ABC’s Emmy-winning hit Abbott Elementary, a sitcom about teachers in an underfunded, primarily Black public elementary school in Philadelphia, is taking the television world by storm. The network phenomenon has rave reviews that have translated into record-breaking ratings, a growing fandom of all ages, cultural prestige we usually reserve for premium cable shows, and the accolades to go with its near-instant success.

Abbott Elementary would have fit in with any of the “must-see TV” of the ’90s had the networks made sitcoms with predominantly Black casts at the time. NBC started with some we should remember. Just as Abbott has received well-deserved praise for socially conscious storylines and positive representation, another sitcom once strove for a similar mission: A Different World.