Minnie Driver is speaking out after ABC announced that her show, Speechless, had been canceled. Although she'll no longer be able to portray Maya on the series, Driver said she was grateful to have inspired meaningful "conversation" about people with disabilities.
Following news that ABC decided not to renew the show for a fourth season, Driver took to Twitter to address heartbroken fans. She admitted that she was "rather sad" about Speechless being pulled, she felt it made an impact on the world.
Driver tweeted that the canceled sitcom left the conversation surrounding disabilities "in a better place than we found it."
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
TV Line reported that ABC canceled Speechless on Friday. The show had been on air for three seasons. The single-camera comedy followed the DiMeo family, led by Driver as Maya. Maya's life evolved around her son, J.J. (Micah Fowler), who has cerebral palsy. When Season 3 ended, J.J. had just graduated from high school and was hoping to attend film school.
Speechless also starred Mason Cook, Kyla Kenedy, Cedric Yarbrough and John Ross Bowie. It was created by Scott Silveri and both Jake Kasdan and Melvin Mar served as executive producers. Speechless was a co-production of 20th Century Fox Television and ABC Studios.
Initially, viewers weren't certain Speechless could accomplish what it set out to: to adequately focus on the life of a person with a disability and be funny. The series took viewers by surprise, and developed a dedicated fan base rather quickly.
Yarbrough defended the show's integrity in an interview with Variety, telling the outlet that people loved it because it was "just funny." He added that the fact that it centered on a family, and proved that disability or no they were hardly any different than those watching, added to its charm.
"First and foremost, it's just funny — that's why people love the show," he told Variety at the time. "And because it's a family. It's not anything other than what you see with a 'typical family' — mom, dad, a neighbor who also cares for the kids, and then the kids. So all those elements are all there, just like your Beaver Cleaver, The Cosby Show, just in a different kind of category."
"You laugh and you cry when you watch this show, because it's real life. You feel the emotions that everyone feels," Kenedy chimed in.0comments
Despite having a committed fanbase, Speechless was consistently among ABC's lowest rated Friday night shows, Variety noted. On average, it drew only 2.3 million total live viewers each week.