‘Abbott Elementary’ Sets Taraji P. Henson to Play Janine’s Mom

Henson will guest star in the upcoming episode titled “Mom” on the ABC comedy


“Abbott Elementary” fans will finally get to meet Janine’s mother, when Emmy-nominated actress Taraji P. Henson joins the cast of the ABC sitcom in a major guest role beginning April 12.

The announcement was made Saturday at a PaleyFest event in Los Angeles with several of the comedy series’ stars in attendance. Sheryl Lee Ralph, Lisa Ann Walter, Tyler James Wiliams and William Stanford Davis were a part of the panel in person, while Janelle James and Chris Perfett joined via Zoom from New York.

“Abbot Elementary”‘s official Twitter account posted a photo of star and executive producer Quinta Brunson (Janine) and Henson with a caption that reads, “about that episode titled ‘mom’ you saw earlier…”

ABC’s official logline for the episode reads: Janine’s plan for a Memorial Day weekend solo trip is derailed when her mother shows up unannounced asking for help. Elsewhere, Gregory notices his colleagues are great at small talk and realizes he needs to brush up on his people skills.

Henson is a three-time Emmy nominee and has earned a Golden Globe Award, a Critics Choice Award and three BET awards for portraying Cookie Lyon in FOX’s hit drama “Empire” and, in 2015, she was named Entertainer of the Year at the NAACP Image Awards.

The news comes on the heels of Brunson hosting “Saturday Night Live” on April 1.