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Abbott Elementary Creator Quinta Brunson Responds To Notion That The ABC Show Helped Revive Interest In Network Sitcoms

Quinta Brunson as Janine in Abbott Elementary Season 1
(Image credit: ABC)

Abbott Elementary has been making some serious noise since it made its network TV debut on ABC last December. The show has since received stellar ratings,  earned critical acclaim and dominated conversations across social media. The show has ABC’s biggest comedy since the network’s other mockumentary hit Modern Family ended in 2020 so, yeah, it's pretty much been hitting on all cylinders. Some viewers and critics have even credited the series with reviving the network sitcom. That credit comes with serious pressure, which creator and star Quinta Brunson is well aware of, and the actress/writer/producer has addressed the fact that her comedy has been credited with such a feat.

The Abbott Elementary creator addressed the claims of her show reviving interest in network sitcoms while talking with Severance’s Adam Scott for Variety's Actors on Actors. Scott, like many people, is a huge fan of the workplace comedy, revealing it’s the only show his family watches together. He mentioned the connection between the ABC comedy’s success and the revival of network comedies, points that Quinta Brunson felt were “too big” and “too much” for the show. When responding to the assumption, the star highlighted the other comedies that are ruling traditional television right now:

I do think that while ‘Abbott’ has been successful, which I’m super grateful for, people have been doing great work in the network space for a really long time. ‘Young Sheldon’ has been pulling in massive numbers — even their reruns do. There are the shows this season, like “Ghosts” on CBS, which is just a joyful, delightful show to watch, and ‘American Auto’ and ‘Grand Crew’ on NBC. It was a combined effort, and I think that ‘Abbott’ just feels like a great show for everyone to connect that narrative to. ‘Parks and Rec’ was that for me. I enjoyed having this thing that I could watch with friends and family that was easy. ‘Parks and Rec’ felt like a risk, where you almost couldn’t believe you were seeing this on network. ‘Parks,’ it was so beautifully written.

Kudos to the talented star for shouting out other network comedies that are doing well right now. Of course, Abbott has been a major hit, but one really can't underscore the immense success that a number of its contemporaries have found. As the producer mentioned, CBS’s Young Sheldon and fellow freshman comedy Ghosts have been earning high marks when it comes to ratings. 

Interestingly, while she’s not here for The Office comparisons, Quinta Bruson did credit Parks and Recreation and its writing for influencing her teacher-centric sitcom. You can honestly see the similarities between her show and the NBC mockumentary, like when you consider the characterizations of Janine and Leslie Knope. 

If things continue to progress in the manner that they are for Abbott Elementary and its peers, then the future looks bright for network sitcoms. Speaking of the future, things have already been put in motion for the second season of Quinta Brunson's show. She's already teased the writers’ room is currently busy crafting the sophomore season, and she even hinted at the introductions of new characters and the returns of a few familiar faces. I'm excited to see that as well as how this show continues to carve out a place for itself within the TV landscape. 

Abbott Elementary Season 2 will premiere on September 21 on ABC at 9 p.m. You can keep up when new and returning TV shows premiere this fall by checking out CinemaBlend’s 2022 TV schedule. And you can also stream the first season of the show by grabbing a Hulu subscription.

Adreon Patterson
News Writer

A boy from Greenwood, South Carolina. CinemaBlend Contributor. An animation enthusiast (anime, US and international films, television). Freelance writer, designer and artist. Lover of music (US and international).