When Sterling K. Brown won the lead in a drama series for his role as Randall Pearson in the first season of NBC‘s “this is us“At the 2017 Emmys, it was his second and first win at the show. Although Brown’s enthusiastic acceptance speech was cut short by Fox in the now-infamous attempt to move forward with the awards show, Brown’s spirits remained high and he remained for a few more minutes,” This Is Us” in competition for Best Drama.
Oprah announced the grand prize. And there were some hadiths that we were able to achieve, “Oh Creator Dan Fogelman Variety says. “I kind of opened the envelope and yelled a little—and we knew she loved our show—and she said, ‘Amy goes to…’ and she said ‘Th’, and it was ‘The Handmaid’s Tale.’ I always joked that during the time the ‘Th’ came out of Th’s mouth Oprah, I think my heart has already stopped, and I felt like I was going to vomit.”
Fogelman hadn’t been to the Emmys before that night, but the unexpected tribute to This Is Us will see him and his cast return multiple times on the show so far, with 38 nominations and four wins. “Sterling winning in the beginning, those times were so overwhelming and a source of pride for everyone – the entire cast, the entire crew,” says Fogelman. “But anyone who said they saw it all coming would be a complete liar.”
Now, everything is about to end. This Is Us airs May 24, making this fall’s Emmys the last year for large-scale dramas to qualify. But whether or not it takes more names, or is likely to be his first and only win in a drama, will be largely due to the Academy of Television’s reaction to the way the show wrapped up the Pearson family saga.
“He didn’t play it safe,” said 20th TV president Carrie Burke, who was “crying” in her office the first time she saw the “This Is Us” trailer, while serving as president of Freeform. “I think it will go down in history as one of the greatest final seasons and one of the greatest finale episodes in broadcast history, I really do.
“Having seen so many of them and been involved with some, I can say this will hold up with those,” she adds. “I think he really delivered and honored this family. And I felt deeply aligned with everything he created from the beginning.”
Six Seasons of Tears has given “This Is Us” a bad reputation among circles who view it as an overly dramatic series that is simply there to make you cry. But this is a chord that does not quite align with Brown.
“There’s a thought sometimes, ‘Is she too emotional?'” Brown says. “And for that, I say, our show is an opportunity to lighten the burden on you. It invites people who might be going through very real things, whether it’s a personal or family illness or a divorce. Whatever the situation, you’ll see, ‘Oh, those people are going through it too.'” I’m not weird, weird, bad, or flawed, just human. And I had the chance to feel it, set it free, and hopefully walk through life a little bit. ‘So, I hope those people who are overly critical realize that there really is a point in it, that it resonates with people for a reason and not something manipulative for the sake of manipulation.’
Pearson family members, Brown, Mandy Moore, Milo Ventimiglia, and Chrissy Metz all received Emmy nominations during the show’s first five seasons, as did many of the supporting actors and guest stars, but Justin Hartley was repeatedly ignored — as did the “This Is Us” book. .
“It’s shocking to me that the writing wasn’t recognized,” says Lisa Katz, Head of Text Content at NBCUniversal. “Part of that is that they make it look easy. And when you think about the fact that they’ve told this very complex story across multiple timelines and 18 episodes a year for six seasons, it’s amazing to me that it wasn’t recognized. The only thing I can think of is is that people take for granted how hard it is to get an offer [whose] The stories are very touching, the way they tie the themes together and how the past informs the present and how every decision is thoughtful and thoughtful. I just think it’s storytelling at the highest level and that frankly baffles me.”
But the ebb and flow of awards hasn’t stopped the “This Is Us” team from making this one for them — the fans.
“We’re like a network little program that could, and really still is, have a huge impact on people,” says Metz. “And this is truly the gift, the reward and the accolades. We create a piece of art that will change the course of anyone’s life.”
As the star who played a 16-year-old girl, an 80-year-old woman on her deathbed and everything in between, Moore is probably the most unique example among the cast of how “This Is Us” has changed their lives.
“I remember reading the script thinking, ‘No, I can’t put my heart on the line again for a show and not move forward,'” Moore says. I’m going to put my name in the ring and whatever I need to be a part of this project, I’m going to do” — obviously not understanding what the story is really going to put to the test. In the pilot, my character is just a little cog in the wheel, and this pivotal, huge, life-changing thing happens to the life of this family and of course the lives of this couple and this woman. But I obviously had no idea we’d be here today.”
“The show has transcended this whole idea, there are the viewers and then there are the announcers,” Hartley says. “Like, no, no, there’s good TV and there’s really great TV. And we were really cool.”
Using the F-bomb is one of the few things Fogelman had to give up to make “This Is Us” air-friendly, along with nudity and violence—a sacrifice he was more than willing to make.
“I think there were seven prostitutes on the pilot for ‘This Is Us,’ which weren’t important to this pilot,” he says. “So, I took them out because I felt it could live successfully on network TV and play in front of a large audience, but also hopefully in high quality. There is no reason why something shouldn’t be great on network TV.
“I am a believer in the medium and the sheer number of people who have access to it. This show has taught me that a network TV audience will come with you if you do something brilliant. I think it can be underestimated, and the storytelling and structure of ‘This Is Us’ ask people to watch it with intent. The audience is ready for things like this. The medium needs to keep evolving. But I firmly believe that in a couple of years, you’ll be asking the next person or girl the question, ‘How do you feel when you’re the first broadcast that gets so much attention since ‘This Is Us’?’ Because I think there are more of them out there.”