Abbott Elementary Season Three Premiere: What to Expect

The hit ABC series, Abbott Elementary, is back for its third season and is starting with a time jump. Find out what changes to expect and how the show creators adapted to real-life events.


New Beginnings for Season Three

In the season three premiere of Abbott Elementary, the show takes a different approach by starting five months into the school year. The series, starring Quinta Brunson as Janine Teagues, only flashes back to the beginning of the year to sync up with real life.

Creator Quinta Brunson explained that Abbott Elementary follows the school calendar, typically starting in September. However, due to production delays caused by the 2023 writers and actors strikes, the show had to make adjustments. Starting in February instead of September allowed them to align with real-life events.

Although there will only be 14 episodes instead of the usual 22, Brunson joked that she welcomed the lighter load. She expressed that doing 22 episodes was a lot, so doing 14 has been great.

A Shift in Setting

To kick off the new school year in Abbott Elementary, Janine (played by Quinta Brunson) moves outside of the classroom and joins the Philadelphia School District for a new job. The premiere episode flashes back to Development Day, five months prior, where she is enticed to participate in the fellowship program.

The co-showrunners, Patrick Schumacker and Justin Halpern, revealed that focusing on the district was always the plan for season three. However, due to the strike and the resulting time jump, they had to rethink the timeline. This led them to incorporate a stolen equipment storyline to explain the time jump.

Schumacker explained that plotting out the jumps was a challenge for the comedy writers in the room. They had to navigate the complexities of non-linear storytelling and ensure the jumps made sense within the show's context.

Exciting Guest Stars and Surprise Cameos

Abbott Elementary has gained popularity, attracting interest from "very, very famous people" who want to appear on the show. However, the showrunners emphasized the importance of maintaining the show's authenticity within the Philadelphia school setting. While some guest stars have reached out to them, they ensure that the cameos make sense within the show's documentary-style format.

During an interview on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Quinta Brunson teased upcoming guest stars, revealing that there are some "fantastic, fun, big" names appearing in the new season. She also shared that the show had recently filmed with one of them. However, she playfully refused to disclose the surprise guest star, even when faced with Kimmel's guesses.

Overall, season three of Abbott Elementary promises exciting changes, new settings, and appearances from notable guests. Fans of the show can look forward to a fresh take on the beloved characters and the comedic storytelling that Abbott Elementary is known for.