‘Abbott Elementary’ Adds Taraji P. Henson in Key Guest Role

‘Abbott Elementary’ Adds Taraji P. Henson in Key Guest Role

Season 2 of Abbott Elementary is becoming all about family, as the show has cast another key relative of Janine’s. Per Variety, Taraji P. Henson is the newest guest star to join the series. She will appear in the April 12 episode, entitled “Mom,” and will play Vanetta, Janine’s mother. Following the announcement, the show’s Twitter account shared a behind-the-scenes photo of Henson with Quinta Brunson (Janine).

“Mom” will mark the penultimate episode of Season 2 and will follow Janine as she plans a solo trip for Memorial Day. However, her plans are soon upended after Vanetta arrives, unannounced, asking for help. Meanwhile, Gregory (Tyler James Williams) will be focusing on his people skills. Vanetta’s arrival on the series will also be the second time viewers meet a member of Janine’s family, following the introduction of her sister Ayesha (Ayo Edebiri). Though the two won’t be on screen together, we do know that Vanetta and Ayesha have a taut relationship that Janine often finds herself caught in the middle of.

Prior to her guest appearance on Abbott, Henson has starred in several notable projects throughout her career. On the television side, she’s well-known for starring as Cookie in FOX’s series Empire, which ran from 2015-2020. More recently, Henson lent her voice to Minions: The Rise of Gru and previously voice acted for The Simpsons, Ralph Breaks the Internet, and more. Some of her other standout projects include her roles in Hidden Figures, The Best of Enemies, and I Can Do Bad All by Myself, among others.

RELATED: 10 Funniest Characters on Abbott Elementary So Far

So Far on Abbott Elementary Season 2

abbott elementary
Image via ABC

Like Season 1, this season of Abbott has brought the teachers through a variety of antics within the walls of the school and beyond. It has also placed a greater emphasis on the teachers as individuals, offering more glimpses into their personal lives. Along with meeting Janine’s family, viewers learned a little more about Melissa (Lisa Ann Walter) and her relationship with reading, saw the Janine and Gregory ship set sail, and, most recently, the teachers took a stand against Legendary Charter Schools. The upcoming episode, “Educator of the Year,” will center on Gregory gaining a major award, Janine dealing with a difficult student, and reveal big news with Barbara (Sheryl Lee Ralph).

Abbott Elementary returns with new episodes Wednesday, April 5 at 9 p.m. ET on ABC, streaming the next day on Hulu. All prior episodes are available on the streamer.

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