ABC has decided to cancel the Minnie Driver-starring Speechless after three seasons, and while it hurts, we should have seen it coming. The third season finale effectively served as a series finale, with JJ DiMeo (Micah Fowler) graduating high school and receiving a fond farewell as he heads off to college.
The semi-autobiographical comedy from Scott Silveri (who worked on six seasons of Friends and the short lived Joey), followed the story of the DiMeo family, led by Driver's Maya. Oldest son JJ has cerebral palsy and the show revolved around Maya balancing her home life with her work life, while she tried to get a line of handicap accessible clothing off the ground. The series also starred Cedric Yarbrough, John Ross Bowie, Mason Cook and Kyla Kenedy.
Speechless broke new ground for inclusivity, as it featured an actor with cerebral palsy in a leading role, something yiewers praised the show for since many felt represented for the first time. Talking to People back in 2016, Fowler explained that, "Actors with disabilities face typecasting and a lack of auditioning opportunities, but I don't let [it] define me. I see those things as challenges and not barriers."
Driver was the first actor from the show to take to social media to share her feelings about the cancellation.
Well now listen. Speechless has been cancelled and it feels rather sad. However, I truly believe we have left this conversation about family, disability and love in a better place than we found it. I love all the people I worked with on it, and all of you who loved our show too x— Minnie Driver (@driverminnie) May 10, 2019
The series was produced by Twentieth Century Fox Television and ABC Studios, but even though ABC now owns Twentieth Century Fox, the decision was made to cut Speechless from the network's lineup. It's unclear if there are any sort of plans to try and shop the series around elsewhere.