Quinta Brunson Makes Emmys History With 'Abbott Elementary' Nominations

ABC's breakout hit earned seven nominations, making Brunson the first Black woman to score three nods in the comedy categories in a single year.
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Quinta Brunson continued her “Abbott Elementary” success streak with a trio of history-making Emmy Award nominations.

On Tuesday, Brunson landed nominations for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series, Outstanding Comedy Series and Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series. In doing so, she became the first Black woman to score three nominations in the comedy categories in the same year.

Michaela Coel achieved a similar feat in 2021 when she received four nominations in the limited series categories for “I May Destroy You.”

From left: Tyler James Williams, Janelle James, Quinta Brunson, Lisa Ann Walter and Sheryl Lee Ralph of ABC's "Abbott Elementary."
From left: Tyler James Williams, Janelle James, Quinta Brunson, Lisa Ann Walter and Sheryl Lee Ralph of ABC's "Abbott Elementary."
ABC via Getty Images

Overall, it was a triumphant morning for “Abbott Elementary,” as ABC’s breakout comedy picked up seven Emmy nominations in total. Both Janelle James and Sheryl Lee Ralph received nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actress, while Tyler James Williams earned an Outstanding Supporting Actor nod.

The nominations represent the latest in the unlikely success story of “Abbott Elementary.” Shot in a mockumentary style, the show follows Janine Teagues (played by Brunson), a teacher at a predominantly Black elementary school in Philadelphia led by Principal Ava Coleman (James).

Along with her colleagues Gregory Eddie (Williams) and Barbara Howard (Ralph), Teagues is determined to help her students succeed in life, even as the odds seem stacked against them.

Brunson said Tuesday on Twitter that she’d been left “speechless” by the nominations.

Since its premiere in December, “Abbott Elementary” has received near-universal praise from critics as a poignant, if comedic, reminder of the challenges public educators face daily. In a television landscape that’s become largely dominated by streaming platforms like Netflix and Hulu, it’s also been praised as a rare success story for a broadcast TV series.

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