Abbott Elementary, like a number of other shows, received several Emmy Award nominations in 2022 last week. Of course, after the successful first season and the extension for the second season, the nominations were just the cherry on the cake. The creator of the series and star Quinta Brunson has been gaining momentum lately, but now she is faced with an unforeseen development. It looks like the popular ABC sitcom has been sued.
Just a day after the awards were announced, Quinta Brunson and the comedy home network are facing a lawsuit filed by writer and actress Kristin Davis, Radar Online reports. In the lawsuit, Davis claims that the popular sitcom is copied from the school concept of This School Year, in particular accusing all parties involved of copyright infringement. At the same time, she is reportedly demanding that Brunson and ABC give up the profits they have received from the Emmy-nominated show for now.
The statement says that Kristin Davis created the script in 2018 and registered it with the U.S. Copyright Office in March 2020. After that, she allegedly held three meetings with Shavon Sullivan Wright and Cheris Parks of Blue Park Productions about the script in July 2020. Presumably. The producers told Davis that ABC and Hulu were interested in comedies with black women. She claims that Wright and Parks presented a teacher-oriented series to the streamer, but nothing came of it. After the platform allegedly passed, ABC announced in September 2020 that production of the Abbott series had begun, and actress Janine Teague is considered the creator of the series.
The documents also claim that the writer’s series was a pseudo-documentary film dedicated to teachers and staff of a New York public school, where the director hires a film crew to document a typical everyday workflow. It is also said that the main character, Ms. David, was described as “a young idealistic teacher hoping to get a permanent job, but also trying to convince everyone that the school needs to be reformed.”
Overall, Kristin Davis argues that Abbott Elementary essentially took everything — from the pseudo—documentary style to the urban setting and characters – from her original script. The lawsuit claims that Abbott’s teachers and staff are almost identical to those who write in it.
Quinta Brunson spoke frankly about her path to admission to Abbott Elementary. Brunson said she was going to quit television if the Alphabet network switched to it. Of course, everything worked in her favor. The runaway success of the series has even led some to credit Abbott with reviving interest in sitcoms (an idea that Brunson downplays). She also used it for charitable purposes, such as helping real-life teachers get school supplies.
It remains to be seen how things are going with Kristin Davis’ lawsuit. The same can be said about how Abbott Elementary will perform at this year’s Primetime Emmys. The show claims several high awards, including “Outstanding Comedy Series”, in the competitive list of nominees. Meanwhile, Quinta Brunson is currently creating the second season of the popular show. The second season will premiere on September 21, and those who haven’t watched the show yet can stream the first season using a Hulu subscription.