photo: NBC

You guys. "This Is Us" returns to NBC for its third season NEXT WEEK. This is not a drill. And because NBC knows how obsessed we all are with this tear-jerking drama, they took us back to the beginnings of it with the one-hour special "The Paley Center Salutes This Is Us."

Between the interviews, the audition tapes, and the sneak peeks, it's definitely a must-watch.

In the special, which you can now watch on NBC.com, audiences get a glimpse into the fateful auditions that led to the perfect casting of Milo Ventimiglia, Chrissy Metz, Mandy Moore, Sterling K. Brown, Susan Kelechi Watson, Justin Hartley, and Chris Sullivan.

You'll also hear exclusive interviews with series creator Dan Fogelman and footage from the new season. And yes, it will probably make you cry.

"The casting process was one of those perfect dream scenarios where I got to cast everybody I wanted to cast," writer Dan Fogelman says in the special. And I'm pretty sure all of us can agree that this cast could not get any better.

In Ventimiglia and Metz's audition tapes, below, he reads the actual lines from the hospital scene with Dr. K, while she reads lines from a date-night scene with Toby. They both nailed it, obviously.

Moore got emotional in her audition, tearing up for the casting directors. But as one of the first people to audition, they still had many other actresses read for the part. Later, they called her back to do a "chemistry test" with Ventimiglia, and OMG, it was magic.

"I guess the rest is history, because we both got the job," Moore said in her tape.

Like Moore and Ventimiglia, Brown and Watson had to test their chemistry for their parts as Randall and Beth. Unsurprisingly, they clicked right away, too. But Watson revealed she almost didn't go to the audition at all, as she was about to give up acting.

We're so glad she stuck with it! 

Meanwhile, we learned that Brown was multitasking on the set of "The People Vs. OJ" as he prepared for his audition for "This Is Us." The hardest working man in Hollywood, folks!

Season three of "This Is Us" picks up a few months from where the previous season left off. It'll take place around the time of the Big Three's 38th birthday.

The season will explore Jack's past in Vietnam and allow non-Pearson family members Beth, Toby, and Miguel to get their moment in the sun.

To say we're excited would be the understatement of the century!

Here's your sneak peek into what's to come in season three. I'd be lying if I said I didn't tear up from the preview alone.

The hugely anticipated third season premieres on Tuesday, September 25. Get your tissues ready.

photo: NBC