Abbott Elementary, debuted in December and was an instant hit with both Critics and audiences alike. The mockumentary about an inner city grade school in Philadelphia. The mid-season replacement became one of the most beloved new series of the year. Abbott Elementary was not only the only big-four network show to receive a series nomination in landed a whopping seven nomination over performing every pundit’s expectations. But can Abbott Elementary take home the crown for Best Comedy Series? If the Creative Arts Emmy win for Best Comedy Casting and TCA Awards are any indicator—yes, “Abbott” may be about to follow Fleabag’s path to success.
Abbott Elementary airs on ABC which happens to be the last network to win Best Comedy Series for another mockumentary Modern Family (2010-2015). It’s been eight years since ABC won this category and now they once again may have victory in its grasp.
Abbott Elementary received the following nominations: Best Comedy Series; Best Comedy Actress (Quinta Brunson); Best Comedy Supporting Actress (Janelle James); Best Comedy Supporting Actress (Sheryl Lee Ralph); Best Comedy Supporting Actor (Tyler James Williams); Best Comedy Writing (for the episode: “Pilot” written by Quinta Brunson) and has already won the Emmy for Best Comedy Casting. Yes, “Abbott” is missing a Best Comedy Directing nomination but that didn’t stop Friends” (2002), Everybody Loves Raymond (2003) or The Office (2006) from picking up the trophy for Series. “Friends” was able to win without a Best Comedy Writing nomination either.
Since “Abbott” was a mid-season replacement it did not compete at the earlier awards (Golden Globes, Critics Choice or SAG Awards). However, it made its presence known taking home three awards: Program of the Year, Outstanding Achievement in Comedy, Individual Achievement in Comedy (Brunson) and receiving another Individual Achievement in Comedy nomination (James).
Similarly, Fleabag also didn’t debut till after the winter awards were already hanged out. Likewise the streamer’s second season took home three TCA Award: Program of the Year, Outstanding Achievement in Comedy and Individual Achievement in Comedy (Phoebe Waller-Bridge). Fleabag would go on to win six Emmys: Best Comedy Series, Best Comedy Writing, Best Comedy Directing, Best Comedy Actress (Waller-Bridge) Best Comedy Casting and Best Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Comedy Series. The series also received an additional five nominations: Best Comedy Supporting Actress (Olivia Colman); Best Comedy Supporting Actress (Sian Clifford); Best Comedy Guest Actress (Fiona Shaw); Best Comedy Guest Actress (Kristen Scott-Thomas); and Best Cinematography for a Single-Camera Series (Half-Hour).
Fleabag did receive overall more nomination than Abbott Elementary but there’s one race to keep an eye on—Best Comedy Casting. For the past seven year so goes Best Comedy Casting so goes Best Comedy Series: Veep (2015-2017); The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (2018); Fleabag (2019); Schitt’s Creek (2020) and Ted Lasso (2021). On the good side—the last three Best Individual Achievement in Comedy winners: Waller-Bridge, Catherine O’Hara (Schitt’s Creek) and Jean Smart (Hacks) all went on to win the Emmy for Best Comedy Actress. Brunson could make it four in a row. On the bad side—unlike “Fleabag,” “Abbott” does not have any technical nominations. Will that be their undoing?
Eerily similar many expected the reigning winner “Maisel” to keep the Best Comedy Series trophy even after losing Best Comedy Casting after overperforming at the Creative Arts Emmys the week earlier. “Abbott” is now in a similar situation facing off against last year’s champ “Ted Lasso” which is expected again to take the trophy home. “Abbott” should enter the Primetime Emmys on Monday, September 12th with a lot of confidence that they’re going to have a good night.