ABC has made a commitment to comedian Quinta Brunson (A Black Lady Sketch Show, Quinta vs. Everything) and Harley Quinn producers Justin Halpern and Patrick Schumacker to air the pilot for their upcoming single-camera sitcom, Deadline reports. Brunson will take on a starring role and is credited as the show’s sole creator and executive producer. The show will be set at a failing public school where a group of teachers butt heads with the administrative corps.
The show reunites Brunson with Halpern and Schumacker two years after they combined their talents on The CW pilot The End of the World As We Know It. The high-concept sci-fi dramedy was written and executive produced by Halpern and Schumacker and based on the novel by Iva-Marie Palmer of the same name. Brunson played a principal role in the pilot. Both parties also worked on The CW’s horror-themed procedural iZombie; Halpern and Schumacker have writing credits on several episodes in the show’s second season, while Brunson played the recurring role of Dr. Charlotte “Charlie” Collier in Season 5.
Justin Halpern and Patrick Schumacker have dabbled in the workplace comedy genre in the past. In 2017, they served as executive producers on the NBC sitcom Powerless, which, much like Harley Quinn (a show they developed alongside fellow iZombie writing staff alum Dean Lorey), took place within the world of the DC Universe. Powerless was focused on the Research & Development team at Wayne Security creating products to protect civilians from the collateral damage caused by superhero battles. Powerless cast-mates Ron Funches (Trolls, Final Space) and Alan Tudyk (Firefly, Suburgatory) would reignite their partnerships with Halpern and Schumacker for Harley Quinn, where they play King Shark and The Joker, respectively.
Quinta Brunson has been developing content for the better part of the past decade and, like many members of the new generation of TV writers, she got her start making independently produced Internet videos. In a TED Talk she gave at the University of California San Diego in 2016 — “I Like Myself, America, And You Can’t Stop Me” — she discussed the source of her initial success, a viral Instagram sketch based on a routine she did at the Comedy Store. From there she did a three-month residency at BuzzFeed, where she went on to produce short videos for the site over the span of several years. Brunson starred in and produced BuzzFeed’s original comedy series Broke in 2016, and played a major role in the nine-part video series that inspired it a year before. In a 2018 interview with Philadelphia Magazine, Brunson had nothing but praise for her BuzzFeed colleagues: “The people I worked with were some of the hardest-working, most innovative people, and continue to be.”