From the returning cast to the release date, here’s everything to know about season 3 of ‘Abbott Elementary’
School is back in session, and Abbott Elementary is returning for its 3rd season.
Janine Teagues (Quinta Brunson) and her fellow teachers, including Gregory Eddie (Tyler James Williams) and Melissa Schemmenti (Lisa Ann Walter), are returning for a third installment of Abbott Elementary this winter.
The mockumentary sitcom and its stars have been the recipients of multiple accolades and nominations, including Brunson’s recent award for outstanding lead actress in a comedy at the 75th annual Primetime Emmy Awards, making her the first Black woman to win the prize in 42 years.
"Thank you so much I love making Abbott Elementary so much and I am so happy to be able to live my dream and act out comedy, and I say it every time and I just love comedy so much that I am so happy to be able to get this," she shared in her acceptance speech.
"I didn’t prepare anything because I just didn't think ... Oh god. I love my mom, my dad. My sisters, my brothers. My entire family so much. I love my husband. I'm so happy. I love my cast. Oh, I love Abbott Elementary. Thank you so much."
Read ahead for everything to know about Abbott Elementary season 3.
Warning: spoilers for season 2 are ahead.
Who is in the cast of Abbott Elementary season 3?
The entire main cast from seasons 1 and 2 — Quinta Brunson, Tyler James Williams, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Janelle James, Lisa Ann Walter, Chris Perfetti and William Stanford Davis — will all be making their return to the hallways of Abbott in season 3.
It has not yet been confirmed if previous recurring characters and guest stars like Ayo Edebiri, Taraji P. Henson and Keyla Monterroso Mejia will be making a comeback in season 3. But Sheryl Lee Ralph has her eyes on two A-listers that she’d like to see make an appearance on the ABC series.
“I really want Denzel [Washington] as my brother,” the sitcom star told Variety on the red carpet ahead of the Emmy Awards, and admitted that while she really just wants the actor “to show up,” she hasn’t actually asked him to make an appearance yet.
Ralph also revealed that she “heard there’s a possibility” of Meryl Streep making a cameo, which gives her hope for Washington too. “I mean, if it can be Meryl, I mean, it can be Denzel!”
How did Abbott Elementary season 2 leave off?
Season 2 brought ups and downs to the teachers at Abbott, including a fire in the teachers lounge, a thwarted attempt to turn the school into a charter school, parent-teacher conferences and Gregory being awarded an “Educator of the Year” award.
The romance between Janine and Gregory, the possibility of which had been building since early in the series, finally culminated with a kiss in season 2. At the time of their kiss, Gregory was freshly out of a relationship with Amber (Naté Jones), a parent of a student in his class, and Janine was still dating Gregory’s friend Maurice (Vince Staples).
During a sleepover school field trip in the season finale, Gregory admits he likes Janine and that he has feelings for her, but Janine is on the fence about jumping into something new. She ultimately decides at the end of the episode to focus on herself.
“As to season 3, we definitely had an opportunity, because we were ahead a little bit even at the end of the year, that we were able to start talking about bigger picture ideas before we wrapped the writers' room,” he told the outlet.
Perfetti, who plays history teacher Jacob Hill, told PEOPLE about his conflicting thoughts on the couple, "I feel like I don't know that my personal answer and Jacob's answer align here."
"I will say I have a real appreciation for the way our writers and producers — led, obviously, by the genius that is Quinta Brunson — have really subverted people's expectations in many ways," he said. "I think, for now, I am team … What are my options? God. It's really hard!"
He added, "I feel like as an actor you need to be able to argue your case. And I can really make a strong argument for both. I'll say this: I think the way season two ended is the exact way it needed to end, and that there's a door open. But, as this year and certainly the year before have taught us, life can change very quickly sometimes."
When did Abbott Elementary season 3 film?
How many episodes will Abbott Elementary season 3 be?
Season 3 of Abbott Elementary was picked up for 14 episodes, following 22 episodes in season 2 and 13 episodes in season 1.
Has ABC released a first look at Abbott Elementary season 3?
PEOPLE exclusively premiered the first teaser for season 3 in December 2023, which gave fans a peek at what’s in store for the upcoming 14 episodes.
“This is an excellent school and your children are learning,” Janine confidently states in the clip. “Yeah, right,” one dad responds, rolling his eyes as he exits the classroom.
“I’m just so happy to be back,” she eagerly says while driving her car in another scene.
While the teaser doesn’t show much in the way of storylines, it does include classic Abbott antics like a wide-eyed stare from Gregory and Jacob following a desk toppling down the stairs.
In another moment, Melissa leads her students down a hallway during a fire drill and announces jokingly, “Single file line, most flammable kids first.”
Meanwhile, in January, a trailer for the new season dropped, revealing that principal Ava has changed her approach.
“I went to Harvard this summer. I’ve learned what it truly takes to do the job of a principal,” she says, before further clips show the school's teachers grappling with her newfound stern way of overseeing the school, including Jacob declaring that, “She must be stopped.”
Barbara and Melissa persuade Gregory to attempt to seduce the principal in order to change her approach, which sees him flexing his new muscles in the doorway of her office.
“All these rules are so ... hard,” he says, as he shows off his arms.
She remains unimpressed – and even plays on playing on The Bear star Jeremy Allen White's name in her response. “Here’s a rule: put your arms away Jeremy Allen Black,” she says.
Elsewhere, Janine — who also reveals in the trailer that she's "trying out cursing" — and Gregory give unconvincing answers on how their friendship is following the kiss they previously shared. “Oh no, no, no, no, Gregory and I are good,” Janine says while he adds, in his own confessional to the camera, “Yeah, we’re fine.”
Where can I watch Abbott Elementary?
Abbott Elementary airs on Wednesdays at 9p.m. ET on ABC. New episodes are available to watch the day after their premiere on Hulu, where seasons 1 and 2 are also available to stream.
When will Abbott Elementary season 3 release?
Season 3 of Abbott Elementary will premiere on February 7, 2024 at 9p.m. ET on ABC with two episodes.
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