11 TV Shows To Fill The This Is Us Void

Courtesy of Freeform
This Is Us confirmed what we all already know: There’s no drama like family drama. With its tremendously rich characters and unexpected plot twists, the NBC show has been manipulating its viewers into shedding tears since the last scene of the first episode.
We hate to remind you, though, but season 1 of This Is Us is coming to a close on Tuesday, March 14.
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Given this unfortunate fact, you may be looking for an equally dramatic, family-centric show that manages to fill the This Is Us void come Tuesday. While none of these shows feature Jack Pearson, a lot of them come pretty darn close. In each, you’ll find a large ensemble cast and no shortage of familial pain and happiness. On your marks, get set, binge.
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Photo: Florian Schneider/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty Images.
Parenthood (2010-2015)

What It’s About: Set in Northern California, this epic drama focuses on three generations of Bravermans, the big, endearing family you wish you had.

Why It’s A Cousin To This Is Us: This Is Us was marketed as being “the new Parenthood” for a reason. It’s the first network TV show to sate America’s itch for a complicated, rich, human family drama since Parenthood left NBC. Just as fans of the Braverman clan found solace in the Pearson family, so too will This is Us fans love Parenthood.
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Photo: Photofestnyc.
Friday Night Lights (2006-2011)

What It’s About: Football is the glue of the community of Dillon, TX. Friday Night Lights peers into the lives of this sporting ecosystem, from players and parents to Coach Taylor and his school principal wife, Tami.

Why It’s A Cousin To This Is Us: Ostensibly, Friday Night Lights is about a high school football team in Texas. As fans of the show will tell you, though, FNL is really a show about intense interpersonal relationships — just like we see on This Is Us. The marriage between Coach and Tami Taylor is one of the best on TV, right up there with Beth and Randall.
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Photo: Courtesy Of Amazon.
Transparent (2014-)

What It’s About: After the Pfefferman family patriarch comes out as transgender in her 70s, her ex-wife and three children embark on their own quests of self-awakening while adjusting to this change.

Why It’s A Cousin To This Is Us: Like This Is Us, Transparent explores how topical social issues play out within the family microcosm. But don't expect any cheesy, sentimental moments in this Amazon prime original. Transparent sucks out the sappiness and injects cringe. The level of uncomfortable realism makes Transparent’s moments of triumph all the more moving.
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Photo: Photofestnyc.
Six Feet Under (2001-2005)

What It’s About: Owners of a California funeral home, the Fisher family are experts in the business of death. But when the family father dies in the first episode, his wife and three children are left to wade through murky waters of grief and self-actualization all on their own.

Why It’s A Cousin To This Is Us: Simply put, this moving drama will make you feel all the feels. Six Feet Under is definitely a darker show than This Is Us, but you’ll fall fast in love with the Fisher clan. And, if you thought This Is Us' first episode was groundbreaking, just wait until you see Six Feet Under's last.
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Photo: Photofestnyc.
Gilmore Girls (2000-2007, 2016)

What It’s About: At the age of 16, Lorelai Gilmore gets pregnant, runs away from her rich family, and raises a fast-talking, brilliant daughter, Rory. The show opens when Rory wants to go to a private school. The catch? Lorelai has to reconcile with her parents to afford tuition, and so starts a multi-generational Gilmore symphony.

Why It’s A Cousin To This Is Us: Like This is Us, Gilmore Girls was a wildly popular network TV show about family dynamics. Lorelai and Rory fill up a screen just as much as the whole Pearson family, and their large circle of acquaintances in the fictional town of Stars Hollow, CT, provides more than enough drama. Plus, you can easily sate your Milo Ventimiglia craving, since he plays Rory's bad-boy boyfriend Jesse in Gilmore Girls.
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Photo: Courtesy Of Freeform.
The Fosters (2013-)

What It’s About: In a pretty transparent naming stunt, the Foster family runs...a foster home. The series follows the Foster family, helmed by interracial lesbian couple Stef and Lena, and their multi-ethnic, blended family of adopted, biological, and foster children.

Why It’s A Cousin To This Is Us: In addition to portraying a refreshingly diverse family and tackling heavy, complicated topics, The Fosters doesn't shy away from heaping on the schmaltz. It's a perfect match for This Is Us fans.
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Photo: Photofestnyc.
Brothers & Sisters (2006-2011)

What It’s About: William Walker’s unexpected death sends his giant family into a tailspin, especially after his mistress and the child they had together come out of the woodwork. The show’s action revolves around the four Walker children’s romantic and personal lives, and their fight for control over the family business.

Why It’s A Cousin To This Is Us: What’s not to like about a large ensemble cast, and a family that resolves fights through large dinners and wine? This show was long considered a precursor to Parenthood, so it fits right in to the This Is Us lineage.
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Photo: Photofestnyc.
Modern Family (2009-)

What It’s About: The three branches of this ABC sitcom are modern in every sense. Jay, the father, has remarried a younger Colombian woman and taken on her son. His son, Mitchell, and his partner have adopted a baby from Vietnam. His daughter, Claire, and her husband have three teenagers with their own quirks.

Why It’s A Cousin To This Is Us: While Modern Family won’t make you cry, it depicts a family as modern and as complicated as the one on This is Us.
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Photo: Courtesy Of Showtime.
Shameless

What It’s About: The white, poor, super dysfunctional Gallaghers are situated firmly on the wrong side of Chicago's tracks. As Frank Gallagher drinks himself into a stupor, his six children are forced to fend for themselves.

Why It’s A Cousin To This Is Us: Sure, you may not want to be a part of the Gallagher family, but the show's siblings support each other with the same unconditional love as the Pearson kids do. In addition to providing a commentary on class, Shameless has explored LGBTQ issues since season 1.
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Courtesy of ABC
Black-ish (2014-)

What It's About: This sitcom centers on an upper-middle-class Black American family with four (and soon to be five) kids.

Why It’s A Cousin To This Is Us: Wish that Randall and Beth had more screen time, or an eensy bit more of a sense of humor? Then you will love this show.
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Photo: Photofestnyc.
The Wonder Years (1988-1993)

What It's About: The Wonder Years tracks the coming of age of the Kevin Arnold in the late 1960s. Kevin looks back and narrates his life, rewriting his childhood with oodles of charm.

Why It’s A Cousin To This Is Us: When The Wonder Years came out, it was set precisely 20 years in the past from its release date. The Wonder Years capitalized on the same nostalgia that fans of This Is Us love. What are the different constraints on a family in the '70s versus the 2000s? You’ll ask similar questions while watching the The Wonder Years.
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