HBO Max and Hulu will share the co-exclusive streaming rights to complete seasons of ABC’s breakout new comedy series Abbott Elementary.
It is not surprising that Abbott Elementary‘s library streaming rights were sold so quickly — after the show’s initial 13-episode midseason run — since the workplace comedy created by and starring Quinta Brunson has been a ratings and critical success and just landed seven Emmy nominations for its first season, including Outstanding Comedy Series.
What is more surprising is the the unusual arrangement, with HBO Max and Hulu sharing the series’ exclusive complete season rights. It reflects Abbott Elementary’s status of an ABC series co-produced by Warner Bros. Television and 20th Television.
As part of ABC’s pickup of the show, its sibling streamer Hulu has exclusive in-season streaming rights, making current season episodes available the day after each broadcast premiere. That would make Hulu a leading contender for library rights to the completed seasons too. But Abbott Elementary comes from Warner Bros. TV, which developed it and is the lead studio, so its sibling HBO Max also would be interested — and entitled — to access to the hot comedy, making the shared arrangement a logical compromise.
The new episodes plus prior seasons of Abbott Elementary will remain on Hulu and complete future seasons will be available to stream on HBO Max before the next season premieres on ABC.
The full 13-episode first season will debut August 20 on HBO Max. Season 2, whose order has been upped to full-season 22 episodes, will premiere Sept. 21 on ABC.
Earlier this month, Abbott Elementary also landed lead acting and writing Emmy nominations for Quinta Brunson, supporting acting nominations for Tyler James Williams, Janelle James, and Sheryl Lee Ralph, and for casting.
Abbott Elementary is a workplace comedy about a group of dedicated, passionate teachers — and a slightly tone-deaf principal — who are brought together in a Philadelphia public school where, despite the odds stacked against them, they are determined to help their students succeed in life. 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 first season has a 98% positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes
Brunson created and stars as Janine Teagues, and she serves as executive producer of the series alongside Justin Halpern and Patrick Schumacker of Delicious Non-Sequitur Productions, and Randall Einhorn. In addition to Brunson, the cast includes Tyler James Williams as Gregory Eddie, Janelle James as Ava Coleman, Lisa Ann Walter as Melissa Schemmenti, Chris Perfetti as Jacob Hill, William Stanford Davis as Mr. Johnson, and Sheryl Lee Ralph as Barbara Howard. The series is produced by Warner Bros. Television and 20thTelevision, a part of Disney Television Studios.