Quinta Brunson is the first Black woman to earn three noms in the comedy categories in the same year.
After a highly acclaimed debut season, Abbott Elementary made history by earning seven Emmy nominations! ABC's hit series came out the gates with aces across the board for the Primetime Emmy Awards, earning nods in the top categories, including Outstanding Comedy Series.
Created by and starring Quinta Brunson, the half-hour mockumentary-style series follows a group of dedicated and passionate teachers -- and a slightly tone-deaf principal -- at a Philadelphia public school where, despite the odds stacked against them, are determined to help their students succeed in life.
Brunson's multiple duties scored her three nominations, including Outstanding Comedy Series, Lead Actress in a Comedy and Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series. The nods make the former A Black Lady Sketch Show star the first Black woman to receive three Emmy noms for the same comedy series. Michaela Coel earned a similar accolade last year, scoring four noms for the limited series I May Destroy You.
If Brunson were to win either Lead Actress in a comedy and Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series, she would be the second Black woman to win either category, ever. Isabel Sanford won the former in 1981 for her iconic role as Louise on CBS' The Jeffersons and Lena Waithe won the latter alongside co-writer Aziz Ansari in 2017 for Netflix's Master of None.
And only one Black person has won Emmy's top comedy category -- Winifred Hervey for The Golden Girls in 1987. Bunson's nomination puts her in the lead to make history thrice!
"What an honor to be nominated by the Television Academy. Creating this show has been the greatest gift and to have it recognized in this way is the dream," Brunson said of her nominations. "It’s a joy we get to share with the amazing people who watched our first season. None of this would be possible without my incredible, supportive EP’s Justin Halpern, Randall Einhorn & Patrick Schumacker, our incredible writers room, our insanely talented cast, and the hard-working teams at ABC and WBTV for helping to bring Abbott Elementary to life. Lastly, and most importantly, I want to thank teachers. Thanks for being our inspiration."
Brunson didn't score the only nominations from the Abbott Elementary cast! Tyler James Williams earned the Outstanding Supporting Actor nod, along with Janelle James and Sheryl Lee Ralph earning nods for Outstanding Supporting Actress. These are the first-ever Emmy nominations for all the actors!
"I am so deeply honored and completely overwhelmed with an abundance of gratitude that comes with this recognition," Ralph said of her nomination. "Thank you to the Television Academy for the delicious honor of being nominated in the Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series category, alongside the most talented and hilarious actors of today. Thank you Emmy voters for this great compliment, and thank you to Quinta Brunson for the opportunity of a lifetime. It has been a joy and a blessing to portray Mrs. Barbara Howard on screen and honor the thousands of educators she represents across the country in doing so. Thank you again!"
The show also earned a nomination for Outstanding Casting For A Comedy Series.
ABC announced that the smash series had officially been renewed for a second season in March, ahead of the show's midseason premiere, and production on season 2 is already underway.
"We'll be going a little bit outside of the school more," Brunson told ET about the next installment, explaining that the series will begin exploring the characters' homes. "I know that doesn’t seem like a big deal, but we didn't go to anyone's house in the first season and so for me it's really exciting that we'll be going to like Melissa's house and Janine's house."
Although she noted she probably "shouldn't say" it, the actress admitted that she's excited to explore the home of Lisa Ann Walter's Melissa Schemmenti the most. "I'm anticipating it 'cause we're writing it now and, writing-wise, we're in the middle of the season so I'm excited to see what else we come up with," she added. "It’s just fun for me writing the show [and] being in it because I’m on a journey with the writers' room to see what kind of lives these people live at home and what it looks like."
The 74th Primetime Emmy Awards will be handed out live Monday, Sept. 12 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on NBC and Peacock.