This Is Us episodes left fans emotional and at the edge of their seats throughout each episode of its first season, but what about those commercial breaks?
The Dan Fogelman-created hit TV series captivated the attention and captured the hearts of millions of people within the show’s first 18 episodes.
A vast number of fans and critics applauded the show for its well-developed storylines, layered character development and unexpected plot twists that would mostly occur within each episode’s final act. However, many of the same fans apparently had an opposite reaction to the This is Us commercial breaks – especially during the epic season finale.
— We So Nerdy (@WeSoNerdy) March 15, 2017
#ThisIsUs…more like This is Commercials. Why are there so many commercial breaks????????????????
— Brenda Nguyen (@ladyxbea) March 15, 2017
This is the 173rd commercial. Seriously! More #ThisIsUs please!
— Yolanda (@RedHawkins) March 15, 2017
THAT WAS LIKE FIVE MINUTES OF SHOW YOU CAN’T CUT TO A COMMERCIAL NOW #ThisIsUs
— maddie (@maddiev_98) March 15, 2017
Within the one-hour time slot filled by the show on Tuesday nights, the typical This is Us episode would only last about 43 minutes. There were some exceptions throughout the season – such as 45-minute Episode No. 12 “The Big Day.” Most of the episodes, though, were 43 minutes long. That means that viewers were exposed to nearly 17 minutes of This is Us commercial breaks throughout each episode – adding up to more than 300 minutes (or 5 hours) of commercials throughout the season.
It may seem as if the commercials stopped the momentum of each riveting episode and distracted viewers from the “This is Us Experience,” they may have been more helpful than harmful for two distinct reasons.
This Is Us Needs the Advertising
Most This is Us fans know the money that goes into the commercial breaks play a vital role in keeping the show on the air season after season, along with ratings. A study published by the Los Angeles Times reported that advertisers spent $78 billion on television commercials in 2013 — nearly a 22 percent increase from the $64 billion spent in 2009.
It should not be surprising that advertisers are more inclined to invest more money into shows with the highest ratings regardless of the type of show or the network on which it airs. For example, take the hit CBS comedy sitcom The Big Bang Theory created by Bill Prady and Chuck Lorre. According to Ad Age, the average cost of a 30-second advertisement during The Big Bang Theory(referred to as “the most expensive comedy on TV”) was $344,827 in 2014. The sitcom recently received a 2-season renewal, extending its run to a current total of 12 seasons.
— The Big Bang Theory (@bigbangtheory) March 20, 2017
The concept of a 2-season renewal should ring a bell for This is Us fans, because that is exactly what the show received back in January. This impressive achievement truly speaks volumes about the successful impact the show (which premiered nearly six months ago) has on fans, critics, network executives and advertisers alike. In a way, then, This Is Us fans should be somewhat thankful for the commercial breaks (and the commercials that will inevitably emerge within the show’s next 36 episodes and beyond) simply because they play a key role in keeping the Pearson family in their lives and on their televisions.
However, there is a personal benefit of these commercial breaks that has nothing to do with the financial success working behind and in between the scenes of This is Us.
This Is Us Fans Need to Breathe!
The length of each This is Us commercial break can vary, but those nearly 17 minutes of periodic interruptions typically provide 90-120 seconds of time for viewers to:
- enjoy a quick bathroom break without missing the show
- mentally reflect on the shocking development or plot twist they just saw
- text/call friends and family members to make sure they saw the same thing
- check social media to see how everyone else is reacting to those twists and turns
- handle a task or chore around the house they were putting off to watch the show
With the emotional reactions to the tear-jerking moments that seemingly flooded each This is Us episode, the commercial breaks also allowed viewers to just breathe — or catch their breath.
Well that was the realest real fight I’ve ever experienced on TV. Cut to commercial & husband said, “I can’t breathe.” #ThisIsUs
— Carrie (@MrsCMansfield) March 15, 2017
It’s gonna take well beyond this commercial break to recover from that. Intense. #ThisIsUs
— Kathy Hostetter (@KathyHostetter) March 15, 2017
A commercial. Oh good. *breathes freely* #ThisIsUs
— fertilized bae✨ (@arieella_) March 15, 2017
The well-written romantic dialogues and intense arguments shared between Jack and Rebecca.
— Erin Crabtree (@erinhcrabtree) March 16, 2017
The sibling rivalry that evolved into a self-sacrificing bond of brotherly affection between Randall and Kevin.
— NOUF (@badxangle) February 19, 2017
The ups and downs of Kate’s ongoing journey of internal conflict, grief, and progressive growth. The fact that many This is Us viewers still have no idea what Toby does for a living.
There is an extensive list of moments weaved into the This is Us scripts and storylines that had viewers making personal connections with their own lives. In some cases, fans had to wipe tears from their eyes when they did not even realize they were crying.
I’ll be watching #ThisIsUs then it goes to commercial & I realize I’ve been crying. It’s just so constant at this point, I don’t notice.
— A Person (@FROwardThinker) March 26, 2017
*puts on This Is Us* ok, sad war commercial. No. This is not a war commercial. THIS IS ME CRYING DURING THE FIRST FIFTEEN SECONDS
— Brittanie Marlow (@britt_marlow) March 18, 2017
Every episode of This is Us has me lookin like I belong in a Puffs tissue commercial????????
— Amanda (@mandicoons) March 17, 2017
This Is Us: A 43 minute Cheerios commercial directed by M. Night Shyamalan
— Loren Morris (@lorenmorris) March 16, 2017
As of right now, the confirmed This Is Us Season 2 premiere date has not yet been announced. With all of the unanswered questions from Season 1, most This Is Us fans are looking forward to everything that the future seasons will provide: shocking surprises, nailbiting cliffhangers, tissue-grabbing tearjerkers and more than enough love/hate commercial breaks.
[Featured Image by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images]