With the WGA strike officially over, Quinta Brunson explains the new challenges it created for the return of Abbott Elementary.
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According to the actress/ creator/season 3 is in the works, but there will be some unexpected changes from the Emmy award-winning program. The 33-year-old told Deadline this season will premiere later than usual. It also will not align with real-life school calendars like previous seasons.
The writers’ rooms were initially scheduled to get their creative juices flowing on May 1 but instead, the writers’ strike began on the exact same date.
Quinta will use a “little bit of creativity” to ensure the storyline flows despite the time jump on the mockumentary.
“How do we justify losing half a season, half a year?” the Buzzfeeder said.
“Our season will still be on the school calendar. [But] last year, we started airing in September, when school started. We’re not doing that this year.”
“It’s not like coming back to a family show where you can pop in on that family on any sitcom-y thing,” Brunson added to Deadline. “It’s really like, what’s going on in the school?”
Additionally, the season will be shorter “because of the strike, and because of what ABC has room for on their schedule.” Brunson views this as a positive thing, however, although fans may not be too pleased.
“We did 22 last season, and that’s a lot of TV, in particular for me because I’m writing and producing and starring in it,” Quinta confessed. “So for me, I welcomed a shorter season because it was tiring, exhausting work. Love it, but exhausting for me.”
The comedic maven was in London when she learned the WGA strike ended. By then, she was “ready to go back” to work and before Quinta knew it, the Abbott writers were back at it, discussing the season’s arc.
“Talking about that arc helps us start to put together episodes. So we talk about our arc, talk about the stories we want to tell, the special, unique, funny stories that can fall within that arc,” said the “Girl Who Had Never Been On a Nice Date”.
“We talked about our premiere, which I’m trying not to spoil. That became the focus of the past two weeks.”
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Brunson admitted the writing team had “a lot of heavy lifting to do” when it comes to “explaining our absence…in a way that we think engages the audience, protects the world we built.”
Despite the challenges writers are facing, Brunson says they’re thrilled to return to work and thrilled to be back on the same page as execs.
“Look, most people are really just happy to get back to work and to feel respected at work,” the executive producer said to Deadline. “Strikes suck. They’re hard. People hurl insults at each other. It gets nasty. But once it’s done, it really feels like both sides are happy with what they accomplished. I know I feel that way with Warner Bros.”
There were “months of not talking to executives that I work with all the time, who I trust,” Brunson said. “It feels they are happy for what was accomplished by the WGA. We’re happy to be back in the room again. So, in a way, it feels like both sides feel like they accomplished something, and that’s really rewarding.”
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Congrats again to the 20,000 WGA writers who said, “f**k you pay me” via striking. They challenged an established system and won!
Be sure to check back for Abbott Elementary’s 2024 premiere date!