NBC has announced its fall schedule for the 2017-18 TV season, featuring new show premieres, returning favorites staying in their regular timeslots and in the case of This Is Us, some ambitious plans.
This Is Us is slated to move from Tuesdays at 9/8c to Thursdays at 9/8c, NBC announced Sunday. NBC Entertainment Chairman Bob Greenblatt suggested in a Sunday conference call that the move was ambitious but part of an attempt to create a strong “Must-See TV” lineup.
“While this is a bit risky, there is a bigger case to be made about redoing Thursday night,” Greenblatt said, adding that the family drama has an “extraordinary rabid following.”
Based on past fall schedules, fans can likely expect This Is Us to premiere Season 2 in September, though a specific premiere date has not been announced yet. This Thursdays at 9/8c timeslot will run into NBC’s Thursday Night Football, with This Is Us airing for six weeks and then taking off six weeks for football.
“There will hopefully be some Pittsburgh Steelers games in there,” Greenblatt quipped, alluding to the Steelers being the Pearson family’s team of choice in the show. “I’d love the Steelers to go to the Super Bowl.”
Speaking of the Super Bowl, This Is Us is getting the highly coveted post-Super Bowl slot in 2018. Greenblatt said they wanted to pair two highly successful properties together.
“We thought it was great for the number one sports franchise to be followed by the number one scripted franchise,” he said.
Following the Super Bowl, NBC will be airing the 2018 Winter Olympics, which means This Is Us will take another break. While this may sound like a lot of time off for a popular show, Greenblatt has high hopes that the audience will remain loyal.
“We’ve got some ideas to keep the show alive. The priority is how can we keep This Is Us alive as much as humanly possible as long as possible. And that’s what we’re going to try to do even with the interruptions that we’re going to have.”
This Is Us became the breakout new show of the 2016-17 TV season. The Season 1 finale in March helped it become the No. 1 scripted show (let alone new show) of the TV season for adults 18-49 in terms of live viewership plus seven days. The family drama was also acclaimed by critics and the industry, netting Golden Globe nominations, a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination, a Writers Guild of America Award win, and a spot on AFI’s Top 10 shows of 2016.
The show features an all-star ensemble cast that includes Milo Ventimiglia, Mandy Moore, Sterling K. Brown, Chrissy Metz, Justin Hartley, Susan Kelechi Watson, Chris Sullivan, and Ron Cephas Jones. Ventimiglia, Moore, Brown, and Metz have all picked up individual acting nominations from awards groups.
The next stop for This Is Us is the Emmys, where NBC is hoping to compete in the drama categories for this first time in many years. The last time an NBC show was nominated for Best Drama Series at the Emmys was in 2007 with Heroes, which was also a breakout show at that time. A nomination for This Is Us in Best Drama Series would be the first network show to do so since 2011 for The Good Wife, which was on CBS. The Emmys announce their nominations on July 13.
It remains to be seen if This Is Us will thrive on Thursdays, considering other NBC shows like The Blacklist have been moved there only to see ratings drop. However, as Greenblatt noted, “If there is one show we could move, it would be this one.”
[Featured Image by Ron Batzdorff/NBC]