It was a family affair for This Is Us on Emmy nomination morning!
The beloved family drama earned eight nominations on Thursday, including Best Drama Series, with several of its main stars recognized for their individual acting achievements in season two. Sterling K. Brown and Milo Ventimiglia scored back-to-back Emmy nominations for their roles on This Is Us, but co-stars Mandy Moore, Chrissy Metz, who was nominated in 2017, and Justin Hartley were all snubbed for their season two performances
Gerald McRaney, who won the guest actor in a drama series Emmy in 2017, landed back-to-back nominations in the category, with Ron Cephas Jones, who was submitted as a guest actor this time (he was a supporting actor nominee last year), joining him on the shortlist.
The acting nomination snubs for Moore, Metz and Hartley are shocking, to say the least, considering the meaty arcs the sophomore season afforded the three stars -- notably Moore and Hartley. The season two premiere was the kick-start to a powerful run on This Is Us for Moore, who delivered a heart-wrenching performance in the final moments of the episode. Moore's Rebecca, in shock over her husband’s death, drove to the charred remains of the Pearson home and broke down sobbing; Moore aced the scene on her first take.
“Personally for me, I think Mandy has been underrated with what she’s doing on the show. This season is her basically stepping up and announcing, ‘I’m not playing right now,’” creator Dan Fogelman told ET last September. “That seems like a very simple thing -- to explode in raw, powerful grief in a wide shot -- but it’s not an easy thing to do. To me, it’s stunning.”
Hartley's best chance for an Emmy nomination came in the second season, when Kevin’s seemingly easy path in life got deeper, darker and unflinchingly more honest: a roller-coaster battle with pill addiction mirroring his father Jack’s past alcoholism; a subsequent stint in rehab forcing him to re-examine personal failures, including an ill-timed DUI arrest; a myriad of dreadful choices accelerating his downward spiral.
“Typecasting is very, very real,” he told ET in April, taking a healthy perspective on his past “hot guy” roles on shows like Passions, Revenge and Smallville. “Hopefully, the conversation has changed a little bit.” Hartley paused, deep in thought. “I think when you give somebody an opportunity to give you what they have, that helps… unless you fail miserably and everyone goes, ‘We knew it.’”
This Is Us previously earned 10 Emmy nominations for its freshman season, including Best Drama Series. Seven actors were recognized last year with nominations for their performances, including eventual winners Brown and McRaney, who were the show's lone Emmy victors last year. Brown's win in the Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series category was a historic one, as he became the first black actor to win the award since Andre Braugher took home the trophy nearly two decades ago for Homicide: Life on the Street.
“It feels like this is historical,” Brown told ET's Kevin Frazier moments after winning his second career Emmy. “It’s been 19 years since a brother brought home this particular piece of hardware, [since] Andre Braugher in 1998. And so, to be the next one, I’m almost at a loss for words. I’m moved.”
Before filming began, Moore and Metz teased their reactions to the premiere episode, written by co-showrunners Fogelman, Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger, sharing cryptic messages of what fans can expect when the new season begins. "Reading the first episode of #ThisIsUs season 3... is NOT for the faint of heart," Moore wrote, while Metz revealed she may have cried on the plane: "Just read our season 3 premiere episode on the flight home... The flight attendant asked if I was okay... still not sure."
Back in May, Moore hinted to ET that parts of the This Is Us series finale may have already been filmed, even though there has been no indication as to when the show will end. “Maybe parts of the ending have been shot," she cryptically told ET's Nischelle Turner. Though the endgame is set, she assured fans that the series finale is still “a ways off,” adding that the cast knows “there’s a finite amount of time that the show will exist.”
The 70th Emmy Awards, co-hosted by Saturday Night Live’s Colin Jost and Michael Che, will air live from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on Monday, Sept. 17, starting at 5 p.m. PT on NBC.