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A Million Little Things doesn’t premiere for a few more months, but comparisons have already been drawn to NBC’s hit family drama This Is Us, thanks to trailers that have been released.
The hour-long drama from creator DJ Nash revolves around a group of friends from Boston who bond under unusual circumstances. After one of them dies unexpectedly, it’s the wake-up call the others need to finally start living.
“It’s a compliment, firstly,” executive producer James Griffiths told reporters at the Television Critics Association press tour on Tuesday when asked about the comparisons. “This Is Us is an incredibly successful show, and thank you to This Is Us for proving that there is an audience for stories about everyday lives and humans going through things.”
“In that way, yeah, we’re very thankful to This Is Us. But the comparisons stop there,” Griffiths said. “Our show is a very unique, different show.”
Producers revealed during the session that the first season will sprinkle various clues and hints as to what led to the death, slightly similar to the way This Is Us began charting how Jack Pearson died, a question that was answered late in its second season. By the end of the freshman finale for A Million Little Things, producers hope to provide the full picture of what happened on that fateful day.
“I had the idea for the show before This Is Us was on the air. Certainly, what Dan and everyone over there has done has paved the way for this. It’s probably a big reason why a half-hour guy gets to do an hour-long show,” Nash said, referencing his prior TV comedy credits like Bent and Up All Night.
Though A Million Little Things aims to provide hope, the first episode is quite grim and bleak. So how are they calibrating that as the season goes on past the pilot?
“Friendship might be one thing to save you from yourself. That’s what we’re going to talk about,” Nash said. “If our show gives people the opportunity to start conversation that it seems like as a country we need to have, then I think we’re really excited about that.”
David Giuntoli, Ron Livingston, Romany Malco, James Roday, Allison Miller, Christina Moses, Christina Ochoa, Stephanie Szostak and Lizzy Greene star in the hour-long series.
A Million Little Things premieres Wednesday, Sept. 26 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.