NBC’s breakout family drama scored big on Emmy nominations morning Thursday, landing 11 noms -- including Best TV Drama Series -- for the beloved television favorite. This Is Us becomes the first network TV drama to land a nomination in the series category since The Good Wife in 2011.
Sterling K. Brown followed up his 2016 Emmy win for American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson with his second nomination, this time for playing Randall, while Milo Ventimiglia -- in a nice Emmy surprise (he didn't land a Golden Globe nomination) -- scored his first nomination for his portrayal as Jack.
Co-stars Chrissy Metz and Ron Cephas Jones, as well as guest stars Gerald McRaney, Brian Tyree Henry and Denis O'Hare each scored Emmy noms for their peerless portrayals of Kate, William, Dr. K, Cousin Ricky and Jessie, respectively.
Brown pre-emptively praised Metz for the glowing Emmy recognition she's received, tweeting Tuesday, ".@ChrissyMetz is the illest! I'm so happy she's receiving the attention she so richly deserves! #ThatsMySister #ThisIsUs 😁😁😁." Creator Dan Fogelman wrote an enthusiastic tweet following the nominations on Thursday: "#ThisIsUs set gonna be going OFF today!!! So proud of this group. Nice things happening to nice people."
"Maaaaan, I got the best job on TV! Receiving this nomination is just the cherry on top. Thank you, Television Academy!
From network to studio, cast to crew, writers, producers & directors -- each and every one of you are second to none! Thank you all for making this the experience of a lifetime!" Brown said in a statement to ET. "Dan Fogelman...you are a cherub faced, literary assassin! I look forward to working with you for the rest of my life!"
"The opportunity to be a part of this amazing cast and production is something I'll always be joyous about. Thank you to 20th Century Fox and NBC. Dan Fogelman, the heart with which you create these lives is just a testament to how beautiful your soul is," Henry said in a statement. "To the Family Pearson, thank you for letting my limb of the family tree come in. Sid and Chris, making music with you two is a gift. Jermel, Ron, and my brother Sterling, thank you for reminding us all what coming home feels like. I love you. Thank you."
Jones spoke to ET after receiving his first Emmy nomination at 60 years old and he was over the moon. "It's a testament to the work, to what we've been talking about all season, about the writing and about Dan, and the writers and the cast, and the family we've created with this show," he shared. "It's going to be so nice to celebrate with everyone and get back on set and see everyone. It's the work that we put in, so it's an honor to be recognized as an ensemble, and as a group."
Jones added that Brown as one of the first people to congratulate him this morning, sharing their conversation. "He called me this morning right away, too. I was like, 'Son!' and he was like, 'Pop!' That was beautiful, man. He was one of the first to call me. It was like, we couldn't have done it without each other," he said, crediting their heartbreaking episode, "Memphis," as a game-changer.
For Brown, his first Emmy nomination in the Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series category -- where he’ll go up against the likes of Matthew Rhys (The Americans), Anthony Hopkins (Westworld) and Bob Odenkirk (Better Call Saul) -- could be historic. Should he win, he would be the first black actor in nearly 20 years to do so, after Andre Braugher took home the statuette in 1998 for Homicide: Life on the Street.
“When I hear somebody say it out loud like that, it’s very crazy,” Brown confessed to ET in May. “It’s surreal for me, too, because we all collectively, meaning the Pearson family -- Justin [Hartley], myself, Chrissy, Milo [Ventimiglia] and Mandy [Moore] -- we take turns leading the show. To be singled out in that way, amongst who I consider to be one of the better ensembles on television, I’m honored.”
“I tell [creator] Dan Fogelman every chance that I get that he’s changed my life. I was waiting for the opportunity for [something like this], where someone would allow me to challenge myself and stretch in a way I didn’t know I was capable of,” Moore told ET in April. “Dan did me the greatest favor in the world and really allowed me to do something that no one else has allowed me to do before.”
The 69th Emmy Awards, hosted by Stephen Colbert, will air live from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, Sunday, Sept. 17, starting at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on CBS. This Is Us returns Tuesday, Sept. 26 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.