NBC's This Is Us has now ended its first season and while fans will likely have to wait several months for season 2, there is something to look forward to this summer.
This Is Us has turned into the runaway hit of the 2016-17 TV season, regularly placing in the top 5 of most watched TV series in the adults 18-49 demographic. The family drama reached series highs with its season finale this past Tuesday, with 12.84 million viewers a 3.4/12 rating for the 18-49 demo.
Fans have lauded This Is Us for its strong writing and excellent ensemble of actors, and this has led to growing awards buzz. The show has already received major nominations, with the show, Mandy Moore (who plays Rebecca) and Chrissy Metz (Kate) all receiving Golden Globe nominations and Sterling K. Brown (Randall) nabbing a Screen Actors Guild nomination. Other industry guilds have included it among the best dramas of the year, including the ACE Eddies and the Writers Guild of America.
As such, it is now time to discuss the Emmy chances for This Is Us. There is a possibility that This Is Us could become the first drama airing on the "Big 4" networks (NBC, CBS, ABC and Fox) to receive a nomination for Best Drama Series since CBS's The Good Wife in 2011. There seems to be major love for the show among critics, the industry and the public, which is an insanely strong combination. Considering HBO's Game of Thrones won't be eligible, This Is Us has a good shot of sneaking in with all those cable/Netflix dramas.
Then there's the acting categories. Gold Derby is reporting that Brown and Milo Ventimiglia (Jack) are submitting in Drama Lead Actor, while Moore is submitting in Drama Lead Actress. Justin Hartley (Kevin) and Ron Cephas Jones (William) are submitting in Drama Supporting Actor while Metz is submitting in Drama Supporting Actress. Guest star submissions are not yet known.
So who has the best chance of being Emmy nominated? Brown seems like a safe bet considering he was nominated at the Screen Actors Guild Awards and also won an Emmy last year for his performance as Christopher Darden in The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story. Many viewers have felt a personal connection to Brown's Randall and his story, so it's hard to imagine he's not a major contender.
Metz feels like another safe bet due to her Golden Globe nomination and the fact that Drama Supporting Actress is up for grabs this year. Downton Abbey is over so last year's winner, Maggie Smith, won't return. Neither will the three Game of Thrones actresses, Emilia Clarke, Lena Headey and Maisie Williams. With four empty slots, how can Metz, largely considered a breakout star of this TV season, miss out?
The show's other actors will probably have a tougher time due to strong competition, but if Emmy voters really fall in love with the show they could all make it in. The Emmys have embraced shows in their first seasons with open arms before (The West Wing, Six Feet Under, Orange Is the New Black) so This Is Us could have a similar fate. Moore's lack of a competing star in Drama Lead Actress could help her greatly, and Jones had a major emotional arc with Brown, so neither can be counted out.
As for Ventimiglia and Hartley, both have established themselves on television for years now and even if their chances are lower than their co-stars, they must be considered contenders.
The Emmy nominations will be revealed on Thursday, July 13, with the ceremony airing Sunday, Sept. 17.