New comedy TV series Abbott Elementary School revolves around the faculty of an underfunded elementary school based in West Philadelphia and how much they love their jobs despite the lack of funding. Is the popular ABC sitcom based on a true story? Creator, writer, executive producer and star of Abbott Elementary SchoolQuinta Brunson, previously revealed her inspiration behind the sitcom.
Quinta Brunson says ‘Abbott Elementary’ is inspired by her mother’s teaching experiences
A few months before Abbott Elementary School premiered on ABC, creator, writer, executive producer and dummy comedy star Quinta Brunson appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live.
Speaking to comedian Wanda Sykes, she explained that the sitcom is “loosely” inspired by her mother who has been a public school teacher in West Philadelphia for more than 40 years.
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The actor went into more depth during a February 2022 taping of The Kelly Clarkson Show as she explained how her exposure to a teaching parent had given her a ‘behind-the-scenes’ view of the occupation.
For example, Brunson said she had her mother as a kindergarten teacher and went to the same school she taught until sixth grade. Consequently, the actor went back and forth to school with his mother and watched her continue to work from home. These experiences, including the “countless stories” of his mother, brought life to Abbott Elementary School.
‘Abbott Elementary’ is filmed in Los Angeles, California
Even though the fictional elementary school is based in West Philadelphia, the cast actually filmed the show in Los Angeles, California. However, it still features several references that give the impression that the mockumentary is set in Pennsylvania’s largest city.
According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Brunson attended an underfunded public school in Philadelphia, similar to the one on the show, where she met her sixth grade teacher, Joyce Abbott.
Inspired by her and unable to use the name of her alma mater, Brunson paid tribute to her favorite educator and Philadelphia-based actor Will Smith by naming him Willard Abbott Elementary. It also appears that venerable kindergarten teacher Barbara Howard is taking inspiration from Brunson’s mother.
Her character, Janine Teagues, admires Mrs. Howard on the show. Additionally, Lisa Ann Walter, who plays second-grade teacher Melissa Schemmenti, claimed that her friendship with Barbara was partly inspired by the bond Brunson’s mother had with a Silician educator in a January 2022 interview. the series creator’s mother was also a kindergarten teacher, it is possible that she inspired the character of Barbara.
Brunson portrays Janine Teagues in ‘Abbott Elementary’
Including writing and producing the sitcom, Brunson stars in it as a second-grade teacher, Janine Teagues.
Passionate about her work and helping her children despite the school’s limited resources, she finds herself going above and beyond.
Her colleagues, the more experienced second-grade teacher Melissa (Lisa Ann Walter), a kindergarten teacher she admires, Barbara (Sheryl Lee Ralph), the faithful history teacher Jacob Hill (Chris Perfetti) and the teacher a substitute freshman who seems to have a crush on her, Gregory (Tyler James Williams) supports the optimistic teacher while bringing her back to Earth when needed.
Inept principal Ava Coleman (Janelle James) likes to pick on Janine but has also shown a willingness to help at times. Abbott Elementary School airs Tuesdays on ABC.
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