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November 17, 2023

New season of 'Abbott Elementary' to premiere in February

Season 3 will be shortened due to the writers and actors strikes. Creator Quinta Brunson says the plot will pick up in the middle of the school year

TV Abbott Elementary
abbott elementary season 3 Matt Sayles/ABC

'Abbott Elementary' kicks off its third season with a special hour-long premiere on Wednesday, Feb. 7 at 9 p.m. on ABC.

School soon will be back in session for the Philly-based sitcom "Abbott Elementary." 

ABC has revealed its 2024 midseason premiere dates following the overlapping Writers Guild of America and Screen Actors Guild strikes, which each lasted more than 115 days. 

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"Abbott Elementary" kicks off its third season with a special hour-long premiere Wednesday, Feb. 7 at 9 p.m., according to ABC.

The Emmy-Award winning sitcom, written by West Philly-native Quinta Brunson, is among ABC's first scripted shows to return. The comedy series "The Conners" and "Not Dead Yet" also are premiering Feb. 7. 

The network's drama shows begin returning two weeks later. "The Good Doctor" comes back Feb. 20 and "Grey's Anatomy" on March 14. ABC's winter lineup also includes "The Bachelor," starring Montgomery County-native Joey Graziadei, which premieres Monday, Jan. 22.

Production on scripted series will kick into gear in the coming weeks. The WGA ended its 146-day strike – its second-longest – in late September. The SAG-AFTRA strike lasted 118 days, its longest ever, concluding Nov. 9.

 Earlier this month, Brunson responded to a fan's inquiry about whether Season 3 would begin filming soon with a video meme saying "Well, yes!" 

Brunson and her "Abbott Elementary" cast were vocal in supporting the strikes, posting on social media and joining demonstrations. In July, stars Sheryl Lee Ralph and Lisa Ann Walter spoke in solidarity with SAG during a rally at LOVE Park.

Due to the delays on production, Season 3 will have 14 episodes – eight fewer than last season. Most other scripted series are producing 10 to 13 episodes following the strikes.

Brunson — the show's creator, co-showrunner, executive producer, writer and star — has teased the way the February premiere date will impact the Season 3 plot, as the show traditionally follows a school calendar schedule.

"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," Brunson told Deadline. "It's not like coming back to a family show where you can pop in on that family on any sitcom-y thing. It's really like, what’s going on in the school?"

"Abbott Elementary," which follows a quirky team of teachers at a fictional Philly public school, wrapped up its record-breaking second season in April with an episode featuring a field trip to the Franklin Institute. 

The show received eight nominations in the upcoming 75th Primetime Emmy Awards, including nods for outstanding comedy series, outstanding casting for a comedy series and outstanding contemporary hairstyling. Brunson, Ralph, Tyler James Williams and Janelle James were nominated in acting categories, and Taraji P. Henson received a nomination for outstanding guest actress in a comedy series. The Emmys were rescheduled to Jan. 15 following the strikes.

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