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‘Abbott Elementary’ and Quinta Brunson’s ‘knock-off’ copyright suit dropped

'Abbott Elementary' copyright suit dismissed, judge rules ABC hit isn't a 'knock-off’
'Abbott Elementary' copyright suit dismissed, judge rules ABC hit isn't a 'knock-off'

“Abbott Elementary” and its creator and star, Quinta Brunson, are out of legal detention.

A judge in New York dismissed a lawsuit against Brunson, 34, and ABC on Tuesday filed by writer Christine Davis in 2021, claiming the hit sitcom was a “veritable knock-off” of her show “This School Year.”

According to the court decision obtained by The Post, the judge found that “no discerning observer would find the works to be substantially similar.”

“Abbott Elementary” first aired Dec. 7, 2021. ABC
“Abbott Elementary” first aired Dec. 7, 2021. ABC

“Indeed, as demonstrated by the Court’s analysis of each of Plaintiff’s alleged similarities, the two works use qualitatively different plots, themes, and characters to cast different perspectives on the experiences of teachers in under-resources, inner-city public school settings,” the document says of the differences between the two shows.

Davis wrote her mockumentary-style script, based in a New York City public school, in 2018, and registered with the copyright office in early 2020. Brunson’s creation, set in Philadelphia, premiered on ABC in 2021.

“ ‘This School Year’ blends comedy with a harder-edged look at the uncertainties and challenges teachers face, with Ms. Davis’ pragmatic goal of securing tenure as a key example,” the docs state.

Bradley Cooper guest starred in last week’s episode. Disney
Bradley Cooper guest starred in last week’s episode. Disney

“ ‘Abbott Elementary,’ on the other hand, employs a comparatively lighter tone, utilizing Ms. Teagues’ [Brunson’s character] comedic naïveté and persistent optimism to emphasize the resource constraints and other limitations faced by teachers working in such settings,” the decision reads.

The Post has contacted reps for Brunson and ABC for comment.

Davis’ lawsuit claimed that many of the “Abbott Elementary” characters are “nearly identical” to “This School Year,” and alleged that the first few episodes have similar plotlines.

“Abbott Elementary” takes place in Philadelphia. Disney
“Abbott Elementary” takes place in Philadelphia. Disney

“Without [Davis’] permission, license, authority, or consent, [Brunson & ABC] knowingly and illegally used [Davis’] works to create the ‘Abbot[t] Elementary’ television show,” the suit claimed.

“Abbott Elementary” also stars Tyler James Williams, Janelle James, Lisa Ann Walter, Chris Perfetti, William Stanford Davis and Sheryl Lee Ralph.

“Maestro” star Bradley Cooper appeared in last week’s episode, which aired after the Oscars.

Quinta Brunson at the 75th Emmy Awards in Los Angeles on Jan.15. AFP via Getty Images
Quinta Brunson at the 75th Emmy Awards in Los Angeles on Jan.15. AFP via Getty Images

The show has won four Emmys, including Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for Brunson.

“Abbott Elementary” airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on ABC and streams next day on Hulu.