“Abbott Elementary” is enjoying the kind of smash hit that most broadcast networks can only dream of. While critical consensus and awards voters have shifted to streaming and cable shows over the past decade, the ABC sitcom proves that excellence is still blooming on the Big Four networks. The mockumentary-style comedy, starring and created by Quinta Brunson, tells the story of a group of hardworking teachers who populate an underfunded elementary school run by a clumsy principal. Critics and audiences have gotten so hooked on the underdog series that it could do what no broadcast comedy has done at the Emmys in over a decade.
If “Abbott Elementary” has a passion for landing a Best Comedy Series nomination, it would be the first broadcast sitcom to do so for its first season since 2010. This year marked the arrival of two shows that share a bit of DNA with “Abbott Elementary”: ABC mockumentary “Modern Family” and Fox comedy-drama “Glee.” Both shows exploded with Emmy nominations for their respective first seasons, including one for Outstanding Comedy Series, with “Modern Family” ultimately triumphing for its first of five straight series wins.
TO SEE ‘Abbott Elementary’ May Be Behind Sheryl Lee Ralph for First Emmy Nomination
No aired comedy has made it through its first season since then, not even network shows that won multiple top category auctions in the 2010s like CBS’s “The Big Bang Theory,” ABC’s “Black-ish.” or NBC’s “The Good Place.” and “Parks and Recreation”. The 2010s and early 2020s were dominated by cable and streaming shows, which devoured most of the Best Comedy Series nomination spots, with no show having won since “Modern Family.” in 2014.
So what are the odds that ‘Abbott Elementary’ actually wins the Comedy Series nomination? According to the latest Gold Derby odds, he sits in seventh place in the premier class, which is good enough for a nomination in a field of eight. The freshman comedy faces an onslaught of returning favorites, including former champions of shows like “Ted Lasso” and “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” and other Emmy-winning shows like “Hacks,” “Barry” and “Atlanta”. But if enough Emmy voters watch “Abbott Elementary,” it could very easily find its place among those top dogs as a little show that could.
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