This Is Us has had a solid run thus far as one of television's most popular dramas, but the NBC show's ratings slumped in the episode ahead of its fall finale. The result was a series low score in the key demo, and also a low in overall viewers. "Six Thanksgivings" only resulted in a rating of 1.8, but there's reason to believe those numbers could rebound.
This Is Us' Thanksgiving-themed episode may have earned the lowest ratings share the series has had in the key demo, but it was still the highest-rated show of the evening. In what appeared to be an off night for NBC, This Is Us still beat out colleagues like The Voice, which also saw a similar drop in the ratings. New Amsterdam had the best showing of the network, with its 1.1 rating staying even with the week prior.
This Is Us may have won in the key demos, but its rivalry for Tuesday night supremacy continued on with NCIS. Deadline reported the crime procedural was down two-tenths with a 1.2 rating, but won the title of the most-watched program of the evening with 11.9 million viewers. Its viewership lead is nearly 4 million above This Is Us, which posted 7.91 million viewers for the November 20 episode. If its ratings fall further, This Is Us could be in danger of dropping its rating title to NCIS or another primetime program.
As for why This Is Us and others may have struggled, Tuesday night was the evening preceding what could be a travel day for viewers. Families traveling out of town may have been in the process of packing, or en route in vehicles that lack the ability to broadcast primetime television. This means by the time the This Is Us midseason finale arrives on November 27, the series may regain a series ratings pull of over 2.0. (That said, This Is Us has aired an episode around Thanksgiving every season so far, so what made this year different?)
The viewership for the Thanksgiving week episode may be disappointing for This Is Us, as an effort was made to incorporate the holiday into the story. The night featured a look at multiple Thanksgivings for the show's characters, and a surprise reveal by Randall's daughter Tess. Tess confided in her aunt Kate that she may want a girlfriend some day -- not a boyfriend -- and asked Kate to keep her confession a secret from her parents.
Rating slumps in Season 3 have not been uncommon for This Is Us. After record-setting numbers in Season 2, the Season 3 premiere saw a 26% drop in the key demographic. The downward trend could mean the crown is slipping on its primetime supremacy, or just flattening out after a season of big ratings wins due to the mystery of Jack Pearson's death. The biggest win came with the 2018 Super Bowl Sunday episode, which earned the show 26.97 million viewers and a 9.3 rating.