NBC’s well-regarded family melodrama This Is Us has secured a massive two-season, 36-episode renewal from NBC, executives at the Television Critics Association tour announced Wednesday. It’s a major vote of confidence in a show that, since its fall debut, has steadily overtaken Empire and others as broadcast TV’s top drama series. Furthermore, while streaming and cable outlets will occasionally announce multiple new seasons at once, it’s a very rare move for broadcast networks, which typically renew scripted programming one cycle at a time.
“We all got our wish that this is a hit show,” said Jennifer Salke, President of NBC Entertainment. “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 on NBC. 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.”
This Is Us has struck a chord across the country through its first season, with its winter premiere episode attracting nearly 15 million viewers in Live+3. According to Deadline, the series’ first 10 episodes have been caught by 72 million viewers “in some fashion on all platforms.” Indeed, given its continually ascending ratings, the first season’s trajectory mirrors Empire’s to some extent—though of course, Empire has never been able to recapture the momentum of its breakout freshman run. Whether This Is Us can buck that trend and stay on top beyond Season 1, remains to be seen. But with this aggressive renewal, NBC certainly seems to think it’s possible.