'This Is Us' Heads to Thursdays This Fall, Scores Post-Super Bowl Slot
By Philiana Ng
The Pearson family is on the move!
NBC's breakout hit, This Is Us, will be moving from its Tuesday home to anchor the new "Must See TV" lineup on Thursdays this fall, the network announced Sunday ahead of its formal Upfront presentation in New York City on Monday.
Touting it as a "new powerhouse lineup," This Is Us will premiere in its new Thursday at 9 p.m. time slot in the fall, with NBC opening the night at 8 p.m. with the highly anticipated 12-episode return of Will & Grace, followed by the premiere of Great News (expect a few Tina Fey cameos!). Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Brothers closes out the night at 10 p.m.
NBC executives addressed why they decided to shift This Is Us to a more competitive night for its sophomore run, noting that the shift is without its risks.
"This Is Us is peerless at the moment and we decided to move it to Thursday nights and not just throw it there and hope for the best but strategically to surround it with shows that are really strong," said Robert Greenblatt, Chairman of NBC Entertainment, on a conference call with reporters on Sunday morning.
With NBC broadcasting the Super Bowl LII, the network is slotting This Is Us in the coveted slot on Sunday, Feb. 8, 2018. "I thought it would be great to put the No. 1 sports franchise followed by the No. 1 scripted show franchise," Greenblatt said, joking that he hopes the Pittsburgh Steelers (which is part of the fabric of the show) makes it to the big game.
This Is Us' move to Thursdays won't be without some obstacles, especially once football games start broadcasting on that same night.
"That's just the fact of the matter," Greenblatt said, before addressing This Is Us' broadcast plan. "The show will be on for six weeks, then pre-empted for six weeks. Then it'll be back in January, and of course, there will be pre-emptions for Winter Olympics. We have some ideas to keep the show alive even when there are no shows [airing]."
NBC execs revealed that there are potential plans for a holiday episode, airing while the show is on hiatus, in an effort to keep the drum beating: "How can we keep This Is Us alive as humanly possible?"