SAN DIEGO – “Abbott Elementary” fans, get ready to head back to the classroom.
During a special San Diego Comic-Con panel, cast members Chris Perfetti, Tyler James Williams, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Janelle James, Lisa Ann Walter, and William Stanford Davis joined series creator and star Quinta Brunson and executive producers Patrick Shumacker and Justin Halpern to discuss the endless possibilities of season two and the surprising success of season one.
“Abbott Elementary” became an overnight cultural phenomenon earlier this year for its accurate (and often somewhat disheartening) depiction of underpaid, overworked educators in the United States. The teachers at Willard R. Abbott Elementary throughout the season are seen struggling with the average issues faced by those in the profession, all told via the workplace comedy mockumentary film-making style made popular by shows like “The Office” and “Parks and Recreation.”
The panel inside the Indigo Ballroom at the Hilton Bayfront San Diego was held virtually as the cast and crew had just returned to set Monday to start work on season two. As far as spoilers for the show’s sophomore season, the group didn’t offer much information but did confirm that season two would feature “more episodes” than season one. Deadline later reported that the show was picked up by ABC for 22 episodes after just 13 in its freshman year.
The group comes fresh off last week’s Emmy nominations announcement in which the show picked up seven total nods, four of those going to Brunson, Lee Ralph, James and James-Williams for best lead and supporting actors and actresses in a comedy. Brunson also nabbed nominations for writing and for best overall comedy series, making her the first Black woman to be nominated in three comedy categories in one year.
Brunson, who has previously stated that she was inspired by her mother’s teaching career in Philadelphia, confirmed at Comic-Con that season two episode one will also feature a special guest, but did not elaborate as to who it may be. In terms of other special guests, however, the creator did say that several celebrities have reached out to her and asked about guest-starring.
Don’t expect any parts written specifically for a guest star, however. Brunson said during the panel that she “likes to write the character” before casting any cameos and appearances.
The cast also shared that while they couldn’t give away any concrete details about possible plotlines or romances, including the “will they, won’t they” tango between Brunson’s Janine and James-Williams’ Gregory, fans can expect some fun bottle episodes in season two after laying the show’s groundwork in season one.
“We spent the whole first season building, and now we get to have some fun,” Brunson stated.
“Abbott Elementary” season two will premiere on ABC on Sept. 21.