I am sure that ABC is already in talks for renewing Quinta Brunson‘s Abbott Elementary for a second (and maybe third and fourth) season, but can we get that news faster?
After another home run of an episode on Tuesday night (that end credits step scene with Brunson’s Janine and Janelle James’s Ava was everything), ABC announced that the second episode of the season titled “New Tech” became ABC’s highest-rated comedy telecast in nearly two years in multiplatform viewing in the adults 18-49 demographic.
This news comes after the workplace mockumentary’s debut became ABC’s first comedy premiere to quadruple ratings since its original airing.
I’m about to list some TV ratings numbers, so bear with me. I used to do this kind of stuff at my old job so I may be a bit rusty.
When Abbott Elementary premiered in December 2021, the pilot scored a 0.6 rating in the 18-49 demo and garnered 2.79 million viewers. With 35 days of viewing via linear and digital platforms added to those totals, the number shot up 300%, with the demo rating rising to 2.4 and the viewership amassing to 7.1 million total viewers.
For the second episode, Abbott Elementary continued to maintain momentum, hitting 9 million total viewers, scoring a 2.93 rating among the demo after 35 days of viewing across linear and digital platforms. As mentioned, this makes Abbott Elementary ABC’s highest-rated comedy telecast (new or returning) in nearly two years with 18-49 demo since the series finale of Modern Family on April 8, 2020.
So let’s unpack this even further.
Modern Family premiered its pilot on September 23, 2009 with a 4.8 rating in the demo and 13.76 million total viewers after all was said and done. The second episode scored a 4.4 in the demo and 11.18 million total viewers. On January 12, 2010, during the TCA press tour it was announced that ABC was renewing the family comedy for a second season. It took them about four months.
Abbott Elementary debuted its pilot December 7, 2021 — mind you it was during a pandemic surge and during a time when the industry was about to break for the holidays. As mentioned, it racked up a 2.4 in the demo and 7.1 million total viewers. The second episode saw a substantial boost with a 2.93 in the demo and 9 million viewers. And if we’re keeping score, Modern Family slipped with its second episode and Abbott Elementary is clearly gaining momentum — and if you are on social media Tuesday night, you can see the fanbase is rabid.
We are about three months into the series and granted, they took a little break to increase the thirst for this incredible show, but I think its about time for us to get that renewal if we are going by Modern Family standards.
Like Modern Family, Abbott Elementary has a cultural impact — but it takes it further. It’s a series created by a woman of color and its cast is mostly POCs. It tackles a bigger issue of underfunded schools in historically marginalized communities. It’s single handedly reviving interest in the struggling landscape of network TV, bringing in the much-needed numbers to ABC, and it brings authentic representation to TV. Also, let’s face it, it’s a lot funnier than Modern Family.
Now, I know ratings metrics are an endangered species, but legacy networks seem to be holding on to them with a firm grasp on them so I am gonna lean into these numbers and make the case for a second season renewal announcement immediately.
I’ll be waiting for the news.