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Black News and Black Views with a Whole Lotta Attitude

Abbott Elementary, Quinta Brunson Dominate Television Critics Awards

The ABC comedy won four awards, including Program of the Year and Individual Achievement in Comedy for creator/star Quinta Brunson.

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Photo: Temma Hankin

Abbott Elementary continues to pick up momentum as it heads toward a big Emmy night.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, it picked up four wins at the Television Critics Awards, taking home trophies for Program of the Year, Outstanding Achievement In Comedy, Outstanding New Program and Individual Achievement In Comedy for creator/writer/star Quinta Brunson.

It’s no secret that we at The Root love Abbott Elementary, so we’re on board with the groundbreaking comedy winning all the awards. The series heads into the 2022 Primetime Emmys with seven nominations, including Best Comedy and Lead Actress in a Comedy for Brunson.


While developing the series, the A Black Lady Sketch Show alum didn’t think she had an awards darling on her hands. But as she told The Hollywood Reporter, she did know it was special.

“I just felt that Abbott was good. I remember one show I pitched.…I thought, this is a show that would probably find its footing a little bit in the first and second season, and then it knows what it is in the third season,” she said. “But Abbott, from the beginning, felt so fully formed. And once we started filming it, I did start to think we had something unique.”


One of the best elements of Abbott is the perfect chemistry between its ensemble cast. Look no further than the Supporting Actor and Actress Emmy nominations for Tyler James Williams, Sheryl Lee Ralph and Janelle James for proof that they are the real secret ingredient to the comedy’s success.

“Tyler was the only one who was fully in my mind. I actually reached out to him and was like, ‘I have something I want you to keep on your radar before you wind up taking another show somewhere,’” Brunson said. “Everybody else auditioned. I was looking for an essence that really wasn’t easy to write on paper. Janelle had it. Lisa Ann Walter had it. Chris Perfetti had it, and that was a shocker because his was the least formed character in the pilot. And then Sheryl Lee Ralph. I thought she was so unavailable that I didn’t let her name cross my mind. There was a world where I wanted Barbara to be [played by] a total newcomer. Someone like Sheryl, who is big, but not the biggest star in the world, was so appealing to me. There’s a familiarity with her, but also the opportunity to present her to the world in a brand new way.”


As much as we love Abbott Elementary, we also need to shout out HBO’s ballroom competition Legendary, which tied with The Amazing Race for Outstanding Achievement In Reality Programming and Netflix’s critically acclaimed, yet canceled, teen drama The Baby-Sitters Club, which picked up Outstanding Achievement In Youth Programming

It’s becoming clear that Abbott Elementary could be in store for a big Emmy night, however, we know when it comes to Black shows what could happen and what actually happens are two different things.


Full list of winners:

  • Individual Achievement In Drama: Mandy Moore (This is Us, NBC)
  • Individual Achievement In Comedy: Quinta Brunson (Abbott Elementary, ABC)
  • Outstanding Achievement In News and Information: The Beatles: Get Back (Disney+)
  • Outstanding Achievement In Reality Programming: TIE: The Amazing Race (CBS), Legendary (HBO Max)
  • Outstanding Achievement In Youth Programming: The Baby-Sitters Club (Netflix)
  • Outstanding Achievement In Variety, Talk Or Sketch: I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson (Netflix)
  • Outstanding New Program: Abbott Elementary (ABC)
  • Outstanding Achievement In Movies, Miniseries, Or Specials: Dopesick (Hulu)
  • Outstanding Achievement In Drama: Succession (HBO)
  • Outstanding Achievement In Comedy: Abbott Elementary (ABC)
  • Program of the Year: Abbott Elementary (ABC)
  • Career Achievement Honoree: TIE: Ted Danson & Steve Martin
  • Heritage Award: I Love Lucy (CBS)