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Quinta Brunson On the Success of ‘Abbott Elementary’: “People Were Tired of Seeing Their Twitter Regurgitated Back To Them”

In a recent interview, Abbott Elementary creator and actress Quinta Brunson spoke about excluding “internet humor” from the series.

Abbott Elementary won’t include any social media plots in the near future. In a recent interview with The New York Times, series creator and actress Quinta Brunson alluded to other shows that use internet culture as a crutch for their storylines, priding Abbott Elementary with not following suit.

“I’ve read that the show doesn’t sound like a Twitter timeline. People were tired of seeing their Twitter regurgitated back to them through their viewing,” Brunson said. “A lot of shows had started doing that. But people still want stories. That was important for me from the beginning of writing the show.

First premiering on ABC last December, Abbott Elementary has averaged nearly four million viewers per episode, and has announced a second season renewal. For Brunson, a recent Essence Black Women in Hollywood honoree, she credits the series success to being authentic, even in an internet-centric age.

“For my Twitter timeline every day, there’s a major discussion — usually to do with race or class or politics. People may sit on Twitter and debate all day, but they don’t want to see that on TV,” Brunson continued in her New York Times interview. “One reason I wanted to make this show was that in a school like Abbott, you’re doing your job and the topics of the day are these kids. The teachers have to keep these kids fed and alive, and teach them. That mess is enough for you to be tuned in. We don’t have to mine social media for topics.”

The new episode of Abbott Elementary premieres tonight at 9 PM ET/PT on ABC.

Jaelani Turner-Williams

Jaelani Turner-Williams is a contributing news writer for Okayplayer with bylines at Billboard, MTV News, NYLON, Recording Academy and more. Read her mind on Twitter at @hernameisjae.

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