‘This is Us’ finale makes ratings history: NBC’s first number-one show since ‘Frasier’ finale

It has been 13 years since NBC last had the top-rated show of the week, way back in 2004 when “Frasier” aired its last episode after 11 seasons on the air. It has happened again thanks to “This is Us,” the family drama that has become the season’s biggest breakout hit. The March 14 season finale of the series was the most watched show of the week after adding seven days of nonlinear viewing (read our recap of the episode here).

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In the seven days after the broadcast of the episode, it added 4.94 million viewers, bringing its total to 17.776 million, which put it ahead of CBS’s ratings behemoth “NCIS,” which had 17.713 million viewers. For the season as a whole “This is Us” now ranks as the most watched drama in Live+7 for the coveted 18-49 demographic with a 4.82 rating, tied with FOX’s music-industry drama “Empire.”

Viewer interest for “This is Us” started with last fall’s buzzed-about series premiere which set up the show’s unexpected format. It tells the story of the Pearson family across time periods, following the lives of parents Jack and Rebecca (Milo Ventimiglia and Mandy Moore) and their adult chuldren (Sterling K. Brown, Justin Hartley and Chrissy Metz) in the past and present.

But viewer interest didn’t decline after that twist was announced. It remained a ratings hit throughout the season, and it was also a hit on the awards circuit with three Golden Globe nominations, one SAG nomination and a victory for Best Episodic Drama at the Writers Guild Awards. Now it’s aiming to be the first broadcast network show to earn an Emmy nomination for Best Drama Series since CBS’s “The Good Wife” in 2011.

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