Chrishell Stause, Netflix star Sunset sale and the cast of NBC It’s us. (Photo: Netflix, NBC)
When It’s us debuted in September 2016, it was the rare scripted drama on network TV to get the kind of buzz we’re used to seeing on premium cable shows and streaming. The NBC series debuted with massive audiences, with more than 10 million people live on the night of the premiere, and an additional 4.5 million over the next seven days. Only a few weeks after the start of his race, It’s us was proclaimed “the hit of the fall TV season” and things only get better from there: and an outstanding lead actor win for Sterling K. Brown.
Six years later, a lot has changed for the Pearsons. Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) and Rebecca (Mandy Moore) watched death, the Big Three each had children, and other new faces young and old have left their mark on the family. But while last season’s premieres of It’s us have met with great interest, tonight the series returns for its sixth and final season with little fanfare. What happened?
Maybe the show just took its course. Few series are able to maintain the kind of popularity that It’s us appreciated in its first seasons. Or maybe the declining relevance of network television in general is to blame. But something else happened along with the show’s decline in popularity, and that something is actually someone: Netflix star Chrishell Stause. Sunset sale and the injured party in a very public divorce from It’s us‘Justin Hartley. Listen to us.
After meeting in the soap opera world, Chrishell and Justin tied the knot in October 2017. Chrishell began a career in real estate under her new husband’s last name, and in mid-2018, Sunset saleS cameras followed her as she joined Los Angeles brokerage firm The Oppenheim Group, where her wide-eyed “girl next door” nature earned her an immediate nemesis in Christine Quinn. Justin did not appear on the Netflix reality show, but Chrishell had no problem getting him to speak on camera. “So my husband is Justin Hartley. Maybe you’ve heard of him, ”she said in one of her first talkative interviews. “He’s on a show, It’s us. I love her to death.
Over the next two seasons, which were recorded throughout 2019, Chrishell continued to praise Justin, often citing his relationship as an example for the other girls. Off-camera, however, things weren’t quite what they seemed. In November 2019, Justin filed for divorce, citing “irreconcilable differences” and indicating the date of their separation as July 8. Chrishell told a very different story: in the second half of Sunset sale In Season 3, she revealed that she was “in shock” at the situation, as Justin informed her of his sudden decision via text message, just 45 minutes before submitting the documents. Needless to say, this wasn’t a great look for Justin Hartley, and Sunset sale took every opportunity to paint him as a villain who took advantage of Chrishell’s kindness and naivety.
When you put Chrishell and Justin’s divorce, the exit from Sunset sale, and It’s us‘notes on a single timeline, it is difficult not to draw conclusions. As of fall 2019, odds for It’s us Season 4 remained relatively consistent from the previous season, with 7.88 million viewers tuning in to the premiere, but after its Christmas break – in which the faces of Chrishell and Justin were plastered all over the place. The Tabloids – Live viewership fell below 7 million for the first time in the show’s four-year history. The season ended down 2.2 million from Season 3.
Yes It’s us started her free fall amid Chrishell and Justin’s much-publicized divorce, it really took a nosedive after she burst him into Sunset sale Season 3, which debuted in August 2020. After a relatively strong first season, It’s us started hemorrhaging fans in late 2020, dropping to a low of 4.53 million live viewers towards the end of the season. The May 2021 season finale, once a guaranteed audience source, was only watched by 5.14 million people.
But ratings don’t tell the whole story. All along It’s usAfter five seasons, Hartley’s character, Kevin, has been described as a self-absorbed brother venting his frustrations with his siblings, especially Randall (Brown). While Kevin has been somewhat redeemed in recent years, it’s hard to move past the decades of Randall’s bullying, and for many, the turmoil in Hartley’s personal life may have been the last straw. water. Watching a nice, lovable actor play a terrible person on TV (hello, Succession) is one thing, but watching someone whose character seems to assert their worst real qualities is another.
Even types of industry can be influenced by the IRL drama. It’s usThe first three seasons all garnered Outstanding Drama Series nominations, as well as additional nods for Brown, Ventimiglia, Moore and Chrissy Metz (Justin Hartley remains Pearson’s only parent or brother without an Emmy nomination). In 2020, however, the TV Academy declined to name It’s us Season 4 for honor; Brown won the show’s only Primetime Emmy nomination, although Ron Cephas Jones and Phylicia Rashad were both named Outstanding Actor and Actress at the Creative Arts Emmys, with Jones taking the award.
With the NBC series returning to the Outstanding Drama Series category in 2021, the implication is clear (at least for this conspiratorial writer): Emmys voters are Team Chrishell, and the snub of 2020 was supposed to hold Justin Hartley accountable for his perceived abuse. from soap star turned real estate maven of Valley.
Do Sunset sale and Chrishell Stause kill It’s us? We’ll never know for sure, but if Season 6’s lukewarm reception is any indication, Chrishell may have been the proverbial Crock-Pot that led to It’s us‘ disappearance.
It’s us Season 6 premieres Tuesday, January 4 at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.
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Claire Spellberg Lustig is the TV editor-in-chief of Primetimer and an expert on The View. Follow her on Twitter at @c_spellberg.