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May 23, 2024

The 'Abbott Elementary' finale ended on a cliffhanger. Here's what to expect from Season 4

Quinta Brunson and the sitcom's showrunners say fans will get more holiday episodes, but maybe less celebrities.

TV Sitcoms
Abbott Elementary season 4 Provided image/Disney/Gilles Mingasson

'Abbott Elementary' lead Janine makes a crucial decision in the sitcom's Season 3 finale after a conversation with the school's janitor Mr. Johnson.

The latest season of "Abbott Elementary" came to a close Wednesday night with a summer break party at Janine's house that took an unexpected turn.

Spoilers ahead for the Season 3 finale "Party," you've been warned!

After fighting off feelings for the better part of the year — or really, the show's beginning — Janine (Quinta Brunson) and Gregory (Tyler James Williams) finally got together with a dramatic kiss after the party broke up and the pair seemingly parted ways. The couple's relationship is sure to change the character dynamics in Season 4, especially given how involved the "Abbott" teachers are in each other's lives.

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But will it stick this time? Janine and Gregory have come close to committing and then gotten cold feet, even as recently as the previous episode, "Smith Playground." Creator Brunson, Williams and the sitcom's showrunners all indicated in interviews, however, that this time it's for real.

"Janine and Gregory's first kiss that we did in Season 2 was very hesitant and tentative," Williams said in an interview with The AV Club. "There's something more definitive about this moment. So when I read it, I felt like, 'OK, we can do this.'"

Brunson said fans can expect the couple to face "more of the typical 20-something obstacles" in the next season as they explore their relationship in and out of the workplace. While the pair spent much of Season 3 apart, with Janine taking a fellowship at the School District of Philadelphia and Gregory starting up a garden club at the school, they'll be back to teaching at next-door classrooms when the show returns.

Brunson and Williams both suggested there's a loose plan for the couple, though the show writers do not officially begin work until June 3. Lingering jealousy over Janine's cute district coworker Manny (Josh Segarra) could be on the table, as the show is leaving the door open to his return.

"Whenever we introduce a character, they're always in our world," Brunson told The Wrap. "There's always going to be a school district, which makes me feel like our school district characters always have the opportunity to be seen again."

Two men and a woman stand near an open doorway in an apartment.Provided image/Disney/Gilles Mingasson

Janine's coworkers Manny (Josh Segarra), Simon (Benjamin Norris) and Emily (Kimia Behpoornia) from the School District of Philadelphia stopped by her party in the Season 3 finale.

But fans shouldn't necessarily expect as many guest stars in Season 4. This past season was unusually star-studded, with appearances from Philadelphia-bred (or adopted) celebrities like Bradley Cooper, Kevin Hart, Questlove, Jalen Hurts, Jason Kelce and Brandon Graham. Coordinating their Zoom, FaceTime and in-person cameos was a challenge, according to showrunners Justin Halpern and Patrick Schumacker, and might not be repeatable.

"You might see less famous people in the show next year," Halpern told the Hollywood Reporter. "I can’t say that for certain, but you might."

Though the next season may have less star power, it will have more episodes. The 2023 writers' and actors' strikes shortened Season 3 to 14 episodes, a significant downgrade from the 22 that aired during Season 2. Brunson said the sitcom will return to 22 next season, leaving room for longer story arcs and special themed episodes.

"Naturally, I feel like people can expect more holiday episodes, which we were low on this year because of when we started airing but I can't wait to do another Christmas episode, a Halloween episode — all the holidays," she told The Wrap. "I'm excited to kind of get back to a regular pace."

While Janine-Gregory shippers are surely excited for the couple to go official next season, hopefully the finale's other golden couple is not forgotten: drunk Barbara and that Allen Iverson cutout.

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