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‘This Is Us’: How Broadcast’s Breakout Hit Influenced Pilot Season

Variety logo Variety 3/10/2017 Elizabeth Wagmeister
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A hit usually spawns a multitude of clones: Given the success of “This Is Us,” you’d expect to see a slew of family dramas being developed for next fall.

But an analysis of the pilots on tap for the 2017-2018 season shows networks are steering clear of directly copying the NBC hit. Instead, sibling shows are the hot new trend for next season, perhaps tapping into audiences’ affinity for the Pearson trio.

Here’s a look at pilots in contention which revolve around adult siblings, just like “This Is Us”:

“Amy’s Brother,” Fox

An unconventional family is formed in this pilot when a successful type-A man and his estranged sister, plus her two children, find themselves not only back in each other’s lives but also living under one roof. “Bridesmaids” screenwriter Amy Mumolo stars as the title character, and Melissa McCarthy are executive producers.

“Losing It,” ABC

About three adult siblings, the ABC sitcom has so far cast “Parks and Recreation” alum Natalie Morales as the adopted sister of the bunch. The sitcom follows the three sibs and their parents, who between their minds, marriages and life are all losing it in different ways.

“Relatively Happy,” NBC

Hailing from “Will & Grace” co-creator Max Mutchnick, in this comedy, an adult brother and sister (Genevieve Angleson) wind up living together after one of them suffers a big loss. Sounding very familiar to the bond of Kate and Kevin on “This Is Us,” the central pilot characters become each other’s wingmen, shoulder to cry on, punching bag and best friend, as they navigate love, loss and work.

“The Sackett Sisters,” NBC

Casey Wilson and Busy Philipps co-star as siblings in this comedy from executive producer Tina Fey that sees the Sackett family reunited when the two estranged sisters perform an act of public heroism and are forced to navigate the aftermath together.

WATCH: ‘This Is Us’ Cast on How Show Has Changed Their Lives

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