Fall TV Preview

NBC's Twisty Fall Series This Is Us Is 'Dramedy Version of Lost'

It’s nearly impossible to preview NBC’s buzzy new fall drama This Is Us without spoiling the twist at the center of the show’s pilot. As a result, the series’ cast and producers carefully talked around the narrative curveball when they convened Tuesday at the Television Critics Association summer press tour.

“I think NBC has done a good job of [promoting the show] in a way that is intriguing to people without ruining [the twist],” shared the show’s creator and executive producer Dan Fogelman, who noted that folks who have already screened the pilot have, for the most part, resisted taking on the role of spoiler sport. “It feels almost like people are collectively holding hands and talking about the show in a way that doesn’t give anything away for the audience,” he said.

Per NBC’s official synopsis, This Is Us — which stars Mandy Moore, Milo Ventimiglia, Justin Hartley and Sterling K. Brown — centers on a group of people share the same birthday and “more than anyone would expect” as their “paths cross and their life stories intertwine in curious ways.”

In explaining what the series (the trailer for which quickly became a viral phenomenon after launching in May) will look like beyond the premiere, Fogelman likened the format to another famously twisty ABC drama. “When we sold the show, we had a whole plan for the series,” he maintained. “When it was written it wasn’t like we were just going to make a pilot and then just figure it out if we get lucky enough [to get on the air]. As we went along, I described it as like a dramedy version of Lost, where you have to understand how everyone’s connected and then explore these people as we move forward.”

This Is Us premieres Tuesday, Sept. 20 at 10/9c on NBC.