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We may be entering the sweltering summer months, but in our books it’s never too early to start talking fall TV. Between all the new series scheduled to premiere and the shiny promos hitting the Internet right about now, there are a few shows we really can’t wait to check out.

The No. 1 show on our docket right now? The new CTV series This Is Us starring Milo Ventimiglia (Gilmore Girls), Mandy Moore, Sterling K. Brown (The People v. OJ Simpson) and a whole whack of other notable actors. Unlike many of the other shows premiering this fall, there’s no superhero element, no time travel element and the story isn’t based on a big screen movie.

Nope, This Is Us is just focused on run-of-the-mill people doing everyday things and sustaining traditional relationships. Basically if you were into Parenthood, this is going to be your new strawberry jam. So… what’s the hook, you ask? Simple — the characters all happen to share the same birthday, which makes them inexplicably connected.

If the numbers for the trailer are any kind of early indication, this simple format is going to pay off in a really, really big way. So far more than 51 million people have watched the trailer on Facebook and 6.3 million have seen it on YouTube. That makes it the most watched TV show trailer… well, ever.

“Somebody told me that the trailer is creeping up on Star Wars and will probably pass it. That’s just insane — we don’t even have lightsabers,” Ventimiglia tells us. “The television landscape is so populated with high-premise, high-concept, high-action, high-octane, scandalous, salacious shows… but people are craving a human story. People want to get back to basics in a way. Even in the scripts for the shows that I see, you kind of get burned out with superheroes going up against world-ending aliens that you just want to have people talking to each other about life stuff that we all live through. It’s as simple as that, people want a human story and that’s what you’re getting with This Is Us.”

What he doesn’t mention is that we’re also getting Ventimiglia in his own birthday suit — and yes, you can see that in the trailer too. While all of his important bits are covered up, in the actual pilot we see his bum before we even see his face. That’s because his character, Jack, is about to get it on with his very pregnant wife Rebecca, as played by Mandy Moore.

“If you actually look at my resume there have definitely been several times, maybe half a dozen times, that I’ve been completely naked. So… it’s no big deal? It’s laughable though that my ass precedes my face, usually it’s the other way around when I step into a room,” he laughs. “But it’s also a part of life. I’m perfectly okay with it and happy that people have been very kind with their reception of my rear.”

It’s a good thing he didn’t actually stop working out like the producers asked him to after he was cast.

Being kind seems to be a theme with this crew. If we weren’t sold on the onscreen relationship between Ventimiglia and Moore before, we totally are after hearing about all the kind things the actor had to say about his co-star.

“I’ve always heard the most lovely things said about Mandy, and going into it I was met with her kind, beautiful smile,” he says. “Then when the cameras were rolling and we were actually playing the scene together I was floored. I was blown away by how talented she was, by how kind she was. That inspires me because I try to be as kind and giving and hopefully as talented as the folks that I’m around so you know… I couldn’t ask for a better partner to hold hands with in this process.”

We don’t know that Ventimiglia’s other, perhaps better known persona Jess would have said all of these heart-warming things back in the Gilmore Girls days, but we’re totally digging the narrative.

“The show is really hitting a chord in people that is getting them invested in these characters in just two minute trailer. That’s the thing that blows me away – they’ve only seen two minutes,” Ventimiglia wraps. “Wait until they see 44 minutes. In 44 minutes what you learn and discover and how connected these characters are outside of sharing the same birthday… I mean it’s really remarkable.”

Is it fall yet? Because we kind of need to see more Jack, Rebecca and the rest of the This Is Us crew asap. In the meantime, here’s the trailer again. Even if you’ve seen it once, we’re betting you’ll want to watch it again. Just remember to stock up on tissues.

 

This is Us will air Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET this fall on CTV and on CTV Go and CraveTV.