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Love it or hate it, “This Is Us” is exactly what TV needs right now

The first big hit of the new season is also the first relationship drama to resonate with audiences in ages

From Campaign US: When it comes to drama, NBC has a tendency to stick with what works. Case in point: A fourth entry in the network’s Chicago-themed franchise, “Chicago Law,” arrives in midseason. So when the network announced at the upfront that it would debut a new fall drama from “Crazy, Stupid, Love” writer and producer Dan Fogelman called “This Is Us,” many observers justifiably questioned whether an audience weaned on Dick Wolf storytelling would take to something so deeply relationship-oriented.

After all, it’s been ages since a family relationship drama has really resonated with viewers. Yes, ABC’s “Brothers and Sisters” was a moderate hit from 2006 to 2011, and “Parenthood” managed a five-year run on NBC from 2006 to 2011. There was also “Friday Night Lights” on NBC, which only managed to stay afloat beyond season two by co-producing seasons three through five with DirectTV. But none of the three were a true ratings success.

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Written by Marc Berman

Marc Berman

Marc Berman has been writing professionally since 1999 and is the author of the “Mr. Television” for Campaign US ( Most recently, Berman was the creator and Editor-in-Chief of website and newsletter TV Media Insights for Cross MediaWorks. From 1999-2011, he was the Senior Editor for Mediaweek and has also written for The New York Daily News, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter and Emmy Magazine, among others. Berman has also appeared on “Entertainment Tonight,” “Extra,” “Access Hollywood,” “Inside Edition,” “The CBS Evening News,” E!, CNN, CNBC, Fox News and MSNBC.

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  1. I’d argue that what TV needs now is hits, and this isn’t one.

    You do make a good point about having a variety of genres, even if nobody likes them all.