Skip to main content

Abbott Elementary's Quinta Brunson On Why She Thinks The ABC Show Has Found An Audience So Quickly

Quinta Bruson in Abbott Elementary
(Image credit: ABC)

In recent decades, the television landscape has greatly shifted as many viewers have moved away from network TV in favor of streaming. But sometimes, a show from one of the big four networks will come along and upend expectations. In 2022, mockumentary-style sitcom Abbott Elementary is proving itself to be such a show. The comedy’s star and creator Quinta Brunson has witnessed her work resonate with millions of viewers. Now, as the ABC comedy continues to grow, Brunson has revealed what she thinks led to the show finding an audience so early.

The brainchild of Quinta Brunson, Abbott Elementary has grown in ratings and popularity since its official premiere in January. Based on reviews, the show’s concept and timely messages have grabbed audiences. However, one also has to consider the role of the home network. Brunson, for her part, credits ABC’s strategic scheduling plan for getting the hype going:

I give ABC a lot of credit for that. They premiered it out of the Norman Lear special [Live in Front of a Studio Audience], and then they had the pilot up on Hulu for a month so people could watch it and then come back with us when the season started. There are some people who think Abbott Elementary is just a Hulu show, and that’s fine.

The series premiere's timeslot and the early streaming window were defintely the one-two punch the freshman series needed to become a rating success. All of this allowed traditional and non-traditional viewers to get their eyes on the ABC sitcom. In the same interview with THR, the star revealed how she initially thought things would play out for the series. Apparently, she assumed it would follow the same trajectory as comedies like the The Office, which is heavily streamed today, and the greatly-missed Schitt’s Creek:

I hoped that after two seasons, people were going to be like, “Hey, anyone ever heard of this show?” The best recent sitcoms that I can think of, like Schitt’s Creek, didn’t start gaining traction until the second or third season — even The Office and 30 Rock didn’t initially make noise.

Quinta Brunson’s expectations about the freshman comedy’s success were realistic. Given its format and mix of high-brow and low-brow comedy, Abbott Elementary seemed destined to follow in the footsteps of those beloved comedies. But it's nice to see that it's exceeded expectations and, with this current momentum, the future looks bright for Brunson's show.

There are great reasons for checking out Abbott Elementary outside of its meteoric success. The workplace comedy is just one of many great new shows to premiere this year. You can check out the mockumentary series on Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on ABC. And for those tuning in online, you catch the new episodes every Wednesday by subscribing to Hulu.

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).