EXCLUSIVE: Abbott Elementary has been a breakout for ABC, drawing strong ratings and critical acclaim, and it recently made Emmy history. The school comedy created, executive produced by and starring Quinta Brunson continues to make waves by scoring a rare full-season, 22-episode order for Season 2, Deadline has leaned. Brunson hinted at the feat during Abbott Elementary‘s Comic-Con panel Thursday.
Single-camera workplace comedy Abbott Elementary debuted as a midseason replacement in January (after a December preview) with a 13-episode Season 1 order. It received an early Season 2 renewal in March. Per broadcast business rules, midseason entries receive a 13-episode Season 2 order and, if they return strong in the fall, they get a back order to bring their sophomore run to a full-season 22 episodes. (In recent years, anything above 16-18 episodes is considered a full-season order.)
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ABC finalized the size of Abbott Elementary‘s Season 2 order as being 22 episodes in June though the network’s plan had always been to give the series — ABC’s No. 1 comedy in adults 18-49 last season — a straight-out full-season pickup, sources said. The decision came ahead of the series’ strong showing at the Emmy nominations, where it earned seven nominations including Outstanding Comedy Series; Lead Actress in a Comedy Series and Writing for a Comedy Series for Brunson; and Supporting Actress/Actor in a Comedy Series for Tyler James Williams, Janelle James and Sheryl Lee Ralph. With her three nominations (comedy series, writer and lead actress), Brunson set a new single-year record for a Black woman in comedy Emmy categories.
During the Abbott Elementary Comic-Con panel, in which cast and executive produces participated remotely, Brunson was asked about the upcoming second season.
“We spent a lot of the first season showing what this show is capable of. … Now we get to have some fun,” she said. “We’ve done all the building, and now we get to have some of these fun bottle episodes.”
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Added fellow exec producer Patrick Schumacker, “and more episodes.”
“Can we say that?” Brunson asked.
Schumacker shrugged, prompting Brunson to confirm, “OK, there you go. We have more episodes this season than in the first.”
She would not reveal much about Season 2 but teased a cameo in the season premiere that they said the producers are excited about.
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Season 2 of Abbott Elementary premieres September 21 in the series’ high-profile new Wednesday 9 pm slot.
Below is the behind-the-scenes video the stars of the series shared during the panel. They shot it upon return to work for Season 2 specifically for Comic-Con.
In Season 1, Abbott Elementary was ABC’s highest-rated new comedy in two years in adults 18-49, and, after 35 days of viewing across linear and digital platforms, it was the network’s No. 1 comedy and No. 2 series overall in the demo (2.66 rating) , behind only Grey’s Anatomy.