In an era where everything is measured, scored and ranked, television networks pay close attention to the performance of their series trailers – particularly those that are brand new shows. Lucky for NBC, its upcoming dramedy series This Is Us has a trailer that resonates with viewers so spectacularly that it has broken records on Facebook already – and the show does not even arrive until the fall.
This Is Us is created by Dan Fogelman, who previously wrote the movie Crazy Stupid Love, and also has Pitch over at Fox TV this premiere season. It’s an ensemble show starring Milo Ventimiglia, Mandy Moore, Justin Hartley, Sterling K Brown, Chris Sullivan, Susan Kelechi Watson, Chrissy Metz and Ron Cephas Jones – and it focuses on a range of people, whose lives are interwoven in a variety of ways. The trailer drew over 15 million views after almost 48 hours on Facebook, making it the most viewed new-show trailer of upfront week on Facebook, ever. It’s also proving to be highly popular on YouTube.
The trailer itself presents what some might find to be a slightly schmaltzy view of life, as characters navigate the trials and tribulations of the daily grind – so why is this preview footage proving to be so popular? Perhaps, although it seems to be aimed at a very particular demographic, it actually taps into an area that is currently underserved on television, and that is hopeful storytelling.
Turn on the TV on any given night, and you will be confronted with show after show about crime and violence. Here, we have a show about people and their everyday battles. There is real humanity to be found in This Is Us, and these Facebook views may well indicate that this is what we’ve been missing.