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Speechless is an American sitcom television series that debuted on ABC on September 21, 2016. 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.[1] A first-look trailer was released on the same day.[2][3] Starring Minnie Driver, John Ross Bowie and Micah Fowler, the sitcom explores both the serious and humorous challenges a family faces with a teenager who is disabled. On September 29, 2016, the series was picked up for a full 22-episode season.[4] An additional episode was ordered on December 13, 2016, for a 23-episode season.[5]

Speechless logo.png
Genre Sitcom
Created by Scott Silveri
Composer(s) Jeff Cardoni
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 41 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s)
Camera setup Single-camera
Running time 21 minutes
Production company(s)
Original network ABC
Original release September 21, 2016 (2016-09-21) – present
External links

On May 12, 2017, ABC renewed the series for a second season, which premiered on September 27, 2017.[6]

On May 11, 2018, ABC renewed the series for a third season.[7]



Artwork used for season 1

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 charactersEdit


  • Minnie Driver as Maya DiMeo,[8] the fierce and determined mother of the family.
  • John Ross Bowie as Jimmy DiMeo, Sr.,[9] the fun-loving, easily persuadable father of the family who works at the airport.
  • Mason Cook as Raymond "Ray" DiMeo,[8] the middle child. Slender and nerdy, he faces constant harassment, mostly from Dylan.
  • Micah Fowler as Jimmy "JJ" DiMeo, Jr.,[10] 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,[11] the athletic youngest child, and only daughter. She enjoys pulling pranks and harassing others, especially Ray.
  • Cedric Yarbrough as Kenneth Clements,[12] the aide to J.J. 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.


Special guestsEdit


Season Episodes Originally aired
First aired Last aired
1 23 September 21, 2016 (2016-09-21) May 17, 2017 (2017-05-17)
2 18 September 27, 2017 (2017-09-27) March 21, 2018 (2018-03-21)


Critical responseEdit

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."[13] On Metacritic, the series has a score of 79 out of 100, based on 29 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[14]

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."[15]


Season Timeslot (ET) Episodes First aired Last aired TV season Rank Avg. viewers
18–49 rating
Date Viewers
Date Viewers
1 Wednesday 8:30 pm 23 September 21, 2016 (2016-09-21) 7.38[16] May 17, 2017 (2017-05-17) 4.52[17] 2016–17 63 6.23 1.9[18]
2 18 September 27, 2017 (2017-09-27) 5.03[19] March 21, 2018 (2018-03-21) 4.60[20] 2017–18 101 4.88 1.4[21]


Year Award Category Recipient(s) Result Ref.
2017 People's Choice Awards Favorite Actress In A New TV Series Minnie Driver Nominated [22]
Favorite New TV Comedy Speechless Nominated
Writers Guild of America Awards Episodic Comedy Carrie Rosen & Seth Kurland for "R-A-Y-C-Ray-Cation" Nominated [23]
ICG Publicists Awards Maxwell Weinberg Award – Television Speechless Nominated [24]
Golden Trailer Awards Best Trailerbyte for a TV Series/Streaming Series Speechless Nominated [25]
Television Critics Association Awards Outstanding Achievement in Youth Programming Speechless Won [26]


  1. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (May 13, 2016). "ABC Picks Up Comedy Pilot 'Speechless' To Series, Renews 'Last Man Standing'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 13, 2016. 
  2. ^ Trailer for "Speechless" from YouTube
  3. ^ Gennis, Sadie (June 28, 2016). "ABC Announces Fall Premiere Dates". TV Guide. Retrieved June 28, 2016. 
  4. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (September 29, 2016). "'Designated Survivor' & 'Speechless' Get Full-Season Orders By ABC". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved September 29, 2016. 
  5. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (December 13, 2016). "6 ABC Comedies Score Additional Episode Orders". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 13, 2016. 
  6. ^ Otterson, Joe (July 24, 2017). "ABC Sets Fall Premiere Dates for Marvel's 'Inhumans,' Daveed Diggs' 'The Mayor'". Variety. Retrieved July 24, 2017. 
  7. ^ Schwartz, Ryan (May 11, 2018). "Speechless Renewed for Season 3". TV Line. Retrieved May 11, 2018. 
  8. ^ a b Nellie, Andreeva (March 16, 2016). "Minnie Driver To Star In ABC Comedy Pilot 'Speechless', Mason Cook To Co-Star". Retrieved August 24, 2017. 
  9. ^ Nellie, Andreeva (March 23, 2016). "'Big Bang Theory's John Ross Bowie To Star In ABC Comedy Pilot 'Speechless'". Retrieved August 24, 2017. 
  10. ^ Wagmeister, Elizabeth (March 24, 2016). "Young Special Needs Actor Cast in Minnie Driver's ABC Comedy Pilot 'Speechless'". Variety. Retrieved August 24, 2017. 
  11. ^ Wagmeister, Elizabeth (March 23, 2016). "'The Walking Dead' Alum Joins Minnie Driver in ABC Comedy Pilot 'Speechless' (Exclusive)". Variety. Retrieved August 24, 2017. 
  12. ^ Petski, Denise (February 24, 2016). "'Lopez' Casts Ashley Zamora; Cedric Yarbrough Joins ABC Pilot 'Speechless'". Retrieved August 24, 2017. 
  13. ^ "Speechless (2016)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved September 20, 2016. 
  14. ^ "Speechless reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved February 8, 2017. 
  15. ^ "Our 10 Most Anticipated New TV Shows of Fall 2016" from TV Guide (September 16, 2016)
  16. ^ Porter, Rick (September 22, 2016). "Wednesday final ratings: 'Empire' adjusts up, 'Designated Survivor' adjusts down". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved September 22, 2016. 
  17. ^ Porter, Rick (May 18, 2017). "'Empire,' 'Blindspot' finale adjust up: Wednesday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved May 18, 2017. 
  18. ^ de Moraes, Lisa (May 26, 2017). "Final 2016-17 TV Rankings: 'Sunday Night Football' Winning Streak Continues". Archived from the original on June 2, 2017. Retrieved May 26, 2017. 
  19. ^ Porter, Rick (September 28, 2017). "'Survivor' premiere adjusts up: Wednesday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved September 28, 2017. 
  20. ^ Porter, Rick (March 22, 2018). "'Survivor,' 'The Goldbergs' and 'Modern Family' adjust up, 'Speechless' adjusts down: Wednesday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved March 22, 2018. 
  21. ^ "2017-18 TV Series Ratings Rankings: NFL Football, 'Big Bang' Top Charts". Deadline Hollywood. May 22, 2018. Retrieved May 22, 2018. 
  22. ^ Hipes, Patrick (November 15, 2016). "People's Choice Awards Nominees 2017 — Full List". Archived from the original on May 27, 2017. Retrieved August 24, 2017. 
  23. ^ Schwindt, Oriana (December 5, 2016). "Writers Guild TV Nominations: 'Stranger Things,' 'Westworld,' 'This Is Us,' 'Atlanta' Break Through". Variety. Archived from the original on December 6, 2016. Retrieved August 24, 2017. 
  24. ^ Petski, Denise (January 18, 2017). "ICG Publicists Announce 2017 Nominees". Retrieved August 24, 2017. 
  25. ^ Hipes, Patrick (May 12, 2017). "Golden Trailer Awards Nominees: Warner Bros & 'Lego Batman' Lead Pack". Retrieved August 24, 2017. 
  26. ^ Schwartz, Ryan (August 5, 2017). "TCA Awards: The Handmaid's Tale, Atlanta, Big Little Lies, Carrie Coon Among Big Winners". TVLine. Retrieved August 24, 2017. 

External linksEdit