ABC, Scott Feinberg, Abbott Elementary discussed on Awards Chatter

Awards Chatter


Everyone and thank you for tuning in to the 454th episode of awards chatter. The Hollywood Reporter's awards podcast. I'm the host Scott feinberg. And my guest today is a comedic phenom, who is blowing up at the moment, having created and served as a producer and writer and the principal star of the ABC sitcom Abbott elementary, which has been described by The New York Times as quote the best new network sitcom of the season close quote and quote the kind of comedy that network TV needs. With the guardians suggesting quote, it has Parks and Recreation sense of community, modern families, precision tooling, and Ted Lasso's charm. But as its own hilarious thing. The first season of the show about the struggles of teachers in a Philadelphia public school rolled out between December 2021 and April 2022, and quickly proved to be something special. It's second episode was ABC's highest rated installment of comedy since the finale of Modern Family a couple of years earlier. Ratings for the premiere were quadrupled after about a month, something that had never before happened with an ABC comedy. Season one overall averaged about 4 million viewers per episode, the show was renewed for a second season, a month before the first season's finale, and the first season ended up with a 100% rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes. Oh, and earlier this month, the show received 7 Emmy nominations as well, including best comedy series, making it this year's only network show nominated for the top drama or comedy awards. And my guess is personally nominated in three categories, producing, writing, and acting, which is a total never before achieved in a single year by a black person. I'm talking about one of Time Magazine's 100 most influential people of 2022, Quinta Brunson. Over the course of our conversation, the 32 year old and I discussed what led her to comedy and to create web content, including what proved to be the first viral Instagram video. What it was like subsequently working on projects like the first season of HBO's a black lady sketch show. While quietly trying to sell a show of her own, how her mother, Norma Jean Brunson, and her 6th grade teacher, Joyce Abbott, helped to inspire abbot elementary and why she wanted the show to air on and deeply believes in the future of network television, plus much more, and so without further ado, let's go to that conversation. Hi, what's up? Thank you so much for joining us. And great to have you on the podcast. Normally I begin with a question I'm going to come to in a second about just where our guests were born and raised with their parents did for a living. But first, I need you to help me understand. I always thought that QU I NTA was Quinta is, so are we all saying it wrong? Or what's going on? No. Quinta is another pronunciation of my name. Someone say that is the correct pronunciation. I've kind of grown up my whole life being called both Quentin and Quinta. Okay. I am the 5th child Quinta means with and it's actually something I had to land on when I became more of a professional in my field when deciding which one I wanted to go by. And I decided to go by Quinta, but what's hard about it is I don't always pick up when someone is calling me. Quinta, because I'm so used to it. Right. Right. So it's funny you bring this up. I was on a red carpet the other day, and the one woman said, Quinta, you know, who was taking pictures in the rest of the people. We're like, Quinta Quinta, everybody's confused. And I didn't even catch it. My peel, so I'm upset. And I was like, wow, I didn't even hear it. I'm just so used to hearing both versions. So yeah. All right, well, thank you for clarity. Now I can sleep well at night. So all right, now for the usual question, just can you share for anyone who may not know where were you born and raised in what did your folks do for a living? I was born in west Philadelphia, born and raised in west Philadelphia, trying not to sing the theme song. Me too, me too. I'm proud of both of us. And my mother was a teacher. And my father was, he managed parking lots. For a living. It seems so mundane, but I found it to be very cool. Sure. No, I've always thought that's the American Dream. One time payment and then let it just keep collecting. Exactly. Now, your mom, it was always kindergarten that she taught her did that change over the years. She talked kindergarten for most of her career. She had switched to first grade. I remember one year. And she wanted to go back to kindergarten. Okay. And that was good because you were when you were in kindergarten that worked out nicely, right? It did. She was my teacher, yeah. Yeah. So in your memoir, she means well. And I will just repeat that for anyone listening at home that is. You talk about the fact that your family that when you were growing up was quite observant, Jehovah's Witnesses. And how that may have shaped you and I wonder if you can maybe give a little version of that now just how you think it might have affected you as a kid. I think for growing up Jones witness, it just, for me, as a kid in west Philadelphia, I think it gave me some type of religion gives a lot of people, but it gave me some guidelines, you know? It helped keep me safe in Philadelphia and keep me out of trouble. Joe's business is a very strict, it's a very strict religion. I wasn't allowed to do so much that when I did become passionate about something, it was often something that I that was in wine was kind of my principles at the time, like I felt like, oh, this feels like it's part of my purpose. If I really want to do it because I had all these rules and guidelines and fears of God, but then there were some things that I was like, ah, I absolutely got to do this. I think this is in line with what I'm wearing. I felt that way about comedy. You were talking to him any other jobs when it says and they would not say the same thing, but I felt that I had kind of a purpose in that arena that aligned with my religious beliefs at the time. So to connect the dots, I guess, to comedy, I guess there's first dance, and then dance somehow leads to acting, which somehow leads to comedy. Yeah. Connect those dots if you don't mind. Well, how many was always there? That's another thing my family, we spent so much time together, and we watched so much, we watched a lot of comedies, things that were the whole family could enjoy. Like a big one in our House was all of the Nick at night TV shows, all of the shows that became Nick and night TV shows in my era. So the Brady bunch, Mary Tyler Moore show, Bob Newhart show, they all became really important to me, those sitcoms, they represented togetherness, things I could watch with my family, things I was allowed to watch. And for that reason, you know, I really loved comedy more than I was willing to admit. I think, and as I got a little bit older, I started to find kind of my own things I loved all that was really big to me. I just thought it was fascinating. These kids, you know, doing sketch comedy was so incredible to me and my older siblings kind of sharing comedies with them because it's what we also had in common. Ace Ventura pet detective made my brother and I Friends. I think without that, I'm not sure we would have gotten a lot. And so, you

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