“Abbott Elementary” got an A+ from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association at Tuesday’s Golden Globe Awards, taking home three out of the five Globes awarded to programming airing across Disney-owned platforms ABC, Hulu and FX. Along with “Abbott’s” wins for best TV comedy, and acting victories for creator and lead Quinta Brunson and supporting star Tyler James Williams, the Disney family picked up two more awards via “The Dropout” star Amanda Seyfried’s Globe for best actress TV limited or anthology series and Jeremy Allen White’s win for leading FX comedy “The Bear.”
With five wins, Disney General Entertainment topped all distributors, including HBO with four wins, at the 2023 Globes. “Abbott’s” win also marks the first time a broadcast comedy has won the comedy series Globe since “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” at the 2013 ceremony, and the first time ABC has won the award since “Modern Family” for the 2011 Globes.
Variety caught up with Craig Erwich, president of ABC Entertainment, Hulu and Disney Branded Television Streaming Originals, right after the Globes telecast ended on NBC for an exclusive chat about the big night out for “Abbott,” a co-production between Warner Bros. TV and Disney’s 20th Television, and what the wins across ABC, FX and Hulu mean for the larger Disney.
Obviously, we’re talking about multiple parts of the Disney family in these wins — but the through line here is all three of these shows stream on Hulu. Do you see this as a win for Hulu, for that reason?
I do. Disney General Entertainment had five wins tonight and Hulu is the home, I think this year, of more Golden Globe-winning content than any streamer. So it’s a huge win for the viewer, and that’s kind of who we’re ultimately there to service. So whether it’s a win for “Abbott,” or John Landgraf [FX Networks chairman] and his team and “The Bear,” or the 20th team for “The Dropout,” it’s an incredible offering to our subscribers. And we’ve been doing that consistently under Dana’s [Walden, chairman of Disney General Entertainment] leadership. We’re working as a team to curate a really diverse and incredible offering.
“Abbott” lost out to “Ted Lasso” at last year’s Emmys — do you see this setting it up to win big in Season 2?
Oh absolutely! It’s on a massive run of not just critical acclaim, but, quite frankly, audience viewing. I think we had our highest-rated episode on broadcast a few weeks ago. I think the show continues to grow in its appeal to the audience. And these kinds of awards just help spread the word of the work that Quinta and her team are doing.
Amid a win like this, are you discussing what other “Abbott”-related opportunities, including spinoffs, there are with Quinta and co-studio Warner Bros.? (Note: ABC renewed “Abbott Elementary” for Season 3 Wednesday morning.)
The show is in its second year, and I think it just continues to grow creatively. In Season 2, which is what we’re watching, each of the characters are getting more dynamic and the situations are getting funnier. So there’s years for this show to go. As for the future of “Abbott,” I’m just constantly delighted and surprised by what Quinta and her team do.
Amanda Seyfried won for “The Dropout” tonight — but she wasn’t able to accept the award because she’s apparently working on a musical. Does Hulu or Disney know anything about this project?
That I don’t know. But I’ll go see it, that’s all I know!
I know production is just getting started for “The Bear” Season 2. When can we expect it to hit Hulu?
You’d have to ask John Landgraf. John and his team have an incredible slate. I know it’s a show that I personally — as a fan, and also just because of Hulu — get tons of feedback and questions about it. But only he knows the schedule. We work as a team to really support each other’s shows and have this incredible offering for our subscribers. But in terms of the specifics, you should talk to John.
How will “Only Murders in the Building” Season 3 handle bringing a larger viewing audience into the very specific world of Broadway and New York City’s theater scene?
I’ve read the scripts for many of them. “Only Murders in the Building” is incredibly popular because the characters are relatable and it’s funny and it’s emotional and it surprises you — in terms of the stories they talk about, the people and the tone. So Broadway is a great setting, and they really mine it for tons of humor that’s very relatable and accessible, because Broadway is place where you get incredibly good comic characters, and that’s what John Hoffman and Dan Fogelman do so well. So I’m very excited about Season 3.
Obviously, the Globes were back on TV this year — but the deal HFPA has with NBC is only for one year. Are ABC or Hulu interested in getting into the Globes business next year or in the future?
Yeah, I don’t know the specifics of the Globes deal. We’re always on the lookout for a great program for audiences, but other than that I can’t speculate.
I know Bob Iger just came back into the mix, so he didn’t make choices that directly led to these wins tonight, but I wanted to know if you’ve chatted with him yet and gotten his thoughts on Disney winning big tonight?
I haven’t spoken to him about the awards yet, but he’s been nothing but enthusiastic and optimistic and supportive when he was here and now that he’s back. So we’re all energized by his presence.