Quinta Brunson, the star and creator of ABC’s “Abbott Elementary” is basking in the success of her hit show.
According to AP, “Abbott Elementary” became ABC’s first comedy to quadruple its ratings since its premiere. The show, which has only aired seven episodes thus far, follows a quirky elementary school staff struggling to make ends meet at an underfunded Philadelphia school.
Brunson, a Philly native herself, named the sitcom after her sixth grade teacher.
“I called Ms. Abbott or she called me — I can’t remember — and we had just the best conversation,” Brunson told AP. “She was so over the moon and said she had been following my career for a while, and we wound up crying and stuff. She told me she was retiring this year and this was just incredible to see. The funny thing was she didn’t even realize I had named the show after her. And I’m like, ‘Yeah? Where do you think Abbott came from?’”
Brunson said her friends who are educators send her screenshots from their groups on social media.
“I think it’s amazing that now we have this opportunity for a group that hasn’t been shown too much— a group of Black educators — to be on screen, and not only be on screen, but then have some fun, too,” she said.
When she first came up with the idea for the show, Brunson said she wanted to make it a comedy. “And then I just like my comedies to have heart in them,” she explained.
“Those are my two goals: heart and humor. I think when you put both of those things in a school, an elementary school — sorry, a public, underfunded elementary school — naturally, it uncovers some of the larger issues at play, right?”
“Because the goal was to have heart, a lot of the time, inherently, you get a message because we couldn’t avoid what’s going on in public schools if we wanted to. We would be making an insincere show,” she continued.
The 32-year-old went on to say that she believes Black women in Hollywood are at “a really good point right now” because of all of the work people — like Issa Rae and others— have put in.
“I actually told Issa this … a long time ago, ABC passed on what Issa was trying to develop which eventually became “Insecure.’” And I think moments like that are important because I think, then I come along, it’s like, ‘Well, let’s not make that mistake again,’” Brunson said.
Check out Brunson’s interview with AP below: