‘This Is Us’ reviews: Will acclaimed NBC drama bring Emmys back to network TV?

The NBC drama series “This Is Us” premieres on Tuesday night, September 20, at 10pm following weeks of anticipation. And it’s worth the wait if the reviews are any indication. It has a score of 77 on MetaCritic and 89% freshness on Rotten Tomatoes.

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The series tells the story of people born on the same day, and the ensemble cast includes newly minted Emmy-winner Sterling K. Brown (“The People v. O.J. Simpson”), as well as Daytime Emmy-nominee Justin Hartley, Milo Ventimiglia and Mandy Moore. It was created by Dan Fogelman, who previously created shows as diverse as the sci-fi sitcom “The Neighbors” and the musical fantasy “Galavant” in addition to writing the screenplays for “Cars,” “Tangled,” “Crazy, Stupid, Love” and more.

“This Is Us” is already a critical favorite. Now it hopes to be a hit with audiences as well, and this time next year we may see it represented at the Emmys. Broadcast TV dramas have been on the wane in recent years. In fact, no series on the big four networks has even been nominated for Best Drama Series since CBS’s “The Good Wife” in 2011. So will “This Is Us” be the start of a broadcast comeback? Check out some of the reviews below, and click here to discuss this series and more in our forums.

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Gwen Ihnat (The A.V. Club): “So while these characters have room to grow, the end of the pilot leaves it wide open as to how they’re actually going to do that. But the hour accomplishes what it set out to do. It creates characters so compelling that we compulsively want to tune back in to see them again.”

Ken Tucker (Yahoo): “All the acting is equally good, something you can’t say about most ensemble-cast shows. Basically, ‘This Is Us’ is a well-designed emotion machine that, by the end (for the record, I freely admit I didn’t see the end-twist coming — you might, because you’re smarter than me), had me eager to see how this is all going to shake down in Episode 2. And I’ll bet I’m not alone in tuning in for that next week.”

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Amber Dowling (The Wrap): “It’s a unique blend with four very distinct but compelling stories, proving there’s plenty of drama to be mined from real life. It doesn’t hurt that each of the actors is perfectly cast in his or her role, driving home the beautifully written scenes that often pose pertinent and universally relatable questions.”

Jeff Jensen (Entertainment Weekly): ” I loved it. This is a brilliantly cast show about flawed people who care about being quality, loving human beings. How refreshing! There’s no doubt ‘This Is Us’ will struggle to stay on the right side of sappiness. But the talent suggests a show capable of doing so. The ace performances ground the characters, there’s an abundance of leavening humor, and Gerald McRaney provides an MVP guest spot with beats that frame everything within a gritty-optimistic worldview.”

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