School is still in session for Abbott Elementary, with the hit, Philadelphia-set, ABC comedy renewed for a second season.
The network announced Abbott’s renewal on Monday via a mock memo from the desk of Ava Coleman (played by Janelle James), the egotistic principal of the show’s eponymous elementary school. In characteristic fashion, the Coleman character focused news of the show’s second season on herself.
“The camera crew I hired to showcase all that I’ve made happen at our beautiful school thinks I’m a star,” the memo read. “I mean, are we surprised?”
At least when it comes to Abbott Elementary’s incoming second season, we’re not. Created by comedian and West Philadelphia native Quinta Brunson, the show quickly became a hit, and is ABC’s highest-rated comedy among viewers age 18 to 49 in the past two years, Variety reports.
The show also stars Brunson as Janine Teagues, an idealistic teacher at West Philadelphia’s Willard Abbott Elementary school. As a public school in the city, it faces a number of budget restrictions and other issues that Brunson’s character and her colleagues — including Sheryl Lee Ralph as Barbara Howard, Lisa Ann Walter’s Melissa Schemmenti, and Tyler James Williams as Gregory Eddie — band together to overcome, or at least endure.
The show is very Philly — so much so that we’re actually keeping a running list of its (many) local references. Of course, that only makes sense given that Brunson is a Philadelphia native, and was inspired to create the series by Joyce Abbott, her sixth-grade teacher at Andrew Hamilton Elementary in West Philly. Since the show’s success, Brunson has even given back to the school system it’s about in the form of free book fairs and supply donations.
“Ultimately, I believe public schools should be better funded/ supplied,” Brunson tweeted earlier this month. “However, in the meantime, Abbott (the TV show and people behind it) are really excited about doing things like this.”
The show’s first season is on hiatus until March 22, when it returns with its 10th episode at 9 p.m. on ABC. The season is slated to run for 13 episodes.