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Abbott Elementary is the popular 2021 mockumentary sitcom created by Quinta Brunson. Set in Philadelphia, it revolves around the daily lives of teachers at the fictional Abbott Elementary, a predominantly Black school facing significant funding challenges. The lead role of Janine Teagues, a positive and dedicated second-grade teacher, is portrayed by Quinta Brunson herself. The ensemble cast also includes Tyler James Williams, Janelle James, Lisa Ann Walter, Chris Perfetti, William Stanford Davis, and Sheryl Lee Ralph.
Since its premiere in December 2021, Abbott Elementary has had unprecedented critical acclaim. The show's first season received seven Primetime Emmy Award nominations and won three. Audiences have praised the series for its sharp writing, relatable characters, and its ability to shed light on the challenges faced by educators in underprivileged schools.
In January 2023, Abbott Elementary was renewed for a third season, indicating its continued popularity and success among viewers.
Our Abbott Elementary Facts include what the show was originally going to be called, why Quinta Brunson chose to write about teaching and the unexpected thing the producers spent some of the show’s marketing budget on.
1. Abbott Elementary Season 3 Has Been Postponed Due To The WGA Strike
The anticipated production and writing for the third season of Abbott Elementary was initially scheduled to commence on May 1, 2023. However, due to the 2023 Writers Guild of America strike, this date has been indefinitely postponed. Writer Brittani Nichols confirmed that the strike will affect both the number of episodes and the start date of the third season.
2. Abbott Elementary Was Inspired By Brunson’s Mother’s Career
Quinta Brunson, the creator of Abbott Elementary, revealed that her mother's four-decade-long career as a schoolteacher served as the inspiration. The series is named after Joyce Abbott, one of Brunson's elementary school teachers. Set in Philadelphia, Brunson's hometown, she shared that the character Barbara Howard (portrayed by Sheryl Lee Ralph) is based on her own mother.
3. It Was Originally Called Harrity Elementary
On September 3, 2020, ABC committed to developing an untitled workplace comedy pilot starring Quinta Brunson. Brunson, Justin Halpern, and Patrick Schumacker were executive producers. In February 2021, ABC officially ordered the pilot, originally titled "Harrity Elementary," and in May, the project received a series order under the new name "Abbott Elementary."
4. Janine Teagues Was Originally A Supporting Character
In an interview with Insider, Brunson revealed that her character of Janine Teagues was originally intended to be a supporting character on the show, working as a staff member at Abbott Elementary. However, Warner Bros insisted that the show would not be acquired without Brunson in a lead role. As a result, Brunson decided to portray Janine herself, realising the importance of her presence in the series.
5. William Stanford Davis Was Promoted To Series Regular In Season Two
Prior to the second season's premiere in July 2022, it was announced that William Stanford Davis, who plays Mr. Johnson, the janitor, would be promoted to a series regular. Additionally, several recurring guest stars were introduced in the second season, including Lauren Weedman as Kristen Marie, Leslie Odom Jr. as Draemond Winding, and Keyla Monterroso Mejia as Ashley Garcia. These characters appeared in the first eight episodes of the season.
6. The Philadelphia Flyers Mascot Appeared In Season Two
The second season of Abbott Elementary featured a special cameo from the Philadelphia Flyers mascot, Gritty, in its premiere episode. Gritty's appearance gained significant attention online. Executive producer Patrick Schumacker revealed in an interview with the National Hockey League that Gritty's cameo had been planned for a while. Originally, Gritty was supposed to appear in one of the early episodes of the first season, but scheduling conflicts prevented it from happening at the time.
7. Abbott Elementary Does Not Have It’s Own Score
Abbott Elementary opts not to use any original music or score composed specifically for the show. Instead, it incorporates pre-existing and library music, often performed by the cast members as diegetic or source music. The main title theme of the show is the previously released song "Hold'em" performed by Maker.
8. Abbott Elementary Is Available On TV And Streaming Worldwide
In the United States, Abbott Elementary is broadcast on ABC and is available for streaming on Hulu the day after airing. It is also available on (HBO) Max after each season. The show premiered on Disney+ in Australia and New Zealand as a Star Original under the Star content hub on February 16. It debuted with a six-episode premiere, followed by weekly releases. The series subsequently aired in several European countries, including the United Kingdom, France, Italy, and Germany.
In Canada, "Abbott Elementary'' airs on Global, and episodes can be streamed on the Global TV app the day after they air. The first season is currently available for streaming on Disney+ under the Star content hub.
9. Abbott Elementary Has A 98% Approval Rating On Rotten Tomatoes
According to Rotten Tomatoes, the first season of the show holds a 98% approval rating, with an average rating of 8.3 out of 10, based on 45 reviews.
The critical consensus on the site describes Abbott Elementary as”a humorous and empathetic critique of the U.S. education system, with an added bonus of skillfully handled romantic tension.”
10. Part Of The Real Marketing Budget Went On Buying Supplies For Teachers
In a February 2022 interview on the NPR program "Fresh Air" with Terry Gross, Quinta Brunson revealed that when Abbott Elementary became an unexpected success with both high ratings and positive reviews, the producers made a decision to allocate a portion of the budget originally designated for advertising and marketing to purchase supplies for real teachers.
11. Quinta Brunson Turned Down Writing About A School Shooting
On May 25, 2022, Quinta Brunson made the decision to decline creating a school shooting episode for "Abbott Elementary," expressing her concern that people seem to prioritise entertainment over demanding more accountability from elected politicians.
12. Zack Fox Is A Real Rapper
Zack Fox, who portrays the aspiring rapper Tariq in the show, is also a successful comedic rapper in real life.
13. There Is An Everybody Hates Chris Connection
Tyler James Williams portrays a teacher named Greg on Abbott Elementary. In his previous series, Everybody Hates Chris, his character's best friend is also named Greg, and Chris Rock portrays his guidance counsellor, "Mr. Abbott."
14. Larry Owens And Janelle James Have Previously Worked Together
Larry Owens, who plays Zach, and Janelle James, who plays Ava Coleman, previously worked together on Hulu's "Life & Beth."
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