Abbott Elementary
Abbott Elementary Logo.jpg
Genre
Created byQuinta Brunson
Starring
Theme music composerMaker
Opening theme"Hold'em"
performed by Maker
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes13
Production
Executive producers
ProducerWerner Walian
CinematographyKurt Jones
EditorRichie Edelson
Camera setupSingle-camera
Running time22 minutes
Production companies
Distributor
Release
Original networkABC
Original releaseDecember 7, 2021 (2021-12-07) –
present (present)

Abbott Elementary is an American mockumentary sitcom television series created by Quinta Brunson for ABC. It stars Brunson as a second grade teacher at Abbott Elementary, a fictional Black school in Philadelphia. Tyler James Williams, Janelle James, Lisa Ann Walter, Chris Perfetti, and Sheryl Lee Ralph also star. The series premiered as a midseason entry in the 2021–22 television season on December 7, 2021 and was met with critical acclaim. In March 2022, the series was renewed for a second season, which is set to premiere on September 21, 2022.

Premise

A documentary crew is recording the lives of teachers working in underfunded schools. One of the places they have decided to document is Philadelphia's Willard R. Abbott Elementary School, a predominantly Black Philadelphia public school. Conditions at the school are harsh and most teachers do not last more than two years. Second grade teacher Janine Teagues and history teacher Jacob Hill are two of three teachers in a group of twenty to make it past one year. They work with experienced kindergarten teacher Barbara Howard, second grade teacher Melissa Schemmenti, tone-deaf school principal Ava Coleman, and recent substitute hire Gregory Eddie.

Cast

Main

Recurring

Guest

Episodes

No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
code
U.S. viewers
(millions)
1"Pilot"Randall EinhornQuinta BrunsonDecember 7, 2021 (2021-12-07)T11.101442.88[3]
When a teacher is fired for kicking a student, Gregory is hired as her temporary replacement. After initial pushback, Ava sends a request for more money to purchase supplies, including rugs for the classrooms, but she wastes the money on a new sign. Janine files a complaint to the superintendent, but the email is redirected to Ava, who disrespects her in front of the entire staff. Barbara, Jacob, and Melissa come to her defense, and realizing they are on their own, Melissa asks a friend to steal several rugs for the teachers.
2"Light Bulb"Randall EinhornQuinta BrunsonJanuary 4, 2022 (2022-01-04)T12.171533.45[4]
Janine experiences trouble in her personal life and work. She tries to fix the overhead lights at the school, but instead ends up knocking out the power to much of the school. Barbara helps Gregory stand up to a mother who repeatedly brings her son late to his class.
3"Wishlist"Randall EinhornMorgan MurphyJanuary 11, 2022 (2022-01-11)T12.171542.97[5]
With Ava's help, Janine makes a viral video to get supplies for her classroom. She then asks Ava to secretly make a viral video for Barbara, who also needs supplies but refuses any help. Ava makes an exaggerated video of Barbara's situation, which also goes viral but creates an uncomfortable situation for her. Jacob attempts to get an old donated printer to function, while Janine encourages Gregory to decorate his classroom.
4"New Tech"Randall EinhornBrian RubensteinJanuary 18, 2022 (2022-01-18)T12.171523.02[6]
The district implements a new computer program to help students with reading. Barbara has the most difficulty in using it and accidentally enters information that leads Ava to think that her kindergartners are now able to read at an advanced level. Ava arranges an assembly to have Barbara's lowest-performing student read Becoming out loud, while Barbara has too much pride to admit it was a mistake. Meanwhile, Jacob is teaching about the Philadelphia strikes to his class and Melissa urges him to host her ex-convict friend as a guest speaker.
5"Student Transfer"Randall EinhornBrittani NicholsJanuary 25, 2022 (2022-01-25)T12.171553.06[7]
Janine gets upset when Melissa teases her over a review that claims she is inexperienced. A disruptive student named Courtney is transferred from Melissa's class to Janine's. Janine attempts to use her to prove her competence but eventually consults Melissa for help. The two come to the conclusion that Courtney is not challenged enough and needs to move up a grade. Meanwhile, Jacob has difficulty with some of his students who are "roasting" him, but he later gets the idea to incorporate it into his lessons.
6"Gifted Program"Matt SohnJordan TempleFebruary 1, 2022 (2022-02-01)T12.171562.77[8]
After seeing a smart boy transferring to Abbott, Janine is inspired to start a "gifted program" at their school, with Jacob teaching. However, many of the other students not in the gifted program start to feel left out. This causes Janine to try to replicate the gifted program's lessons in her own class, only to end up accidentally releasing snakes in the school. With advice from Gregory, Janine dismantles the gifted program in favor of creating a rotational enrichment program for all the students. Meanwhile, Barbara encourages Melissa into going out with the vending machine owner, who resupplies snacks in the teacher's breakroom.
7"Art Teacher"Jennifer CelottaKate PetermanFebruary 8, 2022 (2022-02-08)T12.171572.61[9]
When the art teacher retires, Janine's college friend Sahar is hired as the school's new volunteer art teacher. Sahar and Melissa disagree over the latter's Peter Rabbit project, and though Janine agrees with Melissa, she finds it hard to turn down Sahar's ideas. When Sahar makes an impressive art piece using the books Melissa bought, Janine finally stands up to her. Disappointed in the lack of vegetables in the school lunches, Jacob convinces Barbara that they should start a school garden despite having little experience doing so. Experienced in landscaping, a frustrated Gregory secretly tends to their garden to make sure it can thrive.
8"Work Family"Jay KarasJustin TanFebruary 15, 2022 (2022-02-15)T12.171582.31[10]
Upset that Jacob thinks of her as just a "work friend", Janine tries to build better relationships with her co-workers. Barbara and Melissa help Gregory with his teaching methods after his class is found to be underperforming. Janine enlists Tariq to perform at an anti-drug program at her school. Gregory receives a phone call from his dad, who advises Gregory that he should move on from his substitute teaching at Abbott.
9"Step Class"Shahrzad DavaniJoya McCroryFebruary 22, 2022 (2022-02-22)T12.171593.06[11]
Ava takes over Janine's after-school step class, as the students prefer Ava's teaching style over Janine, and redoes their routine for their upcoming school performance. Ava does not show up on the day of the performance, but Janine discovers it was because she was taking care of her grandmother. After the situation is clarified, the show goes forward. Meanwhile, Gregory feels alienated by the other staff members when it is revealed he does not like pizza.
10"Open House"Jennifer CelottaBrian RubensteinMarch 22, 2022 (2022-03-22)T12.171602.64[12]
While waiting for a student's mother at the open house event, Janine becomes envious about Barbara's relationship with her daughter, Taylor; however, Barbara and Taylor get into an argument over Taylor's career. Jacob secretly reveals he knows how to play Poker during a game with Melissa and Mr. Johnson. Gregory goes into a slump after finding out Ava was the reason why he lost the principal job, and he bonds with Taylor. When Superintendent Collins visits the school, he reveals that he divorced his wife and married his mistress, meaning that Ava no longer has leverage against him.
11"Desking"Melissa KosarMorgan MurphyMarch 29, 2022 (2022-03-29)T12.171612.54[13]
"Desking", a new online trend where students run to the other side of the room by jumping on desks, becomes popular at Abbott Elementary. Jacob enlists the help of Zach, his boyfriend, to help identify the footprints, but none of the students will confess. Janine and Jacob, who previously assume that the students see them as "cool", are forced to remember that the students will never see them as equals. To put an end to desking, the teachers record a video of Jacob performing it so it will seem "uncool" to the students.
12"Ava vs. Superintendent"Matthew A. CherryBrittani NicholsApril 5, 2022 (2022-04-05)T12.171622.58[14]
With Ava's job and the school's funding in jeopardy, Janine asks a reluctant Gregory to help her and Ava with an important upcoming presentation to the school board. Ava makes a strong presentation to the school board, but Superintendent Collins denies her request, as he is still angry with her for having blackmailed him the last few years. With Melissa's prodding, Barbara ends up getting the extra funding needed for Abbott by extorting a woman on the School Board who she goes to church with and who is skimming money from church funds. Later, Ava tells Gregory that he will be working full-time at Abbott for the next school year.
13"Zoo Balloon"Randall EinhornJordan TempleApril 12, 2022 (2022-04-12)T12.171632.78[15]
Abbott Elementary takes their annual, year-end school trip to the Philadelphia Zoo with Tariq, Taylor, and Zach serving as chaperones. Tariq gets an opportunity to move to New York to record an anti-drug themed album, but Janine is not sure she wants to leave Abbott to go to New York with him. Barbara ponders about her future when her favorite zoo animal is retired due to old age. Greg tells Janine that next school year he will be full-time at Abbott. Janine ultimately decides to take a "break" from Tariq, and not move to New York with him.

Production

Randall Einhorn directed the first five episodes of Abbott Elementary
Randall Einhorn directed the first five episodes of Abbott Elementary

On September 3, 2020, an untitled workplace comedy pilot starring Quinta Brunson landed a put pilot commitment at ABC.[16] In February 2021, ABC gave the project an official pilot order.[17] In March, Tyler James Williams, Janelle James, Lisa Ann Walter, Chris Perfetti, and Sheryl Lee Ralph were announced to star.[18] In May, the project was given a series order.[19][20] Filming began on August 16, 2021, in Los Angeles, California, and concluded on November 5, 2021.[21][22] In August, three crew members tested positive for COVID-19 but production was not impacted.[23] In November, William Stanford Davis was confirmed to star.[24] The series premiered on December 7, 2021.[25][26]

On March 14, 2022, the series was renewed for a second season.[27]

Reception

Critical response

On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 97% of 38 critics' reviews are positive, with an average rating of 8.60/10. The website's consensus reads, "Abbott Elementary earns top marks for its empathetic yet sidesplitting critique of the U.S. education system, plus some extra credit for a deftly handled will-they-won't-they dynamic."[28] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned a score of 78 out of 100 based on 15 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[29] Angie Han of The Hollywood Reporter said "[it] works well enough to deliver a consistent good time — and I suspect that given time, Abbott Elementary could blossom into something truly special". Han also said the first episodes "[are] a willingness to deal with class head on, while also finding humor in the characters' situations", and concluded that Abbott Elementary is "crowd-pleasing."[30]

Ratings

Including viewership recorded over a 35-day period through "linear and digital platforms" (known as MP35) after its original broadcast, the pilot episode on December 7, 2021, increased to a 2.4 demographic rating, with 7.1 million viewers. ABC said the 300% increase was its "largest percentage growth for any new comedy premiere".[31] The viewership of the second episode, "Light Bulb", increased by 5.6 million viewers to 9 million after 35 days.[32]

Viewership and ratings per episode of Abbott Elementary
No. Title Air date Rating
(18–49)
Viewers
(millions)
DVR
(18–49)
DVR viewers
(millions)
Total
(18–49)
Total viewers
(millions)
1 "Pilot" December 7, 2021 0.6 2.88[3] 0.19 0.79 0.82 3.67[33]
2 "Light Bulb" January 4, 2022 0.6 3.45[4] TBD TBD TBD TBD
3 "Wishlist" January 11, 2022 0.6 2.97[5] TBD TBD TBD TBD
4 "New Tech" January 18, 2022 0.6 3.02[6] TBD TBD TBD TBD
5 "Student Transfer" January 25, 2022 0.6 3.06[7] TBD TBD TBD TBD
6 "Gifted Program" February 1, 2022 0.6 2.77[8] TBD TBD TBD TBD
7 "Art Teacher" February 8, 2022 0.6 2.61[9] TBD TBD TBD TBD
8 "Work Family" February 15, 2022 0.4 2.31[10] TBD TBD TBD TBD
9 "Step Class" February 22, 2022 0.6 3.06[11] TBD TBD TBD TBD
10 "Open House" March 22, 2022 0.5 2.64[12] TBD TBD TBD TBD
11 "Desking" March 29, 2022 0.5 2.54[13] 0.22 0.97 0.71 3.48[34]
12 "Ava vs. Superintendent" April 5, 2022 0.5 2.58[14] 0.27 1.11 0.76 3.68[35]
13 "Zoo Balloon" April 12, 2022 0.6 2.78[15] 0.25 1.02 0.82 3.81[36]

Accolades

Year Award Category Nominee(s) Result Ref.
2022
Black Reel Television Awards Outstanding Comedy Series Abbott Elementary Pending [37]
Outstanding Actress, Comedy Series Quinta Brunson Pending
Outstanding Supporting Actor, Comedy Series Tyler James Williams Pending
Outstanding Supporting Actress, Comedy Series Janelle James Pending
Sheryl Lee Ralph Pending
Outstanding Directing, Comedy Series Matthew A. Cherry (for "Ava vs. Superintendent") Pending
Outstanding Writing, Comedy Series Quinta Brunson (for "Pilot") Pending
Outstanding Guest Actor, Comedy Series Reggie Hayes Pending
Orlando Jones Pending
Dorian Awards Best TV Comedy Abbott Elementary Pending [38]
Best TV Performance Quinta Brunson Pending
Best Supporting TV Performance Janelle James Pending
Television Critics Association Awards Program of the Year Abbott Elementary Pending [39]
Outstanding Achievement in Comedy Pending
Outstanding New Program Pending
Individual Achievement in Comedy Quinta Brunson Pending
Janelle James Pending

References

  1. ^ Dahl, Amanda (March 9, 2022). "St. Louis Native William Stanford Davis Joins Cast of ABC's New Sitcom Hit, Abbott Elementary". laduenews.com. Ladue News. Retrieved April 3, 2022.
  2. ^ Jones, Marcus (March 29, 2022). "Abbott Elementary star Chris Perfetti explains how Jacob is 'a total 180' from his usual roles". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved April 3, 2022.
  3. ^ a b Metcalf, Mitch (December 8, 2021). "ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Tuesday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 12.7.2021 Updated". ShowBuzzDaily. Retrieved January 6, 2022.
  4. ^ a b Metcalf, Mitch (January 6, 2022). "ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Tuesday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 1.4.2022 Updated". ShowBuzzDaily. Retrieved January 6, 2022.
  5. ^ a b Metcalf, Mitch (January 12, 2022). "ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Tuesday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 1.11.2022 Updated". Showbuzz Daily. Retrieved January 12, 2022.
  6. ^ a b Metcalf, Mitch (January 20, 2022). "ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Tuesday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 1.18.2022 Updated". Showbuzz Daily. Retrieved January 20, 2022.
  7. ^ a b Metcalf, Mitch (January 26, 2022). "SHOWBUZZDAILY's Tuesday 1.25.2022 Top 150 Cable Originals & Network Finals Updated". Showbuzz Daily.
  8. ^ a b Metcalf, Mitch (February 2, 2022). "SHOWBUZZDAILY'S Tuesday 2.1.2022 Top 150 Cable Originals & Network Finals Updated". Showbuzz Daily.
  9. ^ a b >Metcalf, Mitch (February 9, 2022). "SHOWBUZZDAILY'S Tuesday 2.8.2022 Top 150 Cable Originals & Network Finals Updated". Showbuzz Daily.
  10. ^ a b Metcalf, Mitch (February 16, 2022). "SHOWBUZZDAILY'S Tuesday 2.15.2022 Top 150 Cable Originals & Network Finals Updated". Showbuzz Daily.
  11. ^ a b Metcalf, Mitch (February 24, 2022). "SHOWBUZZDAILY'S Tuesday 2.22.2022 Top 150 Cable Originals & Network Finals Updated". Showbuzz Daily.
  12. ^ a b Metcalf, Mitch (March 23, 2022). "SHOWBUZZDAILY'S Tuesday 3.22.2022 Top 150 Cable Originals & Network Finals Updated". Showbuzz Daily.
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  14. ^ a b Metcalf, Mitch (April 6, 2022). "SHOWBUZZDAILY'S Tuesday 4.5.2022 Top 150 Cable Originals & Network Finals Updated". Showbuzz Daily.
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  21. ^ "issue one thousand two hundred sixty-one" (PDF). Production Weekly. August 26, 2021. Retrieved December 2, 2021.
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  30. ^ Han, Angie (December 7, 2021). "ABC's Abbott Elementary: TV Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 7, 2021.
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  37. ^ Valerie, Complex (June 16, 2022). "6th Annual Black Reel Television Awards Nominations Announced". Deadline. Retrieved June 19, 2022.
  38. ^ Coates, Tyler (June 23, 2022). "'Hacks' and 'Somebody Somewhere' Lead Dorian TV Nominations". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 25, 2022.
  39. ^ Longeretta, Emily (June 16, 2022). "'Abbott Elementary' Leads 2022 TCA Awards Nominations: Full List". Variety. Retrieved June 17, 2022.