The humorous, mockumentary-style series follows a diverse batch of passionate and devoted teachers in a Philadelphia public school where the odds are completely stacked against them. Outnumbered and underfunded with a mostly tone-deaf principal, the teachers strive to ensure their students’ success.
In a recent interview on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Brunson was surprised with a virtual reunion with her former sixth-grade teacher, Joyce Abbott, who inspired the show’s name.
“I’m so proud of you!” Abbott gushed when first appearing onscreen. She explained that she learned the show was named after her through a local news broadcast in Philly. The newscaster stated, “Ms. Abbott, if you’re watching, Quinta would like to reconnect with you.”
The teacher shared she was honored by the revelation. Abbott also revealed that as a sixth-grader, Brunson was very shy. But as her teacher, she provided encouragement and a space for the future star to become more confident. After 30 years of teaching, Abbott is preparing to retire from her long-time profession.
Abbott Elementary stars Brunson along with Tyler James Williams, Janelle James, Chris Perfetti, Lisa Ann Walter, and Sheryl Lee Ralph. Following its December premiere, it made history becoming ABC’s first new comedy to quadruple its ratings since its debut, having delivered the largest growth ever for a show of its kind.
New episodes of Abbott Elementary air Tuesday nights on ABC at 9 p.m. ET, and previous episodes are available on Hulu. Watch the trailer below and grab your tissues for the emotional reunion above.