Speechless (2016–2019)

TVSeries


Speechless (TV Series 2016–2019)

The family of a special-needs teen is good at dealing with the challenges he faces - and excellent at creating new ones.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            
USA
IMDb   7.6 /10
TheMovieDb    7.1 /10
RottenTomatoes
FilmAffinity   5.9 /10
Creators
Creator Scott Silveri
Information
Release Date2016-09-21
Runtime30min
GenreComedy
Content RatingTV-PG (TV-PG)
Awards4 wins & 5 nominations.
CompanySilver and Gold Productions, The Detective Agency, ABC Signature
CountryUSA
LanguageEnglish
Maya DiMeo 63 episodes, 2016-2019
Jimmy DiMeo 63 episodes, 2016-2019
Kenneth / ... 63 episodes, 2016-2019
Ray DiMeo 63 episodes, 2016-2019
JJ DiMeo 63 episodes, 2016-2019
Dylan DiMeo 63 episodes, 2016-2019

Speechless (TV series)

Speechless is an American television sitcom that aired on ABC from September 21, 2016, to April 12, 2019. Created by Scott Silveri and co-executive produced with Christine Gernon, Jake Kasdan, and Melvin Mar, the 20th Century Fox Television/ABC Studios co-production was greenlighted to series order on May 13, 2016. A first-look trailer was released on the same day. Starring Minnie Driver, John Ross Bowie and Micah Fowler, the sitcom explores both the serious and humorous challenges a family faces with a teenager with a disability. On September 29, 2016, the series was picked up for a full 22-episode season. An additional episode was ordered on December 13, 2016, for a 23-episode season. On May 10, 2019, ABC cancelled the series after three seasons.


Plot

The series follows the DiMeo family, each with a unique personality: Maya, a take-charge British mother with a no-holds-barred attitude; her husband Jimmy, who does not seem to care what others think; Dylan, their no-nonsense athletic daughter; Ray, their scholarly middle child who acts as the "voice of reason" in the family; and their oldest son, JJ — a high schooler with cerebral palsy who has a biting wit and sense of humor. Unable to speak himself, JJ communicates by using headgear with a laser pointer to indicate various words, letters, and numbers on a board attached to his wheelchair, while others read aloud what he "says". The DiMeos move frequently in an attempt to find a good educational environment for JJ. They believe they have found an optimal choice when they discover a school that prides itself on being inclusive and where JJ will have an aide to speak for him. Because the school is in an upscale part of town, Jimmy and Maya move the family into the cheapest, most rundown house in an otherwise nice neighborhood. Though they quickly find that not everything is as good as it could be, JJ enjoys having Kenneth, a gentle, well-meaning school groundskeeper with a deep and resonant speaking voice, work as his aide.


Cast and characters

Main

  • Minnie Driver as Maya DiMeo, the fierce and determined mother of the family.
  • John Ross Bowie as Jimmy DiMeo, the fun-loving, easily persuadable father of the family who is a supervisor of baggage handlers at the airport.
  • Mason Cook as Raymond "Ray" DiMeo, the middle child. Slender and nerdy, he faces constant harassment, mostly from Dylan.
  • Micah Fowler as Jimmy "JJ" DiMeo Jr., The eldest child with cerebral palsy. He is non-speaking (thus the show's title) and uses a wheelchair. He has a crush on Emma Watson, which serves as a running gag on the show.
  • Kyla Kenedy as Dylan DiMeo, the athletic youngest child, and only daughter. She enjoys pulling pranks and harassing others, especially Ray.
  • Cedric Yarbrough as Kenneth Clements, the aide to JJ who serves as his voice. He is funny and a talented singer. Although he and Maya tend to butt heads, she is appreciative of his work.

Recurring

  • Pepper, the happy Golden Retriever who's supposed to be Dylan's pet, but acts like he's more fond of the others.
  • Marin Hinkle as Dr. Ava Miller, the principal of the kids' school who is easily influenced by Maya.
  • Jonathan Slavin as Mr. Powers, one of JJ's teachers.
  • Liz Cackowski as Joyce, JJ's physiotherapist.
  • Sarah Chalke as Melanie Hertzal, Taylor's mother.
  • Kayla Maisonet as Izzy, JJ's girlfriend.
  • Jack Dylan Grazer as Rev.
  • David Lengel as Tad.
  • Sedona Cohen as Taylor, Ray's ex-girlfriend.
  • Cole Massie as Logan, Melanie's son, Taylor's brother, and JJ's nemesis
  • Karly Rothenberg as a Crossing Guard.

Special guests

  • Rob Corddry as Billy, Jimmy's brother.
  • Andrea Anders as Audrey, Billy's wife.
  • Julianne Hough as Miss Bloom, the new choir teacher at the kids' school.
  • Jamie Denbo as Janet, the DiMeos' insurance agent. Denbo is married to series star John Ross Bowie.
  • Jim O'Heir as Stu, the DiMeos' former insurance agent.
  • Ken Marino as Ethan, Maya's ex-boyfriend.
  • Michaela Watkins as Becca, a new mom at the group of families with disabled kids.
  • Zach Anner as Lee, a wheelchair-using young man who Maya asks to speak with JJ about living on his own.
  • Holland Taylor as Andrea, Maya's pretentious mother.
  • Keith David as Colonel, Kenneth's father.
  • John Cleese as Martin, Maya's father who lives in London.
  • Julie White as Helen, Lee's over protective mother.
  • Niecy Nash as Kiki, Kenneth's sister.
  • Lisa Leslie as Kendall, Kenneth's sister.
  • Tricia O'Kelley as Candy Kensington
  • Rondi Reed as Nina
  • Christopher Thornton as Chris
  • Bella Thorne as Cassidy
  • Jay Chandrasekhar as Coach

Episodes

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
123September 21, 2016May 17, 2017
218September 27, 2017March 21, 2018
322October 5, 2018April 12, 2019

Production

Development

On January 11, 2016, it was announced that ABC had given the production a pilot order as Speechless. The episode was written by Scott Silveri who was expected to executive produce alongside Christine Gernon, Jake Kasdan and Melvin Mar. Production companies involved with the pilot include Silver and Gold Productions, The Detective Agency, ABC Studios and 20th Century Fox Television. On May 13, 2016, ABC officially ordered the pilot to series. A few days later, it was announced that the series would premiere in the fall of 2016 and air on Tuesdays at 9:30 P.M. EST. On September 23, 2016, ABC picked up the series for a full season of 22 episodes and on December 13, they get only one episode. On May 12, 2017, ABC renewed the series for a second season which premiered on September 27, 2017. On May 11, 2018, ABC renewed the series for a third season and announced it would air on Fridays at 8:30 P.M. EST and premiered on October 5, 2018.

Casting

On February 24, 2016, it was announced that Cedric Yarbrough had been cast in the pilot. In March 2016, it was reported that Minnie Driver and John Ross Bowie had also joined the pilot's main cast.


Reception

Critical response

Speechless received largely positive reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the series has a rating of 98%, based on 41 reviews, with an average rating of 8.2/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Speechless speaks to a sensitive topic with a heartfelt lead performance and a fine balance of sensitivity and irreverence." On Metacritic, the series has a score of 79 out of 100, based on 29 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".

The editors of TV Guide placed Speechless seventh among the top ten picks for the most anticipated new shows of the 2016–17 season. In its review from writer Liam Matthews, "ABC has another worthwhile addition to its strong lineup of modern families with Speechless," adding "It's a clear-eyed and empathetic exploration of life in a special-needs family that makes plenty of room for hilarity."

Ratings

Viewership and ratings per season of Speechless
SeasonTimeslot (ET)EpisodesFirst airedLast airedTV seasonViewership
rank
Avg. viewers
(millions)
18–49
rank
Avg. 18–49
rating
DateViewers
(millions)
DateViewers
(millions)
1Wednesday 8:30pm23September 21, 20167.38May 17, 20174.522016–17636.23TBD1.9
218September 27, 20175.03March 21, 20184.602017–181014.88TBD1.4
3Friday 8:30pm22October 5, 20182.43April 12, 20192.312018–191373.11TBD0.8

Accolades

YearAwardCategoryRecipient(s)ResultRef.
2017People's Choice AwardsFavorite Actress In A New TV SeriesMinnie DriverNominated
Favorite New TV ComedySpeechlessNominated
Writers Guild of America AwardsEpisodic ComedyCarrie Rosen & Seth Kurland for "R-A-Y-C-Ray-Cation"Nominated
ICG Publicists AwardsMaxwell Weinberg Award – TelevisionSpeechlessNominated
Golden Trailer AwardsBest Trailerbyte for a TV Series/Streaming SeriesSpeechlessNominated
Television Critics Association AwardsOutstanding Achievement in Youth ProgrammingSpeechlessWon

Home media

DVD NameEp #Release Date
Speechless: The Complete First Season23June 12, 2018
Speechless: The Complete Second Season18
Speechless: The Complete Third Season22July 9, 2019
iTunes NameEp #Release Date
Speechless, Season 1-363April 13, 2019