.