By now, you've likely checked out the trailer for NBC's new dramedy This Is Us. And like the seven million other people who've viewed the first look at the series (a record for a new show), you've probably had a laugh, shed a tear or two, and marveled at the wonder of Milo Ventimiglia's booty. (And if you haven't watched yet, you can remedy that below.)
As the cast and executive producer Dan Fogelman sat before reporters during the show's panel at the Television Critics Association summer press tour, they were asked what their main takeaway was as they endeavor to translate the trailer's success into a hit series. Fogelman's immediate response?
"We're showing his ass in every episode."
"Just an ass," Ventimiglia replied, as the room erupted in laughter.
"He doesn't even have lines in the second one," Fogelman teased.
Of course, a firm butt alone does not a successful show make. As Fogelman sees it, the trailer made such a connection with the audience because it offers such a respite to the grim outlook that's come to grip much of pop culture. And it's that uplifting alternative that the show will continue to offer when the series debuts.
"Maybe it's the right place, right time for a show that has a little bit of hope and optimism, can make you cry, can make you feel, but can also make you feel good," he added. "I didn't get in the business to work on something that when people turn off their TV, they feel worse than they did an hour ago…I think the goal is to entertain and and explore people and hopefully uplift a little without it ever being soft."
Starring Mandy Moore, Sterling K. Brown, Justin Hartley, and Chrissy Metz, as well as Ventimiglia, This Is Us is the ensemble story about a group of people whose lives cross and paths intertwine in curious ways, with many of them having the same birthday.
Have you added This Is Us to your fall DVR plans yet? Let us know in the comments below!
This Is Us premieres Tuesday, Sept. 20 at 10 p.m. on NBC before settling into its regular timeslot at 9 p.m. on October 11.
(E! and NBC are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)