Skip To Content
Forward 50 2017

Dan Fogelman

The Master At Making America Cry (In A Good Way)

American Jews have always been great at getting laughs. They’re less well known for drawing tears. As the creator of NBC’s “This Is Us,” Dan Fogelman has been doing precisely that — and has created this year’s highest-rated new show in the process.

Fogelman, 38, first made his mark by co-scripting the Pixar film “Cars.” He later penned the live-action comedies “Crazy, Stupid, Love” and “Last Vegas,” as well as the animated hit “Tangled,” and was the creator of numerous critically praised but short-lived TV shows like “The Neighbors” and “Galavant.”

“This Is Us” is a proud tearjerker centered on two generations of an American family. The New York Times’ James Poniewozik wrote, “Watching ‘This Is Us’ is like getting beaten up with a pillow soaked in tears.”

Audiences have evidently enjoyed the experience. “This Is Us” was deemed an “undisputed breakout hit” by Variety. And the show racked up 10 Emmy nominations, winning in two acting categories.

Fogelman will be returning to the big screen in 2018 with “Life Itself,” directing from his own script. Based on the title, America’s tear ducts may be in for another workout.

A message from our editor-in-chief Jodi Rudoren

We're building on 127 years of independent journalism to help you develop deeper connections to what it means to be Jewish today.

With so much at stake for the Jewish people right now — war, rising antisemitism, a high-stakes U.S. presidential election — American Jews depend on the Forward's perspective, integrity and courage.

—  Jodi Rudoren, Editor-in-Chief 

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.