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The Interesting Connection Between Abbott Elementary And Modern Family

It's not crazy to say that the ABC mockumentary "Abbott Elementary" may just be the next big thing on television. Following its premiere in December of 2021, the series, which centers around a group of teachers working at a public school in Philadelphia, was met with worldwide critical acclaim, and currently holds an astounding 97% critical rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Critics have praised the show for its laugh-out-loud humor, fantastic performances from its cast, and its deft criticism of the American education system.

"Abbott Elementary" has also started to draw comparisons to other popular mockumentary series, most obviously due to the influence of director Randall Einhorn, who directed six episodes of the show and had worked extensively as a director for both "The Office” and "Parks and Recreation." In addition, "Abbott Elementary" also has a very interesting connection to the beloved sitcom "Modern Family" — one that is related to their home network of ABC.

Abbott Elementary produced the best comedy ratings for ABC since Modern Family's finale

According to Deadline, the second episode of Abbott Elementary (titled "Light Bulb") was responsible for ABC's strongest comedy ratings since the series finale of "Modern Family." The episode was watched by around 9.0 million people across all platforms and achieved an astounding 2.93 rating in the 18-to-49 demographic. This incredible milestone was preceded by a 300% increase in viewership during the 35 days that followed the premiere of "Abbott Elementary," which was the largest percentage growth for any new comedy in ABC's History (via TV Insider).

The episode actually surpassed the MP35 (multiplatform 35-day) performance of the "Modern Family" finale, which only pulled in 7.43 million viewers and a 1.6 rating in the 18-to-49 demographic (via The Hollywood Reporter). As far as "passing the torch" goes, beating out the total viewership for the finale of a show as beloved as "Modern Family" is a good place to start. "Abbott Elementary" still has a long way to go before it can be revered alongside the likes of "The Office," but the series' impressive ratings are certainly an encouraging sign for the relatively new show.