‘Abbott Elementary’ Nabs ABC Strongest Comedy Ratings Since ‘Modern Family’ Finale

Abbott Elementary Quinta Brunson
ABC/Gilles Mingasson

Abbott Elementary just got a glowing report card. The comedy’s second episode brought in ABC’s highest ratings for a comedy since the series finale of Modern Family in April 2020.

Abbott Elementary Season 1 Episode 2, “Light Bulb,” garnered 9 million total viewers and a 2.93 rating in adults ages 18 to 49 after 35 days of viewing on linear and digital platforms, according to Deadline.

That 35-day, multi-platform time period is called MP35. (Creator, star, and executive producer Quinta Brunson had to Google what MP35 was too, she quipped in a January tweet.) In January, Deadline reported Abbott Elementary quadrupled its ratings in MP35 — the first ABC comedy to do so.

The pilot went from a 0.6 rating in the 18 to 49 demographic and 2.79 million viewers to a 2.4 rating and 7.1 million viewers in MP35. Episode 2 grew the viewership by 5.6 million and had a 358 percent ratings increase.

Modern Family aired its series finale on April 8, 2020. The Emmy-winning comedy was a main fixture on ABC, and it’s been debated if the network could produce another hit of that scale. The success of Abbott Elementary Season 1 Episode 2 hints ABC struck gold with the mockumentary.

The series has released nine episodes so far. The latest aired on February 22. Brunson announced on Twitter there will be a three-week break between Episodes 9 and 10. There will be 13 episodes total in Season 1.

Brunson stars as the optimistic second-grade teacher Janine Teagues. She’s joined by Tyler James Williams, Lisa Ann Walter, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Chris Perfetti, and Janelle James. The actors form a group of teachers with very different approaches to education.

“Despite the odds stacked against them, they are determined to help their students succeed in life, and though these incredible public servants may be outnumbered and underfunded, they love what they do — even if they don’t love the school district’s less-than-stellar attitude toward educating children,” the series description states.

Abbott Elementary, Tuesdays, 9/8c, ABC and is available for next-day streaming on Hulu and ABC.com