Winner 2022

Abbott Elementary

Delicious Non-Sequitur Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television and 20th Television, a part of Disney Television Studios (ABC)

If public school teachers are the unsung heroes of the country, then Abbott Elementary does far more than use its broadcast platform to belatedly sing their praises. Through deliciously funny, unfailingly thoughtful storylines, the mockumentary-style sitcom brings both depth and levity to its depiction of a grade school in Philadelphia. The show’s titular setting is an underfunded, predominantly Black school. At Abbott, a plucky group of educators work to ensure their students receive the best schooling possible, even as they face the kinds of challenges that are endemic to low-income districts. To Philadelphia-raised creator Quinta Brunson, who also plays the lovably quixotic second-grade teacher Janine Teagues, paying homage to her city’s hard-working educators is partly a personal matter: Brunson’s mother, a former kindergarten teacher, inspired the series. Part of what makes Abbott Elementary so special is an insight clearly born of close observation. The show isn’t content to present funny scenarios absent any social context; Abbott Elementary insists on surfacing the structural issues that make its teachers’ work so hard. For its commitment to depicting the inequity at the core of its characters’ struggles—amid healthy doses of sentimentality and humor—we recognize Abbott Elementary as a Peabody winner.