‘Abbott Elementary’ Creator and Star Quinta Brunson Makes Emmys History

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“Abbott Elementary” creator and star Quinta Brunson made TV history Tuesday by becoming the first Black woman nominated for Emmys in acting, writing and outstanding comedy as her ABC show took home a slew of nominations.

“Abbott Elementary” scored seven Emmy nominations total, including comedy series, lead actress in a comedy and writing for a comedy series (for the “Pilot”). At 32, Brunson also became the youngest Black woman ever nominated in the comedy acting category.

In Emmys history, just one lead actress in a comedy and one writing for a comedy series have been won by Black women — Isabel Sanford for “The Jeffersons” and Lena Waithe alongside co-writer Aziz Ansari for Netflix’s “Master of None.” In 2020, Issa Rae (HBO’s “Insecure”) and Tracee Ellis Ross (ABC’s “Black-ish”) became the first two Black women nominated for both comedy series (as producers) and lead actress in a comedy.

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“Abbott Elementary,” which premiered in December 2021, drew rave reviews en route to becoming ABC’s highest-rated freshman sitcom since ”Mixed-ish.” It is one of eight shows nominated for outstanding comedy series this year. Should it claim the top prize, it will be the first broadcast network series to do so since “Modern Family” in 2014. “Abbott Elementary” co-star Tyler James Williams was also nominated for outstanding supporting actor in a comedy series.

The workplace mockumentary revolves around a group of dedicated teachers and their well-intentioned but tone-deaf principal as they navigate the Philadelphia public school system. Despite a lack of resources and appreciation, these teachers are determined to help their students succeed in life even if they don’t always love the district’s questionable approach to educating children.

The 74th Primetime Emmy Awards will air Sept. 19.

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